A reader recently upgraded her iPhone from iPhone 7 to a new iPhone 11. All her music was missing on the new iPhone. She had all her music stored on her MacBook and it was also on the iPhone 7. Following the upgrade to the new iPhone 11, she found that her music had disappeared from the new iPhone. It didn’t copy over to the new iPhone.
If you ever find yourself in this situation where you need to copy music from your Mac over to your new iPhone or another iDevice, it is an easy and straightforward process.
This is primarily for users who don’t use iCloud to sync their data across devices. You will need a USB cable to copy music. Make sure that you are using the same Apple ID across both your MacBook and your new iPhone.
- Steps to copy music from Mac to iPhone, iPad, or iPod
- Want to remove some synced music from your iPhone or iPad?
- Wrap up
- How to Manually Manage Music on Your iPhone in macOS Catalina
- Can’t sign in into Music or TV app on macOS Catalina? Here’s why
- Reset the Trust This Computer setting on your iPhone or iPad
- Use Terminal to track the sync or update progress of your iPhone in Finder
- No More iTunes. How to use Finder in macOS Catalina to Sync and Restore iPhone
Steps to copy music from Mac to iPhone, iPad, or iPod
- Open iTunes (macOS Mojave and below) or Finder (macOS Catalina and above) on your MacBook
- Connect your iPhone to your Mac using a USB/USB-C cable or with a previously established device WiFi connection
- Accept ‘Trust Computer’ message and enter iPhone credentials, if prompted
- For folks using Finder, select the device in the Finder sidebar under Locations
- For iTunes users, click the iPhone icon on the left corner
- Select Music from either the top row in Finder or the sidebar in iTunes
- Checkmark Sync music onto (the device’s name) or Sync Music to turn on syncing of your music between your Mac and your device
- Choose if you want to sync the Entire music library to import all the songs. Or choose Selected artists… to sync specific music (check the box for all music you want to sync and deselect any music you don’t want to sync)
- Decide if you want to include videos and if applicable, voice memos, by selecting or deselecting those boxes
- If you see a checkbox for Automatically fill free space with songs, that option will automatically fill your device’s free space with songs during syncing. Checking this option syncs as many songs as possible onto your device
- When done selecting your options, click the Apply button on the lower right corner to start copying
- If it doesn’t automatically start copying the music over from your Mac to your iPhone, click on the Sync button to get it started
- Depending upon how much music you have on your MacBook, it may take some time to copy over all the music
- Once complete, make sure you hit the eject button before you disconnect your device from your Mac
Turn on auto-sync between your Mac and iPhone, iPad, or iPod
After you sync your Mac and your device, you may want this process to start automatically moving forward, anytime you connect them.
To turn on automatic syncing, go to Finder’s General tab or iTunes’ Summary and Options section and enable “Automatically sync when this (device’s name) is connected.”
It’s better to sync with a cable than over WiFi
Although there is a way to copy music over from your Mac iTunes to your new iPhone via WiFi instead of a wired connection, that process can have issues especially if you have a large number of titles that you want to copy over.
The cable method is more fail-safe when it comes to copying data over from your MacBook to your iPhone.
You can use this method and steps to copy other media such as your books, photos, ringtones, etc from your Mac to your new iPhone.
Want to remove some synced music from your iPhone or iPad?
It’s easy to remove any synced music that you no longer want on your device using your Mac’s Finder app or iTunes! You can also delete music directly on your iDevice, without needing your Mac.
Follow these steps to remove music from your device but keep it on your Mac
- Connect your device to your Mac
- Open the Finder app or iTunes, choose your device, and then select Music from either the top menu or the sidebar
- In the Music list, uncheck the boxes for any music you no longer want on your device
- When done and ready to sync again, click Apply
- Tap Eject before disconnecting your device from your Mac
Follow these steps to remove music on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch using the Settings app
- Open Settings > General > iPhone (iPad/iPod) Storage
- Scroll down and tap Music
- Swipe on any artist, album, or song
- Tap Delete. This removes the download
- If you don’t want that item as an iCloud streamable option, you need to hide the item using Finder or iTunes on your Mac
We hope you were able to easily copy your music onto your new iPhone.
If you have not evaluated iCloud for whatever reason, this might be an opportunity to sign up for iCloud, so that you don’t have to manually copy information between your Apple devices.
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.