How to download and delete individual songs on your iPhone and iPad with iTunes Match

How to download and delete individual songs on your iPhone and iPad with iTunes Match

iTunes Match, Apple's streaming service for music, matches your entire music library and allows you to stream music directly to your iPhone or iPad wherever you have a data connection. There may come times where you don't have a data connection and would like to download certain music to your iPhone or iPad for use when you don't have service. As of iOS 6.1, you can now download and delete individual songs, instead of whole albums, right on your iPhone and iPad.

Here's how...

Before proceeding any further, you'll need to make sure you're subscribed to iTunes Match. It's a paid service that Apple offers for $24.99 per year. If you aren't already signed up, here's a guide to get you started before you continue any further.

Once you're all signed up to iTunes Match and have your library matched, continue on.

How to download an individual song on iPhone and iPad with iTunes Match

There are many reasons you may want to physically download music to your iPhone or iPad. Whether you're planning on being on a plane or in an area that doesn't have good cell service, you can download your content from iTunes Match straight to your device for playback anytime.

  1. Launch the Music app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Find the artist name for the song you'd like to download. (You can also use album or song view, whichever you'd prefer to search with.)
  3. Drill down to the song you want to download by album.
  4. Next to the name of the song, you'll see a download button to the right. It looks like a cloud with a download icon in the middle. Tap on it.
  5. You'll notice that the song of your choice has now begun to download to your device. Give it a few seconds to finish download and that's it. It's now physically downloaded onto your device for playback whenever you'd like.

How to delete an individual song on iPhone and iPad with iTunes Match

Storage space can be precious and if you're running out, clearing out songs if you're an iTunes Match subscriber is a perfect option. You'll still be able to play the songs you delete via streaming wirelessly, they just won't be taking up actual space on your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Launch the Music app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Find the name of the artist or album for the song you'd like to delete.
  3. Drill down to the actual song. You may find the title using whatever search method you'd like.
  4. You'll notice that there is no download icon next to the song name because it's already downloaded to your device's physical storage.
  5. Swipe across the name of the song to the right.
  6. You'll notice that a Delete button has now appeared. Tap on it.
  7. You should now see a download button appear to the right of the song title. This means it was deleted from your actual iPhone or iPad and you can download it again whenever you want or stream it from wherever you have an active data connection.
  8. That's all there is to it!

Allyson Kazmucha

Help and how to 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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There are 7 comments. Add yours.

ElLama says:

Is this really new?! Ive been doing this for a while now. I downloaded and hand picked my music straight from the icoud and chose individual songs that i wanted when i got a replacement phone for my dad. Im wondering how i was able to do that now.

CrzyP says:

It was in iOS 5 but when iOS 6 came out, this feature was gone. iOS 6.1 brought back what we had in iOS 5.

west3man says:

Wow. That explains my confusion, too. I'd have been damned pissed to have lost that feature. I'm even happier that I didn't upgrade.

HappySpaceInvdr says:

This works for Songs, but not for Music Videos. If you play any Music Video in your collection, it is also downloaded to your device for offline play, but you cannot then delete it without going into General>Usage>Videos and deleting the Music Videos in there.

Jeff Scherr says:

This was new to me. Was totally frustrated with DRM tracks that wouldn't work with dJay2 app, bought iTunes Match subscription, and almost through my hands up in the air. This let me delete tracks I had already synced, then re-download from iMatch. Thank you!!!!

Jason519 says:

Nice! I love to enjoy music in my iPhone. And I know another way can easily deleted or remove iPhone song, you can have a try:

Jonathan Durston says:

OK, I tried this after subscribing to "match", and I just deleted a couple of songs. And guess what, the songs are gone, there is no version of it with a cloud. What did I do wrong?