The Apple Music app temporarily stores music files (in the form of a cache) while you’re listening to provide smoother playback and reduced data usage.
A full cache needs memory, and if you’re full, a bogged-down memory doesn’t work very quickly. This is why you’ll need to clear the Apple Music cache to speed things up and fix certain issues.
How to clear Apple Music cache on iPhone
Unfortunately, there isn’t an option to clear the Apple Music cache on an iPhone. You have two options. First is to turn off Sync Library and turn it on again, and second, reinstall the app.
A lot of people think how Apple Music works is annoying on the iPhone.
You can’t delete cached music, you can’t use third-party devices to access Apple Music without AirPlay or Bluetooth (except Sonos) like Spotify Connect, and you can’t select streaming bitrate.
That said, here are two ways to clear the Apple Music cache on an iPhone:
First method: Turn the Sync Library toggle off and then on again
The Sync Library is a feature that adds content from Apple Music and iTunes so that everything is accessible from any device using the same Apple ID. Here’s how to turn it off and on:
- Open the Settings app.
- Tap on Music.
- Turn the Sync Library toggle off.
- Wait for your iPhone to reclaim the storage space.
- Turn the Sync Library toggle on.
That’s it. After turning off Sync Library on your iPhone, then turn it on again, your iPhone should have cleared the cached files of the Apple Music app.
Second method: Reinstall the Apple Music app
Before we proceed, note that uninstalling the Apple Music app will remove all the downloaded music on your iPhone. Here’s how to reinstall Apple Music to clear the cache:
- Long-tap on the Apple Music icon on your iPhone.
- Tap on Remove App from the list of options.
- Tap on Delete App to uninstall the app.
- Open the App Store and download Apple Music.
That’s it. After reinstalling the Apple Music app, your iPhone should have cleared the cached files. Now you can enjoy more storage space and get more from your iPhone.
How to clear Apple Music cache on Mac
You’ll need to navigate to a few system files on your storage to clear the cache usage on Apple Music. Here’s how you can clear the Apple Music cache on your Mac computer:
- Click on the Finder icon in the Dock.
- Click on the Go button.
- Click on Go to Folder… from the list of options.
If your device is running macOS Catalina or later, copy this folder address:
If your device is running macOS Mojave or later, copy this folder address:
Select the fsCachedData and SubscriptionPlayCache folders. Then, right-click on them, and select Move to Trash to delete them. Select Empty Trash to delete the files permanently.
Don’t worry, the next time you launch the Apple Music app, it will recreate the two deleted folders so it can start caching music files, albeit from scratch.
Please don’t touch any of the other files or subfolders you see in the cache folder, as some of them are needed for the Apple Music app and iTunes to work properly.
How to clear Apple Music cache on Android
On an Android device, the Apple Music app temporarily stores music (in the form of a cache) while you’re listening to provide smoother playback and reduced data usage.
Here’s how you can clear the Apple Music cache on your Android device:
- Open the Settings app on your Android device.
- Scroll down and tap on Apps.
- Search and tap on “Apple Music” from the list of apps.
- Tap on Storage.
- Tap on Clear cache.
That’s all you need to do to clear the cache for Apple Music on your Android device. One of the perks of using an Android device is how customizable everything is.
How to limit Apple Music cache on Android
Did you know that you can set a limit for Apple Music to store cache on your Android device?
If you feel like Apple Music is taking an excessive amount of space on your Android device and if you are tired of clearing the cache often, these steps can make your life easier:
- Open the Apple Music app on your Android device.
- Tap on the three dots icon in the top right corner.
- Tap on Settings.
- Scroll down and select Playback Cache under Data.
- Choose the limit of Playback Cache from the list of options.
Once you’ve chosen the limit for Playback Cache, the Apple Music app on your Android device won’t exceed the limit and keep your device running smoothly as possible.
Use the iMazing software to clear Apple Music caches
I’m surely speaking on behalf of many Apple Music users here, so I wish the app automatically frees itself up if my phone is low on storage and I can manually empty the cache on iOS.
To date, I’ve yet to find an iOS app that’s able to clear caches (maybe due to Apple not allowing app developers access to these system tools). So the next best thing is to use a third-party tool.
I discovered iMazing, which is a software that can transfer files and data between iOS devices and macOS or Windows computers. It can access those cached folders, so I can delete them.
The free version has enough to do the job. In fact, the free version has enough capability to let you access the iPhone system folders, find those caches, and delete them.
There are just two folders you need to delete from – one is the metadata album art, and the other is the music tracks themselves. I wouldn’t mess with any other folders.
There was a time when I had to purge about 28,000 cached tracks, plus the metadata for all of them including the duplicated album art in every possible resolution and size.
The album art alone was more than 35 GB the last time I purged. If your iPhone has 512 GB storage space, you should only need to do it once every few months.