In short: Locally stored music from Apple Music takes up storage space. To make Apple Music take up less storage, enable the “Optimize Storage” option and disable “Automatic Downloads”.
Do you feel like Apple Music is draining your iPhone’s storage space? In this article, I will explain why Apple Music takes up so much storage and how to solve the problem.
Why is Apple Music taking up so much storage?
Whether you like it or not, multimedia, such as audio tracks and videos, takes up a lot of space.
Apple Music is taking up so much storage because songs, playlists, and albums have been downloaded from the Apple Music catalog to your iPhone or iPad for offline listening.
Apple Music and/or iTunes may also be temporarily storing music you’ve played in its cache so it won’t have to redownload music, in case you want to hear it again.
If another process on your device actually needs that space, however, Apple Music and/or iTunes will automatically clear that data from the cache and free up the space.
How much storage space does Apple Music take up?
Songs downloaded from Apple Music take up storage space. On average, 3,200 songs take up about 16 GB of storage space, whereas 25,600 songs take up about 128 GB of storage space.
- 3,200 songs will take up about 16 GB of storage space.
- 6,400 songs will take up about 32 GB of storage space.
- 12,800 songs will take up about 64 GB of storage space.
- 25,600 songs will take up about 128 GB of storage space.
If your device is running out of storage space, it would be a good idea to reduce the amount of storage space that Apple Music eats up. Here are some helpful tips you can try today.
How to reduce Apple Music storage
Multimedia, such as audio tracks and videos, uses plenty of storage space. There are two ways to delete audio files and videos, either from Settings or from within the Apple Music app.
1. Delete audio files from Settings
Go to Settings > General > [device] Storage > Music.
You will see all of the music stored on your device at the bottom. Delete albums or tracks by swiping left. Alternatively, you can also use the Edit button to delete multiple tracks and albums.
2. Delete audio files from within the Apple Music app
You can also delete audio files from within the Music app. To find out which music is stored locally and is taking up storage space, open the Music app. Go to Library > Downloaded.
To delete an album, long-press it, and a pop-up menu will include a Delete from Library option. You can do the same for a song within an album, tap the three-dot menu and select Remove.
If you want to restore the music back to your device, open the Music app and tap Library. Locate the song or album, then redownload it by tapping the cloud-arrow icon on the right.
3. Enable the “Optimize Storage” option
Apple Music allows you to download songs, albums, and playlists to your device. While it’s convenient to listen to songs offline, it can also eat up your device’s storage space over time.
To avoid running out of storage space, you can enable the “Optimize Storage” option on your device. The feature will automatically delete songs in order to make space for new ones.
- Launch the Settings app on your device.
- Tap on Music.
- Under Downloads, tap on Optimize Storage.
- Turn the Optimize Storage switch ON.
Inside the Optimize Storage menu, you can select the minimum storage amount that you want to keep for music before downloaded songs start being removed from your device.
4. Turn off “Automatic Downloads”
When the “Automatic Downloads” option is turned on, Apple Music content automatically downloads to your device or computer when you add it to your Library.
Not only are the tracks streamed to your device or computer, but the content also becomes available even if you don’t have an active internet or cellular connection.
However, it also has a major drawback. Enabling the “Automatic Downloads” feature uses up local storage. To make sure Apple Music does not use too much storage, turn it off:
- Go to Settings on your iOS device.
- Tap Music.
- Turn the Automatic Downloads toggle OFF.
To disable Automatic Downloads on your Mac, launch iTunes. Go to Preferences from the menu bar. On Windows, choose Edit > Preferences from the iTunes window menu bar.
Click the Downloads tab, and under Automatic Downloads, check the box next to Music.
Click OK. Now you can prevent Apple Music from automatically downloading songs.