How to Download Playlists/Songs for Offline Listening in Apple Music [PICS]

Now that Apple Music is live, the service also allows for downloading of songs for offline playback, which can be helpful if you have a small data plan. It’s really easy to download entire curated playlists and individual songs offline. It’s a matter of 1 or 2 taps.

How to download a playlist? It’s easy—just tap on the ‘+’ sign and all the songs will download in the background, and be available in your ‘My Music’ tab:

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How to download songs offline? Just tap the three dots menu and tap “Make Available Offline”:

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That’s pretty much it. Some users have had some trouble getting offline downloads to work, as the message “This requires iCloud Music Library” pops up, asking you to enable it in Settings, but some can’t.

How to fix this? One solution that has worked is to turn off Wi-Fi, then enable your iCloud library. This should then allow you to download songs offline.

We haven’t had any issues so far, let us know if this is working for you.

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  • Daniel MacDonald

    The news terms of the Apple Music app say it is illegal to stream outside of my country (Canada). Probably the same for taking the songs offline? So, I am technically breaking the rules of I go on vacation outside Canada with music.

  • Parksy

    Just like when I cross the border with my laptop and I’ve got a bunch of pirated movies on it. That’s Apple’s way of satisfying copyright holders. I wouldn’t worry about it too much. On such a closed ecosystem, Apple does a pretty good job of preventing you from using anything they don’t want you to.

  • Michael Linden

    Any idea when iTunes update will be available? My local music is not synchronizing with the iPhone!

  • miggy_smalls

    Same issue here! It seems that the music I had synced to my phone was then merged into Music, but now, in iTunes I can’t de-select music to sync/unsync.

    I’m guessing is going to take iTunes 12.2 to fix this: screen shot:

  • Thanks the wifi solution worked for me, nice find btw.

  • Correction. No longer working. I turned wifi back on a few minutes later and the “iCloud music library can’t be enabled” message pops back up inside the music app. Checking settings, this tab is back off. I’ve tried a couple of times and every time I re-enable wifi I get the same message.

  • aaloo

    i think the add to my music simply adds a “link” to your music for that playlist without actually downloading the songs to your device for local storage. To do that, you have to choose “make available offline”. but that option doesn’t work for all the songs on apple music. some songs you have to purchase outright if you want it available offline.

  • BigCat

    What are the limitations for offline songs? How many and is there a limit per day?


  • I’m currently on vacation in Australia, just activated Apple Music, and am able to stream just fine. Hopefully it didn’t just activate an Australian account for me.

  • So, what reason would there be to buy any music on iTunes now, if you’re an Apple Music subscriber?

  • Chrome262

    I guess that would be the point over time, but i think artist make more money actually selling their music, and part of me does not like that you don’t really own your music. This is all cool but i would rather download what i like and listen to that and not the radio. but the new music section is cool

  • Listening to the radio isn’t the only option. You can search for and stream almost anything you want, and add the songs you like to your library. Thus, I don’t see what the point of buying music is anymore under this model.

  • johnnygoodface

    I guess one argument would be that once you bought a song, you don’t have to use bandwidth anymore to listen to it…

  • Chrome262

    Yeah its weird, was it meant that way?

  • But you can download any of the songs or albums that you want onto your device to listen to them. I did read somewhere else that they download with DRM, so you couldn’t burn them to a CD or use them in other programs on your computer.

    I guess that would be the only thing I’d need to buy a song for now. If I want to use it in a video I’m editing or I want to burn it to a mix CD.

  • TheLostVancouverite

    Anyone noticing the “offline” icon that appears on the top right of a song title after downloading isn’t always showing?

  • flutor

    Also buying a song will ensure that you get to keep it if you give up your subscription to Apple Music.

  • Yes, of course. I meant if I intended to keep an ongoing subscription to Apple Music and just budget it in like I do with internet or phone costs.

  • Actually, it’s not like that. Apple Music content is art that he paid to listen to, but Apple licensed it to be listened to in a certain country. Pirated movies are art that you stole; you didn’t pay for any rights and they’re illegal in pretty much any country you take them into. How these are these things similar?