Don't kill your cellular data plan; download your most-streamed songs and playlists.

Apple Music is a streaming service that offers to make almost the entire iTunes catalog available to you almost all the time. If you're not going to be connected to the internet, or if you're worried about your cellular data, you can choose to download songs, albums, and even entire playlists to your iPhone or iPad for offline listening.

Why download music instead of streaming it?

Streaming is awesome: You can listen to anything you want—Beats 1 included—at any time, and it doesn't take up valuable space on your device. But it comes at a cellular cost, especially if you have a smaller data plan.

And even if you have a massive cellular plan, there are places where streaming music just doesn't make sense: airplanes, for instance, or camping trips.

Lucky for you, if you have an Apple Music subscription and iCloud Music Library enabled, you have the option to download any song, album, or playlist from its catalog for offline listening; if you use iTunes Match, you can download anything from your Mac's library on your iPhone or iPad.

How to add a song or album to your local library for offline listening

  1. Launch the Music app from your Home screen.
  2. Go to the song or album you want to download.
  3. Tap the More button (looks like •••) to the right of the music.
  4. Tap on Make Available Offline.


The song(s) should immediately begin downloading to your device; you can see their progress by tapping the download bar at the top of the screen.

How to add a playlist to your local library for offline listening

  1. Launch the Music app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Go to the playlist you want to download.
  3. Tap the More button (looks like •••) to the right of the music.
  4. Tap on Make Available Offline


  5. The playlist and its included songs should immediately begin downloading to your device; you can see their progress by tapping the download bar at the top of the screen. After the playlist is finished downloading, you'll find it in your local playlists.

How to view songs you've saved locally to your iPhone or iPad

  1. Launch the Music app from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on the My Music tab.
  3. Select the view type dropdown (by default, it reads "Albums") from the middle of the screen.
  4. Switch Show Music Available Offline to on at the bottom of the pop-up.


To reverse this, tap the dropdown again and turn the Show Music Available Offline switch off.

If you've downloaded entire albums or playlists, you'll also be able to tell if they're locally stored even without enabling the "Show Music Available Offline" switch: Just view the album or playlist; if it's been saved offline, you'll see a tiny grey iPhone icon in the upper right corner.

How to remove songs from your iPhone or iPad

  1. Make sure the Show Music Available Offline switch (found within the view type dropdown in My Music) is enabled.
  2. Change the view type dropdown to whatever you're looking to delete—albums, genres, songs, etc.


  3. Tap the More button (looks like •••)
  4. Tap Remove Downloads.

What about the Mac?

If you have a laptop that lives alongside your desktop, you may want to tell what it is you've downloaded locally or not. Here's how to go about that.

  1. Open iTunes
  2. Go to the My Music tab.
  3. Click on the view type dropdown in the upper right corner of the screen.


  4. Select the Show Columns dropdown.
  5. Click on the iCloud Download option.

A cloud icon should appear next to your other song sort types; next to each song, you'll either see no icon (which means the song is locally stored); a cloud icon with a downward arrow for songs stored in iCloud Music Library; or a cloud icon with a line through it (for PDFs and other iCloud-ineligible tracks).

Rock on

There you have it—offline listening, at your fingertips. If you're running into problems or can't quite make this work, feel free to shout in the comments and we'll try and get things rolling.