How to turn off your iCloud music library on any device to stop syncing your music across devices

Catherine Delahaye/Getty Images
  • You can turn off your iCloud music library to stop syncing your music across all of your Apple devices.
  • In order to sync and unsync your iCloud library, you need an active Apple Music subscription.
  • iCloud music library can be enabled or disabled at any time via an iPhone’s or iPad’s Settings menu, or via the Apple Music or iTunes app on a Mac or PC.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

If you use several Apple devices and have an Apple Music subscription, you may find it helpful to utilise the iCloud music library. When signed into the same iCloud account on all devices, the feature will sync all of your songs, albums, and playlists and even restore purchases regardless of whether you bought them on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

However, this service isn’t without its downsides. If you have a significantly large music library, downloading across devices can take hours or even days. In addition, some have found that the iCloud music library messes up the metadata of your tracks, which you might find inconvenient. Whatever your reasoning, if you choose to turn off your iCloud music library, doing so is easy and should only take a few seconds.

How to turn off iCloud music library on an iPhone or iPad

1. On your device, tap on the Settings app to open it.

2. Scroll down until you reach the “Music” icon and tap it.

Jennifer Still/Business InsiderSelect ‘Music’ from your Settings menu.

3. Next to “Sync Library,” ensure the option is toggled off. You will know it’s disabled when the button is no longer green (enabled) but turns grey to show it’s no longer active.

Jennifer Still/Business InsiderSlide the ‘Sync Library’ switch to the off position.

How to turn off an iCloud music library on a Mac

1. Open the Apple Music, or iTunes, app on your Mac.

2. Click “Music” from the menu at the very top of your screen.

3. In the dropdown menu, click “Preferences…”

4. In the “General” tab of the Preferences window, uncheck the box next to “Sync Library.” Note: If you don’t subscribe to Apple Music or iTunes Match, this option will not appear in your General tab. You can re-enable the syncing feature at any time by checking the box again.

Macos catalina music preferences general sync libraryAppleUncheck the box next to ‘Sync Library.’

5. Click “OK” to save your changes.

How to turn off an iCloud music library on a PC

1. Open the Apple Music, or iTunes, app on your PC.

2. Click “Edit” from the menu bar at the top of the screen, and click “Preferences…” at the bottom of the dropdown menu.

Jennifer Still/Business InsiderClick ‘Preferences’ from the ‘Edit’ dropdown menu.

3. Uncheck the box next to “iCloud Music Library” to disable the feature. Note: If you don’t subscribe to Apple Music or iTunes Match, this option will not appear in your General tab. You can re-enable the syncing feature at any time by checking the box again.

Jennifer Still/Business InsiderUncheck the ‘iCloud Music Library’ box.

4. Click “OK” to save your changes.

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