Can't delete songs in the Music app on your iPhone and iPad? Here's the fix!

Can't delete songs in the Music app on your iPhone and iPad? Here's the fix!

The Music app in iOS 7 didn't just come with an all new design, it came with an all new bug that's giving some of us trouble with deleting songs. What's supposed to happen is that you swipe a song, it brings up the delete button, and with a tap the song is gone. Unfortunately, for iTunes in the Cloud, that's sometimes not the case. The good news is all iTunes in the Cloud (and iTunes Match music) is safely backed up to Apple's servers. And that means you can fix the Music app bug with the nuclear option!

How to delete all songs from you iPhone and iPad Music app

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Tap on Usage.
  4. Wait for the top Storage section at the top to load.
  5. Find Music in the list and tap on it.
  6. Tap on Edit at the top.
  7. Tap on the Delete option and then tap on Delete once more to confirm.

All the music on your iPhone or iPad should now be gone.

Yes, it's an all or nothing option, but it's the only way I've figured out to delete iTunes in the Cloud downloads if some of them are stuck. If you've found another way, be sure to shout out in the comments! And if you had this problem, let me know if this method gets rid of the stuck music for you!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

Can't delete songs in the Music app on your iPhone and iPad? Here's the fix!


Yeah tried this early. Didn't work for me. I had to restore my phone as a new phone and then restore from a backup to get rid of those stuck songs.

What I've found, after reading three or four websites, is:

a) the "show all songs" has no effect other than hiding songs that are not on your device, but rather in the cloud -- so by doing this it may eliminate some confusion as you can't delete a song that's only in the cloud (i.e., not downloaded on your device); and

b) it seems to me you can only delete songs from the Songs, Album, or Artist 'tab' (click the 'Songs' or 'Album' or or 'Artist' icon at the bottom of the Music app) -- I can't seem to delete a song in a playlist, which is frustrating as I work out of playlists 90% of the time .

And yes, swiping right-to-left gets the Delete icon to show. This is the page that helped me the most:

Had this problem. Called Apple Care. They said it's because of corrupted downloads from losing network connection while downloading songs or similar reasons. Apple Care recommended wiping the device and restoring from backup. Seems like this will do basically the same thing.

How to delete all *Songs*

Small fix, and we all know what you mean so it's good. BTW, I enjoy the faster info more than I enjoy spelling fixes

Posted via the Android iMore App!

That sucks. Having to delete all songs or nothing. That is ridiculous. IOS needs to repair this issue.

Here's how to delete one at a time. Go to music app in settings. Click show all songs. Go back to the song you want to delete. Click the cloud icon next to it (re-download it). Then manually delete it after it's done downloading. Works for me.

No. It doesn't work for people who have this issue. If you can do that, you don't have the stuck song issue.

Sent from the iMore App

You are a genius - I tried all the other fixes and frustrated myself trying to get rid of a song my husband downloaded on a shared account. Your suggestion worked in seconds.

@train21reb, you are awesome!I knew there was no way I had to delete all my music.. I've been fighting this issue for ever and now it's fixed. Thanks again.

Maybe there's more than one stuck song issue, but for my stuck songs, this did the trick. I suspect the glitch is when previewing a song on the cloud and stopping it before it's completely downloaded, that's what caused it to stick. The music app saw it as downloaded but it wasn't really. I had to re-download it fully, before I could then actually delete it.
*a specific oddity I found,...everytime I fully downloaded U2's Every Breaking Wave, then deleted it, then verified the Song count was reduced by one (General > About > Songs), once I turned Show All Music back on, Every Breaking Wave found its way back on my device.

Worked for me too, I've had about 12 songs 'stuck', tried deleting all my music, of course that didn't work, but this worked like a charm! Thank you!!! It was so annoying that I couldn't get rid of them :)

Brilliant! This worked for me. Show all music, redownload the troublesome song, then delete it.
Perry Comos - A Dreamers Holiday was stuck on my phone (Yeah, go figure), and every f'in time I got into the car it started auto playing!
Had a hard time Googling a solution - this one worked!
Thank you!!! :)

I've experienced this exact problem. I found if you go to settings>music and turn on 'show all purchases', then actually download the track in question, once downloaded you're then able to delete it. Then go back and turn off 'Show all purchases'. Annoying that a little over a month from a likely reveal of iOS8 and we're still talking about bugs in iOS7+ but there you go. Something I miss a great deal in the music app is the ability to tap and hold on a track to see a little bubble with the entire track name scroll across. Unless I'm missing something.

Sent from the iMore App

It didn't work for me. I deleted all the songs from the phone, I downloaded the songs again and try to delete them but it's useless. Even when I turn off the option to show the downloads somehow the songs I hate keep playing. According to Apple the only way to delete songs from iCloud is using iTunes Match. I am not sure if I am ready to pay 25 dollars to delete songs from the cloud. I am running out of ideas and trust me I tried everything you guys said here. I am frustrated with this situation.

Yeah buying a service isn't a solution at all. I understand your frustration. I'll keep looking around for other options.

Sent from the iMore App

Thanks. It actually worked. Removed the songs
then synced my music. Now only the songs I
want are there, for now, and I save a lot of
room on my phone.

We really shouldn't have to do this people.
This is exactly why I stopped using ios, because this is all too often the "solution" to fixing problems with their subpar Web services. Just pave over everything, start from scratch, and it just works. Mostly.

I'm not sure if Android is any better with their instability and horrible third party interfaces, so don't even play the fan boy card.

And while we're at it, how is it possible that arguably one of the best tech design houses in the world can fail so horribly at Web services to the point that it literally ruins the user experience? Really? The only way to manage the music on my cloud account is with a 10 year old fat client desktop app? Why do we spend all this money on this stuff anyway?
Get off my lawn!

I figured out if you re download the song from iTunes Match (it will think it's not there and give you a download icon) you can delete it as normal ( I think when you play songs and it's still in the que they get stuck when you try and delete the file) my big problem though is why can't we delete albums anymore?

I have been able to do this on a song-by-song basis, for those of you who do not wish to delete every song on your iPhone/iTouch etc...(I am assuming this is an issue on iTouches as well).

I only tried this while plugged into iTunes, but I imagine that it could work without being connected.

Note: I believe that my issue stems from the "Autosync" option now in iTunes. I don't use this, but I think I somehow accidentally used it for 2 songs (and I could not remove these songs. The funny part is that when I plugged my iPhone into iTunes, the 2 songs I could not delete were not even listed.

Here is what I did.

Go to Settings, and Music and turn on "Show All Music" (note, probably better to do on a WiFi network.

Go to the song that is "sticky". There should be a download-cloud icon next to it -- yes, I know, it is already on your device, but the device isn't actually 100% sure about this. After you download the song, delete it.

Go back to your Settings->Music and unselect the "Show All Songs" (unless you like this feature on).

Hope this helps.

Yeah, this is old news. Came in super handy for me once when I was at Kanye West "Yeezus" tour, and I ran out of space on my ip5 and had to delete all my music in an instant to regain space to record more Yeezy footage.

THANK YOU, finally, I was going crazy, couldn't delete any songs and was out of disk space, this is the only thing that worked on my ipad3.

Another great How To! Thanks Alison. Can you do one on "How To Remove the Other on your iPhone"? My "Other" is now taking up 2.42G's on my little iPhone.

Neither could I delete all songs from my iPad, even though I did go to settings and deleted all data from music in Usage (as escribed in the introduction of this thread). What helped me to delete all songs from my iPad is that I temporarilly changed the settings in iTunes to manually manage music and videos, and then under Devices (in iTunes), choose your iPad, and the expand it to see Music. In Music, you delete all songs thengo to the Music under devices (in iTunes), and from there delete all songs. (See the Sharescreen image by following the link below.)

Thanks! this seems so simple but not until one knows how to do it. Finally i got rid of many annoying songs that were difficult to remove.

Thank you so much! Of course, the solution is fairly simple, but asinine enough to not be remotely intuitive. When Steve Jobs *left* it all went to hell. It's wonderful that there are people out there like you helping us out where Apple has failed. Thank you again!

Thanks for these tutorials I have IOS 8 on my phone and the path is somewhat different but you got me there.

Did you enable iTunes Match on your iPhone? If so, disable it by going to Settings > iTunes and App Store > iTunes Match > OFF

In addition, you can delete songs from any iDevice using copytrans manager without the need to sync/unsync with iTunes.

Because a song often has kinds of labels, I have downloaded many duplicates in my iTunes library. Every time I get into it I was disgusted with the duplicates. So I searched for music management software on the Internet. Luckily, I found an efficient tool-Music Cleanup. It helped me find and delete the duplicates easily.