In short: If your Apple Music playlists aren’t syncing, make sure that all of your devices have Sync Library turned on and signed in with the same Apple ID that you use with Apple Music.
If you use Apple Music on several devices, all of your playlists will automatically sync between them. However, sometimes the playlists are not syncing between devices.
Here are some troubleshooting tips.
Check the internet connection on all devices
If you feel like your Apple Music playlists are not syncing across devices, it could be that one of your devices (or some) is not connected to the internet.
For example, if you have three Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, and MacBook) check the internet connection for all of them. If one isn’t connected to the internet, your playlists won’t sync.
It’s as simple as that.
Turn on Sync Library for all devices
If your Apple Music playlists are not syncing, make sure that all of your devices have Sync Library turned ON and signed in with the same Apple ID that you use with Apple Music.
All of your playlists on Apple Music will sync between devices, as long as you enable the Sync Library feature and all of your devices are signed in with the same Apple ID.
Remember, if your iPhone has Sync Library turned ON but your Mac computer’s Sync Library is turned OFF, your Apple Music playlists will not sync and update.
You can learn how to turn on Sync Library ON all devices right here.
If the Sync Library feature has been turned on all your devices, then you can try turning it OFF, then ON again. For some reason, it works whenever Apple Music playlists are not syncing.
There was a time when about 20 of my Apple Music playlists weren’t syncing (not showing up on my iPhone). I turned OFF Sync Library, waited, then turned on Sync Library again.
Miraculously, all of my Apple Music playlists show up on my iPhone. All I needed to do was to trigger the sync by turning OFF Sync Library, then turning it on again.
If that didn’t work, disable the Sync Library on all your devices. In my case, I did a soft reset on my iPhone and force shut down my MacBook via the power button.
Afterwards, I enabled the Sync Library setting on both devices. Although my Apple Music playlists didn’t update an hour later, they updated properly one night later.
Keep in mind that once your Sync Library is OFF, it will delete all Apple Music content from your phone. Turning it back ON would require downloading content all over again.
Make sure all devices use the same Apple ID
You’ve checked that Sync Library is turned on, but are all of your devices signed in with the same Apple ID that you use with your Apple Music subscription?
It takes so little of your time, so check the Apple ID on each of your devices. If one of them isn’t using your primary Apple ID, log out and log back in using the correct Apple ID.
Check the cloud status of the songs on Mac or PC
If your music library is stored on your computer, check the cloud status of songs to find missing music and resolve issues. Here’s how to do it:
On your Mac, open the Apple Music app. On your PC, open iTunes, choose Music from the pop-up menu, then click Library. In the sidebar, select Songs.
In the menu bar, choose View > Show View Options.
Select Cloud Status and Cloud Download. Here, you’ll see a status in each song, including the ones in your playlists. Look for the following statuses next to your songs to learn what to do.
The song won’t appear on your other devices because it’s waiting to upload. Choose File > Library > Update Cloud Library. Then check if the song appears on your other devices.
The song was deleted from another device that has Sync Library turned on.
If you want the song to appear on your other devices, make sure Sync Library is turned ON, click the arrow button next to the song, then click Add to Cloud Music Library.
3. Exclamation point
This means Apple Music can’t locate the song. The song can’t be played or synced across your devices until the original file is located. Click the exclamation point icon, then click Locate.
If the song is located, you’ll be asked to use the location to find other missing songs in your library. If you see this message, all you have to do is to click Find Files.
4. Song is grayed out
If you see No Longer Available next to a song that’s grayed out, the song was added from Apple Music and was removed from the Apple Music catalog.
Manually sync playlists from your Mac to your iOS device
If you notice your Apple Music playlist not syncing from your Mac computer to your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch), the best course of action is to manually sync the playlists.
According to Apple’s official website, you can use the Finder to sync music and playlists from your Mac to your iOS device if your Mac computer is using macOS Catalina or later.
If you’re an Apple Music subscriber, your entire music library syncs across all your devices automatically. For anything not in Apple Music, you can sync with your Mac.
To start syncing your music using the Finder, you’ll need to plug your device into your Mac. Use a USB cable to connect your iOS device to your Mac.
Open Finder and click your device name in the sidebar under Locations. Next, click the Music tab at the top of the window, then click the checkbox to sync music to your iOS device.
During this phase, you can choose to select either your entire music library to sync to your device, or you can select specific artists, albums, genres, or playlists.
Next, click Apply. If you’ve done this at least once already, this button will say Sync instead. If syncing doesn’t start automatically, click the Sync button.
You might then be asked to authorize your computer.
If you have any movies, TV shows, podcasts, audiobooks, or other files on your Mac that you want to transfer to your iOS device, follow this same process.
Now you’ve got your favorite music on your Mac and your iOS device too.
Make sure all devices sync over Wi-Fi instead of USB
You can also set up your Mac computer so that in the future Apple Music playlists sync over Wi-Fi instead. To set this up, your iOS device needs to be connected to your Mac via USB.
- Select your device in the sidebar of the Finder window.
- Click General on the right.
- Scroll down and select “Show this [device] when on Wi-Fi.”
- Click Apply.
- You can now unplug your device from your Mac.
When your Mac and iOS device are on the same Wi-Fi network, your device appears in the Finder sidebar, and it syncs automatically over Wi-Fi whenever it’s plugged into power.