How do I copy music onto my Apple iPhone from iTunes?
I'm stumped. With my iPod I simply drag and drop the music I want to take with me from my library onto the iPod on the left side of iTunes, but my Apple iPhone doesn't allow me to do that. How the heck do I put songs on the iPhone without synchronizing my entire (massive) music library?
As with much to do with the iPhone, there's a bit of a trick to getting this working smoothly so you can have control over your iPhone music, while keeping it as darn easy to work with as possible. The answer? Create a custom playlist for your iPhone music library.
Let me show you how to do it - it's pretty darn easy.
Pop into iTunes and choose File --> New Playlist. Now rename it to something logical: I use "iPhone Sync":
Now you can just drag and drop music from your iTunes library (in iTunes, needless to say) into this new playlist. When you're ready, you'll see a bunch of music happily ensconced in the playlist (remember, it's all just "pointers": the actual music files are still safely in the main music library, so if you delete something from a playlist , you haven't deleted the original music file itself):
Notice here on the very bottom of the iTunes window it shows you how many songs are in the playlist, along with the size and total playing time. For my current playlist, it's 140 songs, 10.1 hours, for a total file size of 851MB, no problem for my 4GB Apple iPhone.
At this point, you need to plug in your iPhone if you haven't already done so. It'll pop up the usual summary screen:
Cool. Now click on the "Music" tab and you'll see that you can select "sync playlist". Do that, then select the new iPhone sync playlist you've created, as shown here:
Set things up just as I have shown and that's all there is to it. Now click "Sync" in iTunes and it'll synchronize your playlist with the iPhone music library and next time you click on that ole' "iPod" button on the iPhone, your selections from you music library will be present.
Oh, and one really nice feature of creating this playlist is that you can manage it, adding and deleting songs to your heart's desire, even without your iPhone present. Whatever changes you make are instantly applied to your iPhone music library the very next time you synchronize the device. Suddenly even 8GB might feel small. :-)
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Reader Comments To Date: 647
Dave thanks for your postings, I found same issues listed but couldn't locate the answer. When I tired to put music files into my iphone folder,it displays an X. Next I tired left click next to song,the folders display except iphone is grayed out. Help, thank you
Thank you very helpful
Thank you so much. It really simplified what seemed to be a heck of a task.
i have tried all you suggested but it seems not to work for me..my iphone4 is jailbroken and unlocked iphone and everytime i try to sync music or any app it says its going to clear everything on my iphone4? wha do you suggest?
Hey mna, You are number one. Thanks !!!
I am a new iPhone 4 user. I tried to follow your instructions by creating a playlist on my work computer and moving my music and podcasts into it. Then I tried to move it to my iPhone. iTunes tells me that my phone is synced to another computer and syncing to this one will erase everything on my iPhone and replace it with everything in this iTunes folder. But I get the same exact message when I try this on my home computer. I have no idea what computer it thinks it is synced with. All I want to do is put one group of podcasts onto my iPhone so I can listen when I am walking - but I don't want to erase my iPhone in the process. Can you help?
Sorry to say, Lara, you're going to have to pick one of your computers and let it wipe and reformat the phone, but it's very curious that it doesn't think *either* is your sync'd system. Note that if you have MobileMe (or iCloud, we're in a funny limbo state between the two) you should be able to back everything up before the process starts. In fact, you might want to check in with a "Genius" at the local Apple Store if you have one, just in case. Good luck and let us know what happens!
ive done everything and it will not allow me to choose a playlist it will only let me download all the music and i dont want all of it and im not gonna delete music bc its not only my itunes
this was very helpful, thanks!! So, i have a laptop and desktop with the same iTunes account in the same house & same room even. I have all of my downloaded music on the desktop and purchased music on my laptop. is there any way to get the music purchased from my laptop to desktop and then downloaded to iPhone? i hope your gonna give me the answer im looking for, but it sounds too good to be true!!Thanks again!
Hellow! I buy a second iPhone and I trouay to download (music,games...)and my problem is he whane my to give him the old I'd account ...it is any possibility to break the old account? Many thanks
Hi...I just bought a new laptop and downloaded iTunes...I want to keep the songs I have already on my phone. Can I transfer the music that is on my phone to my new computer? When I sync it, it tells me I have to erase my current content and just add the new songs I downloaded. Any help would be great!
Thanks - I have done all this and created my new folder, but can't get it to sync to the iphone. When I click on 'music', everything is greyed out and there is no option to 'sync new playlist'. If I click on 'sync music' it says are you sure and all existing music will be replaced...Please Help?
Sync music to iTunes will be easily for this solution but here in my iphone icreate so many playlist, how to transfer them into iTunes library or backup iPhone playlists into my computer as music folder.
Wow I hate the iPhone. I played the good sport while my girlfriend was hunting for a smartphone and dutifully did my best to highlight the pros and cons of droids and iPhones. She chose the iPhone. That decision sucks. The phone itself, is great: resolution, construction, typepad recognition etc. What sucks is being handcuffed into the vertically integrated Apple fleecing house.
Baaaahhhhh! and Moooooo! - right into the slaughter house.
BRAVO AND THANKS THANKS THANKS! Instructions worked to the letter, very much appreciated Dave!
Thanks Dave, worked a treat!
Great instructions however when I go to sync the phone its comes up with : No Content-you can download music from ITunes.
It doesnt save it on my iphone. Any ideas?
I am desperate to sort my music out on the phone for my holiday?
laurence, the first and obvious question is: do you actually have music in iTunes separate from your iPhone? That is, if you click on "Music" on the *very* top left of the iTunes app, does it show that you have anything on the computer? If not, you need to buy some from iTunes or rip a few CDs that you have already purchased. Once the music shows up in iTunes, you should be able to copy it onto your iPhone as long as there's space on the phone.
Hi Dave, I have a lot of music on my pc as well as 20+ albums purchased via iTunes library on my iPhone4! However, since sincing it for my first update (almost 1 year ago now) I only have a "fraction" of those albums and "none" of the music that is on my pc but, would love to have on my iPhone! Why does all the abums/music that I've purchased "not" appear on my iPhone4? I tried creating a playlist as per your directions (even nameing it as you suggested i.e. iPhone sync) then, highlighted and copied 60+ albums from my music library in iTunes to the new playlist (and I have a 16G iPhone e.g. should have plenty of space) and pasted into the new playlist! But, the playlist only showed 28 songs out of the 343 that I was attempting to copy/paste and then hopefully transfer to my iPhone! What am I doing wrong? Can you please help me? I look forward to your prompt and knowledgable advice. Thanks in advance… John aka; jaginoz
PS… I would appreciate any help on, how to transfer the music on my pc to iTunes and ultimately onto my iPhone? jg
Thanks for the info. I have worked out what I was doing wrong.I had all the music unchecked so it would not sync with the phone.I have checked the music now and it saves it to the phone (phew) lol
Thanks for your help its a great site and much better than Apples instructions.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I FINALLY have the songs from my computer library on my I-Phone! Your post is the first one that logically walked me through how to do it and I did it!
So, THANK YOU! :-D
we have apple i phone .we request u to guide how to load songs from i tunes from our pc
I've followed your instructions and despite setting up a folder "iPhone Sync" and adding music from my iTunes pc library, the "sync" operation doesn't seem to have any effect i.e. the old music list (podcasts actually) on my iPhone doesn't reflect the new "iPhone sync" list.
Would really appreciate your help to get over this problem.
THANK YOU! WORKED PERFECTLY!! I HAD TO CLICK "APPLY" THOUGH NOT SYNC AT THE END. :)
thanku man...really thanx...it was really great for u to help...thanku
THANK YOU VERY MUCH THIS WAS REALLY HELPFUL
Hi Dove ,
your words helped me, thank you very much, it was so great
I have no problem making the Iphone sync playlist and know how to access that music area where you can "sync selected playlists" and I use that function with my Ipod all the time. But when I plug in my Iphone and go to that area in Itunes, I can't make get the option of "sync only selected playlists". It is there but I can't select it.
this wiped all my other music from my library, now instead of the 7gig of music i had i only have 1.25gb that was the playlist i tried to add... What on earth happened??
thanks for your help it seemed impossible to copy my music to the I4 but with your guidance was as simple as 123 ,i wonder ?so much work has been done to bring us iphone 4 and such simple way to copy musics to it so complicated or unclear.i wonder .it seems 2 hands 1 is of a genius the other just pure ignorance or carelessness .such a paradox.thank you again for saving me from going back and forth ,apple should learn from you.in their help section instead of the fancy video they should copy & paste your guidance.thanks making lives easier guy.not apples.
cheers matey - worked a treat, my prob was that i had no tunes in the folder so phone wasnt picking it up. iphone wont show an empty folder in selected playlist. thanks again. great post.
AWESOME! Thanks so much! Setup is only slightly different with the latest version of iTunes for Windows but if you follow the basic steps you'll get it!
I recently bought an i-pod touch. I converted my media library to i-tunes and synched the tunes. When I try to synch other tunes from the library to my touch it deletes the existing content and replaces it with th enew tunes. So then I have to synch my whole library. Is there any way this can be changed so I can synch songs without having to synch my entire itunes library?
THANK YOU SO MUCH YOU HAVE HELPED ME SO MUCH AND I RESPECT HOW MUCH EFFORT YOU PUT IN THANK YOU!
how can i download in my iphone 3gs 32gb from computer.
I was so intimidated to try figuring this all out - but your instructions walked me though it really clearly! Thank you!! I usually give up and ask my husband to do these sorts of things for me but this is my phone and I need to learn how to use it!!
Thank you so very, very much!
I've followed your steps, and everything was moving along just fine... I clicked on the music tab, chose my playlist, however, I don't have to choice to sync... instead it says "revert" or "apply" and at this point I"m stuck? Any advice?
thanks you explain it better than apple,very easy'''''
Dave, you are a legend. I purchased music via my iPhone, transferred it onto my iTunes making the now obvious mistake that Transfer means TRANSFER so had lost all the music on my phone. My anxiety attack has stopped now thanks to you're excellent and very easy to follow steps around getting the music back onto my iPhone.
Thanks so much! that was so easy...the easiest directions I've found! Awesome
Sensational stuff Dave. From now on I won't have to ask my daughter how to work my iphone. I am not bad with most things but the itunes/iphone combination can do my head in at times.
Whenever I plug the phone into my computer, it doesn't have a start screen, all it says is "iPhone" in big letters. I tried reinstalling iTunes, but the apple website is way too slow!
I have an Ipod Nano 16gb and a Iphone 16gb as well. My Iphone won't let me transfer mp3 from my pc to Itunes. I can't even delete them nor edit songs info. It is all greyed out and I tried a lot of things but no success yet! Any ideas?
p.s.: Itunes with Ipod will let me drag and edit the mp3 with no problems and I'd like to do the same with Iphone.
Oh thanks darling :) may god bless you !
Hi Dave, I recently bought an iphone 4 but my Itunes is version 9.2.1 so it is saying that I have to upgrade it but my computer is Mac OS 10.4.11 and can not support the newer version of Itunes. Is it really impossible for me to sync the data(music, photos, contacts, etc.) in my computer to the iphone 4 without upgrading Itunes. Are there any other ways aside from Itunes? I have searched from the net & mostly the answers are for Windows OS computers.
awesome dued!!! thanks for sharing yo knowledge!!!
omg! u rock the mic! got it...thank u thank u thank u!!!! love u! dancin with my iphone! sincerely, K
what is this man?
why dont know to put i will tell take the itunes take ring tones take your song from the directory put ctrl plus c and take to itunes and put ctrl plus v
try it the u say
u cant see me man
I did everything you've mentioned above but it does not work as it says that an unknown error has occurred (-54). what does that mean? by the way my Iphone (3GS) is unlocked. thanks in advance!!
havnt tried it yet...... im gonna see if its gona work...
I have an iPhone4 and when I plug it in It does not appear on the left side. What can i do?
thanks heaps, most helpful
My old laptop is dead and I just downloaded Itunes in my new laptop and imported a cd but it wont allow me to transfer the music to my iphone. Please help! I cannot get the new OS system because I dont want to lose all my music. Why does Apple make things so flippin difficult!!??
I recently bought an iphone 4s but my Itunes is version 9.2.1 so it is saying that I have to upgrade it but my computer is Mac OS 10.4.11 and can not support the newer version of Itunes. Is it really impossible for me to sync the data(music, photos, contacts, etc.) in my computer to the iphone 4 without upgrading Itunes. Are there any other ways aside from Itunes?
i just bought an unlocked iphone 4gs in lebanon and i want to put songs in it... how should i do it??
awesome - easy to understand and I did it - I have my music back - thanks man!!!
Thank you Dave!! All the other information from other folks was so confusing! Yours was so simple I thought theres no way this works. But it does and you really helped me I was so stressed! Thanks a million!
Thanks Dave, your step-by-step instructions and pics made it so simple... and even though things have changed slightly since your post, it still was easy.
Appreciated muchly :)
Thanks for this, useful tutorial.
Hi ! This was really useful, but when I plug my iPhone4s into my computer, the icon for the device does not pop up and therefore I cannot transfer my new playlist. Help !!
Thank you so much! I've had my phone since Feb and you're the first person who could actually help me.
I PURCHASED A APPLE IPHONE 4 IN SAUDI ARABIA STILL IAM USING IN INDIA BUT PROBLEM WAS THAT I CONNECT WITH COMPUTER TO DAWNLOAD BUT DAWNLOAD IS NOT ACCESS PLEASE SEND ME A USER GUIDE ON MY EMAIL ID PLZ...
Thank you! This is one of the only times I've ever Googled how to do something like this that it was clear and I didn't end up screaming the F word at the computer. Yay!
just choose autofill from ...and choose the playlist if the above doesnt work for you. it didnt for me until i tried this
I have a 3GS iphone and had the WiFi on and it updated my software to the iSO 5.0.1 and since then the phone is not working right. I think the last time I synced on iTunes I still had the iSO 4 software. Is there a way for me to check on iTunes to see what software was synced?
I need to restore the phone, but only want to do so if I can reinstall my last sync with the iSO 4 software so I do not lose all my info.
Any guidance is appreciated.
i have receive an iphone that was designed by Apple in California Assembled in China Model and i am trying to download songs from my computer to the itunes so i could download it to the ipod but its not going through. can you help me please cuz its driving me crazzzy......!!!
I always panic when I get to sites explaining stuff, concerning myself that it won't work.
This worked staright away thank to your straight forward instructions. Thank you so much
I'm new to the world of Apple products. I have tried a couple times to get songs from my Mac to my Iphone. I followed your directions and after I use the SYNC button I get questions about erasing my IPhone. And what does Revert mean? I find it confusing and I'm not sure what I should do. Eric
I followed ur instructions to sync my music from laptop to my iPhone, but when I pressed on the 'Music' tap, and followed by 'sync music', a warning appeared saying that if I sync, all my iphone contents will be erased. Thus, chicken out and dared not proceed further. Please explain what it meant by the term 'content'. Thank you so much.
Thanks for your awesome advice! You make things so easy to understand! Better than anyone!!!
Thanks just got the iphone 4s helps alot
awesome!! just got my first iPhone and these instructions are 100% accurate!! thanks :)
Have a iPhone4s and I am having the same problem as described by Bert Dubois on August 19,2007
Your assistance would be greatly appreciated
Thank you so much Dave! This is SUPER helpful :) :)
I have tried this but the music doesn't seem to be transferring back to my iphone from itunes, all it is doing is copying the music from the iphone without the music coming off the iphone. How can i put the music that had been taken off back onto it?
Thank you so much. That was so helpful. I took off some music from my iPhone and haven't been able to put more in, so have not had any of the Christmas music that I wanted this season. Finally today, I can now play it. Thanks again :) xxxxx
thank you Dave it was good help 4 me
Thanks so much for this. My daughter was given an iPhone 3G by her StepDad. Years ago he asked me if we could put all of his Beatles CDs on to my computer in order to get them onto this iPhone. I had already been using iTunes because My daughter had the iPod Shuffle but he and i could not get his iPhone to work. I told him to look into it and research it and I'd gladly hook it up again. Of course i wasn't going to go out of my way to do HIS research...lol. Now my girl has his old iPhone. I told her she should load up all of those Beatles tunes and walk around the house listening to them. she said, "no thanks"
Saw your tutorial..used it on my iphone..It worked great. My wife got a new iphone now, and I cant get her music files over to the "iphone sync" playlist...Not sure why.. Only a couple of songs show up all the time (allways the same songs)..I cant figure out what I am doing wrong. Can you help me?
dave taylor fan
Seems to be difficult to transfer due to Apple iTunes copyright protection? Can only transfer items bought on iTunes otherwise is says 'cannot sync'?
RodC, the digital rights management system in iTunes is definitely an issue, but it's also definitely not the case that any music you don't buy from iTunes cannot be sync'd. In fact, most of the music on my Mac / iPhone is from CDs I've ripped and it works fine. If you're seeing "cannot sync", it's for another reason.
I am having trouble getting music from a cd to my iphone 3. I am able of getting cds on my ipod but when I try to sync or manually drag the songs to iphone is shows a circle with a line slashed through it. I am able to get anything I purchase from ITunes on it with no problem. It is driving me nuts. Please help.
I have a toshiba laptop but it does not drag and drop what do i do? please help..
Thanks for the tips on how to move my music from itunes to my iphone!!! Worked like a charm and now I am enjoying my music!!!! Happy New Year
wow thanks alot this helped me so much..
Thank you so much. I followed your directions and all my albums transferred to my I Phone. Your instructions were simple to follow - much more than Apple Support
I don't have a mac, which I think is the problem.
"The usual summary screen" does not pop up for me, all I get is something that only imports songs and pictures from the iphone to the computer... And it looks nothing like yours.
What do I do? I managed to make the list and drag all the songs over, but there really is no way to get it onto the iPhone.
Feel free to email me this, seeing as there are alot of comments to keep track of.
New to the iPhone....
I followed your instructions correctly.However, when I go into the Music section on my iPhone 4s nothing is there. Please help....
Ahhh...maybe I have solved it...or I am a fool !
I dragged my new playlist(in the left hand column of iTunes) up to my devices and dropped it into my phone....and now the songs are going onto my iPhone :)
Did I miss something ?
Ha haha...I am so happy :) I now have my music on my iPhone to listen to in Beijing :)
Thanks Dave...really helpful :)
Now I can listen to music from iphone.Only because of your guidance I could download music from my laptop to iphone.Your instructions are crystal clear
May God Bless you
Happy new year
Thanks a lot
Please don't call me any names, but how do you drag a music file from iTunes to a Playlist. You've assumed that is really easy but when I try to drag it, the new playlist doesn't highlight. Thank you in advance.
I have uploaded some music onto my main itunes library which plays fine but when I put certain songs into the iphone playlist they are greyed out and will n ot play. Then when I sync this playlist to my iphone these certain songs are not transferred over at all..any ideas why this is happening?
I accidentally transfered the music from my iphone to the computer, now it's not on my iphone, how do I put it back on the iphone?
Simple and it worked....thank you
I do have a lot to say, and questions of my own for that matter, but first I'd like to say thank you, Dave, for all your helpful information by
buying you a cup of coffee!||
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