How to enable automatic downloads for music, books, and apps with iTunes in the Cloud

How to enable automatic downloads for music, books, and apps with iTunes in the Cloud

If you own both an iPhone and iPad, iTunes in the Cloud, which is part of iCloud, lets you easily sync your content from one to the other with no work on your part. For example, if you downloaded an app on your iPad, it can automatically appear on your iPhone as well if you have automatic downloads for apps enabled. The same holds true for music and iBooks purchases. All you have to do is enable automatic downloads on all your iOS devices.

How to enable automatic downloads for music, movies, books, and apps on your iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on iTunes & App Store — you'll need to scroll down a ways.
  3. Under the Automatic Downloads section, turn On the options you'd like to be automatically download.
  4. If you don't want automatic downloads to eat through your carrier data, turn Off the option for Use Cellular Data. It is found under the Automatic Downloads section. This way, downloads only happen when you're on wifi.

Here is a brief explanation of each option —

  • Music - If you purchase a song on your iPhone from iTunes, it'll automatically be available on any compatible iPhone, iPad, iPod, or Mac that supports iTunes in the Cloud and is authorized to use your iTunes account
  • Apps - Apps downloaded on one device are automatically downloaded to any other compatible device that has an active connection to the internet
  • Books - If you download a book in iBooks, it should automatically appear in other instances of iBooks on compatible iOS and OS X devices
  • Updates - Updates are a little different and only really apply on a per device basis. Turn updates on if you want App Store updates to install automatically without you having to approve them via the App Store app.

Note: Updated, September 2014.

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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 enable automatic downloads for music, books, and apps with iTunes in the Cloud


Great stuff. I have found that this works just fine on iPad and iPhone but has never, ever worked for me on the Mac. Anyone else?

I mean the settings are clear, I have automatic updates selected and automatic downloads, and they simply have never worked (on the Mac).

I really like the automatic double downloads, except when I don't. I have vastly more available memory on my iPad than I do on my iPhone!

I am wondering why i dont have the same pdf files when i download it to my iphone on my IPAD?
Anyone knows why?