Why is Apple Music Blocking Curse Words? (Playing Clean Songs)

In short: Apple Music is blocking curse words because you might be listening to the “clean version” or you have restrictions (parental controls) turned on for music on your device.

Sometimes, you just want to listen to explicit songs on Apple Music uninterrupted. You don’t want curse words bleeped or just plain cut out.

Here’s why Apple Music is blocking curse words and playing only clean songs.

1. You are playing or have downloaded the “clean version”

If you’ve noticed curse words being blocked on certain songs, it’s probably because you’re playing or have downloaded the clean version rather than the explicit version of the song.

It’s also the reason why it seems like Apple Music is only playing clean songs.

The explicit version of a song has an “E” after the title. Sometimes the clean version has that in the title or they say “Radio Edit”. Not all artists have both versions.

There is no way to edit the tracks to remove curse words from the user’s end. So if your downloaded songs have cuss words removed, you may have downloaded the clean version.

2. Content restrictions are turned on your device

If you can’t play explicit songs, or you’ve noticed curse words being blocked on Apple Music, you might have restrictions (parental controls) turned on for music on your device.

To listen to explicit songs, turn restrictions off on any of your devices:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap Screen Time.
  3. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  4. Tap Content Restrictions.
  5. Select Music, Podcasts & News.
  6. Select Explicit instead of Clean.

You can also change parental controls in Apple Music on the web:

  1. Go to music.apple.com
  2. Click the My Account button in the top-right corner.
  3. Choose Settings.
  4. You may be asked to sign in with your Apple ID.
  5. Below Parental Controls, enter your four-digit passcode.
  6. Change content restrictions.

Once you’ve selected the Explicit option, you can now enjoy the playback of music, music videos, podcasts, news, and workouts containing explicit content and curse words.

If restrictions are already turned off on all of your devices, but you still notice Apple Music only playing clean songs, you might need to turn restrictions for music on and then off again.

3. The Dolby Atmos setting is turned on

If you’ve downloaded the explicit version and content restrictions have been turned off, but Apple Music is still only playing clean songs, it could be due to Dolby Atmos.

Go to Apple Music settings and disable Dolby Atmos. The explicit version will now play. The second I turned Dolby Atmos off, the song rang out those sweet, sweet f-bombs once again.

To turn off Dolby Atmos on your iPhone or iPad:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap Music.
  3. Under Audio, tap Dolby Atmos.
  4. Choose Off. 

To turn off Dolby Atmos on your Mac:

  1. Open the Apple Music app.
  2. In the menu bar, choose Music > Preferences or Music > Settings.
  3. Click the Playback tab. 
  4. Choose Off,

Once you’ve turned off Dolby Atmos, you may need to delete the locally downloaded songs because Apple will not automatically replace your Dolby Atmos music files.

Don’t worry, you only need to do this once. This Dolby Atmos setting only applies going forward to songs downloaded or streamed afterward.

The easiest solution is to delete all local downloads (this doesn’t remove songs from your library). In the same music settings, look for the “Downloaded Music” option.

Go there, click Edit, and press the red minus sign at the top to delete everything. I don’t recommend doing this unless you have decent Wi-Fi so redownloading is a breeze.

And definitely don’t do this if you have songs from external sources like CDs. In that case, you would want to just delete individual songs that are affected by the problem.

4. Your country does not allow curse words

Depending on your country or region, you may or may not be able to deactivate additional national restrictions. Some countries simply do not allow curse words on Apple Music.

Is your Apple ID registered under a strict country? In some countries with initial restrictions on explicit content, users have found that it can be deactivated by doing this:

Open an explicit song in the iTunes Store app, and agree to allow explicit content. Then, attempt to play an explicit song within Apple Music.

However, please keep in mind that in some other countries, this “hack” doesn’t work at all. It may also be that circumvention was possible in the past, but not anymore.

So keep in mind that if your country has extra restrictions, Apple Music might keep playing clean songs and blocking curse words. It’s just the way it is.

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