In short: Not having enough storage on your device, signing out of your Apple ID, and turning off Sync Library, would cause your downloaded music to be removed from your device.
You’ve spent hours making sure your music is downloaded on your phone. Sadly, Apple Music keeps randomly deleting your downloaded songs from your device. Here’s why:
1. You do not have enough storage on your device
One of the most common reasons why Apple Music removes downloaded songs is due to insufficient storage on your device. You need storage space to save downloaded songs.
If your device is low on space, Apple will automatically delete downloaded songs to free up your device’s music storage, especially when “Optimize Storage” is turned on.
When this feature is enabled, it grants Apple the ability to manage music files stored on your iOS device based on the minimum storage you choose (16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB, and 128 GB).
If you don’t want Apple Music to delete songs from your iPhone or Mac, here’s how:
- Go to Settings.
- Select Music.
- Scroll down and select Optimize Storage.
- Tap the toggle to turn it off.
With the Optimize Storage turned off, Apple Music will no longer delete songs on your behalf. Just make sure that you have sufficient storage on your device to keep songs and albums.
2. You’ve signed out of your Apple ID
Make sure that you are not signing out of your Apple ID. Signing out of your Apple ID or turning off your Apple Music would cause your downloaded music to be removed from your device.
As a result, you’ll need to download the songs again. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do if your Apple ID is registered in two different countries.
3. Sync Library is turned off
If you are using Apple Music across multiple devices, you’ll want to make sure that every device has the Sync Library turned on. Otherwise, Apple Music can delete downloaded songs.
Syncing is recommended using Sync Library. Performing manual syncing can cause the library to be mismatched unless every device is connected to your iCloud account.
I would recommend confirming that all devices in question have Sync Library enabled and avoid syncing with the PC. Then, confirm if the downloaded songs remain in place.
4. The song is no longer listed on the Apple Music catalog
It is possible for songs to become unavailable, and sometimes disappear from your downloaded list of songs if the artist decides not to renew their permission with Apple Music.
A song can also become removed from the Apple Music catalog when the streaming rights for the song are pulled by the label or expire. It all depends on who owns the digital rights.
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to download the song again. The song will no longer appear in your library and the decision is not up to Apple Music.
How to stop Apple Music from deleting downloaded songs
Although Apple Music subscribers can download Apple Music tracks for offline listening during the subscription period, they can’t save Apple Music songs as local files, copy or transfer Apple Music to their own devices, MP3 player, or any other video editor.
This is because Apple Music is encoded using ALAC, so you cannot keep the songs from Apple music. Thankfully, an iTunes Audio Converter like TuneFab can help you out.
TuneFab Apple Music Converter is able to get access to your entire iTunes music library, including Apple Music songs, purchased songs, iTunes audiobooks, Audible audiobooks, etc.
It can not only remove DRM protection from Apple Music but also convert Apple Music songs to DRM-free formats such as MP3 so that you can keep the songs playable on any device forever.
By using an iTunes Audio Converter, you can extract ALAC files from Apple Music and keep them forever. Even if Apple Music randomly deletes songs, you can restore the files with ease.
Apple Music is a rental service, after all
Downloaded music being deleted is a NORMAL behavior for music streaming apps. After all, Apple Music is a subscription-based streaming music service, but more like a rental service.
While the company never explicitly explains what’s going on, you are ultimately paying for a license to stream, not own songs. So, any offline download has an expiry date.
Similar to Netflix and other video streaming apps, the offline downloaded songs only last about 30 days before it’s deleted by Apple Music due to licensing agreements.
If you remember this and remember that an offline download isn’t forever downloaded, you’ll have much less frustration in the future. It’s just part of the streaming world.