How to Stop Apple Music Automatic Downloads on iPhone and Mac
Apple Music lets you download entire tracks or albums for offline listening on iPhone, Mac, and PC. But if you are in a hurry for storage on your device, it is better to stream Apple Music and download only the songs you listen to the most. That said, the Music or iTunes app can key in works and automatically download songs and albums whenever you add them to your library. Boring, right?
Below, we will see what you need to do to prevent Apple Music from automatically downloading music to iPhone, Mac, and PC. Auto download setting does not sync between devices on iCloud. So you will need to disable the feature on each device on which you want to prevent downloads from happening automatically.
Turn off automatic Apple Music downloads – iPhone
Apple Music has come a long way since its introduction on the iPhone in 2015. It is drastically improved in terms of navigation, offers better recommendations, comes with dark mode support, has a nifty autoplay feature, and more. You can stop automatic downloads in Apple Music on your iPhone by diving into the Settings app.
Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
2nd step: Scroll down and tap Music.
Step 3: Turn off the switch next to Automatic downloads.
Point: You can also use the Optimize Storage option to put a limit (4GB, 8GB, 16GB, etc.) on the amount of storage Apple Music can use. You can use it with or without the automatic download option enabled.
Additionally, you can tap on Downloaded Music option to view a list of all downloaded music categorized by artist and album. You can then remove any item from the list by swiping right and selecting Remove.
Now that you’ve turned off automatic downloads in Apple Music, you can tap the Download icon next to the album or track to start a download manually. You can also long-press an item and select Download from the pop-up menu.
Turn off Apple Music Automatic Downloads – Mac
MacOS Catalina users must use the dedicated Music app to stream Apple Music. Yes – Apple unplugged the plug on iTunes after macOS Mojave. The new Music app is refined and much smoother to use. You can stop automatic downloads in Apple Music on your Mac by diving into the Preferences pane of the app.
Note: If you’re using macOS Mojave or earlier on your Mac, skip to the next section to learn how to turn off automatic downloads in Apple Music on iTunes.
Step 1: Open the Music app. Next, tap on Music in the menu bar and select Preferences.
2nd step: Switch to the Downloads tab.
Step 3: Turn off the switch next to Downloads. Click OK to save your changes.
Point: To remove a previously downloaded track or album, right-click the item and select Remove Download.
You can still download tracks and albums manually by clicking the Download icon next to each item or by right-clicking and selecting Download.
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Turn off automatic Apple Music downloads in iTunes – PC and Mac
Unlike the Mac, you are still confined to listening to Apple Music on the PC through iTunes. If you want to turn off automatic music downloads, you need to go to the iTunes Preferences pane. The following steps apply to both traditional desktop and the Microsoft Store version of iTunes. You can also use them to turn off automatic downloads in iTunes on macOS Mojave and earlier.
2nd step: Open the Edit menu and select Preferences. If you’re using iTunes on Mac, select iTunes from the menu bar and select Preferences instead.
Step 3: Switch to the Downloads tab. Then uncheck the box next to Music. Click OK to save your changes.
Point: If you want to remove a previously downloaded track or album, right-click the item and select Remove Download.
Despite disabling automatic downloads, you can still download tracks manually. To do this, click on the 3 dots next to a track or an album and click on Download. Or, right-click an item and select Download.
Turn off automatic Apple Music downloads – Android
If you use Apple Music (or plan to install it) on an Android smartphone, you don’t have to worry about turning off automatic downloads. The app doesn’t have the ability to automatically download tracks – you can only do it manually.
Even if storage is not an issue, turning off automatic downloads in Apple Music gives you the freedom to decide which songs you want to keep on your iPhone, Mac, or PC. Automatic downloads also don’t make much sense if you have access to a faster and / or cheaper internet connection.
Are you having trouble manually downloading tracks to your iPhone? Click on the following link to learn how to resolve this issue.
Last updated on Nov 18, 2020
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