How to Turn Off Your iCloud Music Library

Turn Off Icloud Music Library Featured

iCloud Music Library is Apple’s music storage service. For anyone who downloads or saves songs from Apple Music or iTunes Match, this is where everything across your iOS devices comes together. While it supposedly works well on paper, iCloud Music Library isn’t always sunshine and rainbows in real-world practice. The service can be buggy, with album artwork missing or live tracks getting matched to studio versions. The worst case is when music sometimes just disappears completely. Fortunately, you can disable or turn off iCloud Music Library. If you don’t know the steps but are one of the many who want to disable this service, keep reading.

What Happens If You Disable iCloud Music Library

Before you turn off iCloud Music Library, let’s make sure you know exactly what you will be missing.

Turn Off Icloud Music Library Apple Music

Upon turning this function off, you will lose access to:

  • Any of your Mac’s matched or uploaded tracks that can stream to other devices. This applies even if you are an Apple Music subscriber or you use iTunes Match.
  • Any saved songs from your Apple Music catalog. No matter whether you have 100 favorite songs or 1,000, turning iCloud Music Library off means your devices will no longer be synced.
  • A cloud-based copy of your Mac’s iTunes library.

The good news is that even if you turn off iCloud Music Library, you will still be able to access any songs you have purchased via iTunes. Those tracks will always be available for streaming across your iOS or macOS devices, whether or not iCloud Music Library is enabled.

How to Turn Off iCloud Music Library on Your iPhone or iPad

  1. Open the settings app and scroll down until you see “Music,” then select it.
Turn Off Icloud Music Library Music Settings
  1. Look down the page until you see “Sync Library” and make sure that option is toggled “off.” You will know iCloud Music Library syncing is disabled if the button is not showing green. If you want to turn it back on, follow the same path and switch it to the “on” position.
Turn Off Icloud Music Library Ios

How to Turn Off iCloud Music Library on Your Mac

  1. Open the Apple Music app on your Mac. You can also open iTunes if you have not upgraded to macOS Catalina or higher.
  2. Click “Music” at the top left of the screen, and in the drop-down menu, select “Preferences.”
  3. In the “General” tab of the Preferences window, locate the top box labeled “Sync Library” and uncheck it. Please note that if you do not subscribe to Apple Music or are not currently using iTunes Match, this box will not be previously checked.
Turn Off Icloud Music Library Mac
  1. Click on “OK” at the bottom to save the change.

How to Turn Off iCloud Music Library on a PC

Turn Off Icloud Music Library Windows10
  1. Open Apple Music or the iTunes app on any PC computer.
  2. Click on “Edit” in the menu bar near the top of the screen. When the drop-down box appears, select “Preferences.”
  3. Uncheck the box next to “iCloud Music Library.” Similar to the Mac, if you do not currently subscribe to Apple Music or iTunes Match, this box will not be checked.
  4. Click on “OK” and save your changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What happens if I want to turn iCloud Music Library back on?

This is as easy as reversing the steps above. On the iPhone, turn “Sync Library” back on, on the Mac go back to the same menu as above and check the box for “Sync Library,” and on Windows, follow the same directions as above but check the box for “iCloud Music Library.”

2. Are there alternatives to iCloud Music Library?

Sure, but not with Apple’s own services. If you want to sync music between multiple platforms, you’ll want to look to alternative services like Spotify, Pandora or Amazon Music.

3. What happens if iCloud Music Library isn’t syncing?

This problem may not be related to your device at all. Start by checking Apple’s System Status page and make sure there are no larger iCloud services outages.

Wrapping Up

Apple Music is an imperfect music platform, and sometimes you just don’t want to keep everything synced. For that reason, the opportunity to disable the iCloud Music Library is a welcome one. Another option is to download Apple Music songs to your devices so that you can listen to them wherever you are. It may be easier for you than syncing across devices. If you’re permanently done, follow these instruction to cancel Apple Music.

David Joz
David Joz

David is a freelance tech writer with over 15 years of experience in the tech industry. He loves all things Nintendo.

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