How to delete songs in the Music app to free up space on your iPhone or iPad

How to delete songs in the iPhone and iPad Music app

iPhones and iPads don't come with an unlimited amount of storage space. One of the biggest culprits when it comes to eating space is music. Sure, the individual files aren't large, but many people have hundreds if not thousands of them in their collections and they can really add up. Deleting music can free up valuable storage space. Whether you're using iTunes in the Cloud to bring down your music or syncing it with iTunes, the process of deleting a song is the same.

How to delete individual songs from the Music App on your iPhone or iPad

  1. Launch the Music app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Find an individual track you'd like to delete and swipe your finger across it to the left.
  3. Tap on the big, red Delete button to remove the song.

The song will now be off your iPhone or iPad and your storage will be freed up.

That's all there is to it. The tracks that you deleted will now be removed from your iPhone or iPad.

If you're using iTunes Match you'll see a cloud icon next to a track indicating you can download it again whenever you'd like. Otherwise, you can plug into iTunes whenever you'd like and re-sync your music again whenever you'd like.

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

How to delete songs in the Music app to free up space on your iPhone or iPad


Yes, me 3. Also artist level which was available in iOS 6. I'm hoping they restore this feature. Song by song is way to tedious and unnecessary and a step backwards compared to previous iOS.

Sent from the iMore App

Yeah, that makes trouble for old users. The above method works great for individual delete. For bulk delete, it's better to use some automated solutions, like this step by step guide shows. You can delete 100+ songs in a minute.

Also you can tap just the song (not the cloud icon) & stream the song if you have a internet connection.

Sent from the iMore App

Won't these just re-sync to your phone the next time your phone syncs? I sync to a Mac which might be different than an iCloud sync.

It doesn't work. When I delete a song on Ipod and then sync thru Itunes that song is back on my Ipod touch 5. Pretty stupid. When I'm listening to music, sometimes i want to permanently delete songs that I don't like anymore, so after a week or so I sync with Itunes and they are all back.

It might also depend on how you have song syncing setup on the computer. In my case I create playlists on the Mac that are synced to my phone. Deleting a song on my phone would only be temporary as the Mac is the controlling preference and will sync it back, as part of my playlist, the next time the phone is synced. So, at least in my case, I need to make the change on the Mac, rather than the phone.

One short term benefit, though, is when you run out of space (for recording videos, installing an OS update, etc.) you can *quickly* free up space.

Yes, that's how it is in my situation. In my opinion this is not really "syncing" since the Mac is the controlling preference.

You can do the same thing in the Podcast app. I have to manually remove podcasts even though I have the settings to delete any listened to podcasts. It's a pain.

Thanks Ally. But I have had very poor results trying to delete songs. Most of the time, when I swipe left on a song, it does not give me the delete option. I read the comment about it not working at the Album level, but even at the song level, I have a very low success rate of getting the delete option.

Am I the only one struggling to get songs to delete? Using latest IOS7 with iphone 5S.

Is Show All Music on in Settings app? This was the problem that I was having before I knew that was an option is settings. Wondered why the hell there was music I knew I never synced on my phone. Tried deleting and only got the delete option sometimes. I finally realized I was only getting delete on the songs I knew I synced for sure. Found the show all music option, turned it off, then all those songs I didn't want and that didn't have the delete option finally disappeared.

I agree with all above posters with Apple removing the Album delete feature. If you have several albums you want to delete away from a computer, you are wasting time with going song by song(especially with albums that have many tracks). Hopefully it will return with iOS 8.

Because of the level of control each company retains over the consumer through their software, I finally dislike Apple as much as I do Windows. The consumer owns the product and uses the software, apparently at the caprice of Apple. I do use an iPad, but I have purchased a turntable and speakers, and have begun to compile an album collection...oh to still have the collection sold off in the early '90s! However, Apple can't tell me what to do with, how to organize, or how to display my vinyls.

Doesn't work with iOS7, at least not the way it's described in the article. Would be nice to be able to delete tracks without having to connect to a PC. Is there an update to this article?