iTunes Match hanging up on you? Here's how to fix it!

iTunes Match hanging up on you? Here's how to fix it!

iTunes Match lets you sync all of your music with iTunes in the Cloud so you can stream it to any iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV without having to take up any physical storage space. While iTunes Match is incredibly convenient when it works, it isn't completely error proof either. Whether it's hanging up while trying to sync music in iTunes or your music isn't showing up on your iPhone or iPad, here are some steps you can take to try and remedy the issue.

1. Check iTunes Match service status

Sometimes Apple does routine maintenance on specific iCloud services. If you're getting stuck on the "Sending information to Apple" stage in iTunes, this is most likely the reason. Before trying to troubleshoot the problem, be sure to make sure no issues are reported for iTunes Match for your country. Here are some links that may help:

If you live in a different country that offers iTunes Match, a simple Google search for iCloud system status followed by your country name should bring up a direct link. If the indicator next to iTunes Match is green, continue on to the next step. If it isn't, check system status again later and when it's back up, your issue should be resolved on its own.

2. Turn iTunes Match on and off on all iOS devices

If you're having an issue with iTunes Match coming down on your devices, or if you're missing a bunch of stuff that should be there, turning it on and off again in Settings could resolve the issue.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on Music.
  3. Turn Off the option for iTunes Match.
  4. Turn back On the option for iTunes Match and when prompted, tap on Enable.
  5. Launch the Music app and wait for iTunes Match to load.

If you still aren't seeing music that should be there, the issue may lie with how iTunes is syncing iTunes Match results. Continue on to try and resolve it.

3. Update iTunes Match within iTunes

Even though iTunes Match should update itself regularly, there are occasions that it doesn't happen for one reason or another. Before trying anything else within iTunes, try updating iTunes Match manually.

  1. Launch iTunes on your Mac or PC.
  2. Click on Store at the top.
  3. Click on Update iTunes Match.
  4. Wait for iTunes Match to update and then check all your devices to see if missing music is now available.

4. Turn iTunes Match on and off in iTunes

Disabling iTunes Match from within iTunes is typically the failsafe way of forcing iTunes in the Cloud to re-sync all your music. I'd recommend this step for anyone who is experiencing constant freezes or hangups when trying to sync with iTunes Match, especially if you've already tried all the above steps. Just be aware that your whole library may have to be scanned again and depending upon the size, could take hours, or even days.

  1. On your Mac or PC, launch iTunes.
  2. Click on Store at the top.
  3. Click on Turn Off iTunes Match.
  4. Now repeat the same process but turn it back on.
  5. Follow the prompts to re-enable iTunes Match.

5. Sign in and out of iTunes on all devices

If simply turning iTunes Match itself off and then back on doesn't seem to fix the issue, try signing out of iTunes completely on all your devices, including your Mac or PC. Then sign back in and try syncing iTunes Match again.

More iTunes Match help

If you're still experiencing trouble with iTunes Match after trying all of the above steps, our iTunes forums are a great place to ask for help. If you still can't find what you're looking for, it may be time to contact Apple to see if they can directly solve your problem.

And as always, if you've come across any helpful tips and tricks for troubleshooting iTunes Match issues, be sure to leave them in the comments!

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

iTunes Match hanging up on you? Here's how to fix it!


I have so many problems with iTunes Match it's almost to the point where I'll just switch to Google Music or Amazon Music. iTunes on my windows 8.1 machine gets stuck when matching music very nearly 100% of the time , and it can take weeks (!) to get it to finally upload/match a new album. iTunes Match on my iPhone works better, but still regularly pulls in old cover art, or no cover art at all, and I often have to turn iTunes Match off and on again to get it to see new albums. (even ones bought from iTunes) Streaming is dog slow too, if it works at all.

It just doesn't work, which makes Google Music, which works 99% of the time, and offers many thousands of matched tracks for free, very tempting.

I've never used iTunes Match as my iTunes library exceeds the limit. It sounds good in theory, but from what I have read it is a "bag of hurt".

I was very excited about this when it was announced. Then reality set in. Perhaps the worst implementation ever from Apple as it just has so many problems that seem to never be addressed. Now that my collection exceeds their 25K limit it has become completely useless. I'm not renewing this year.

It really feels like Apple is going to abandon the match functionality and just go to streaming only services. They've invested billions in other music projects instead of a wee fraction of that to fix the current problems with Match.

The only reason I wanted to use Match was to remove the DRM protection from about 600 of my 6000 songs.
I wanted to do this "legally," so invested my £21, although the fact that Apple charges you for something you've already bought was an initial niggle.

Still, it saved me having to re-buy all of the songs in order to play them on my Android Phone.

Originally, having watched a few tutorials on YouTube, I was quite excited as it all began to kick into gear.
I very quickly realized that it wasn't really going anywhere and "froze," on Step 1.
Then, after reading various "fixes," most of which were pretty elaborate, I managed to get it to recognize all but 100, or so, of my "protected," songs and to supply me with the option for downloaded DRM free versions.

For that reason and that alone, it's been worth the bother.
I was hoping that it would eventually recognize the others, so that I could deal with them and then turn the damn thing off.

However, it remains "frozen," and has been that way for about 4 days now, so I'm fast becoming hacked off with it.
I can't even see the "waiting," cloud next to the few remaining songs and I'm happy with the rest of my library as it is.

I suppose, in the end, I'll end up having to re-purchase the remaining songs over time, or resort to an illegal DRM converter, which is what I was seeking to avoid.

But, when you're left with no options?

Surely Apple have a record of the songs a person buys and could very easily just offer DRM free versions for a token fixed price?

Just a thought and it would make life so much more simple..something that could never be said about my Match experience.

In spite of all the hoo-haa out there which walks you through, "step by step" as to how it works, my reality and I don't think I'm alone here, given all of the forums dedicated to the issue, has been decidedly different..