iCloud Music Library is a handy feature included with your Apple Music subscription, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. So, learn how to turn it off.
Apple’s iCloud Music Library is a nifty feature that lets you store your entire Apple Music Library on iCloud. That means all your songs, albums, and playlists stay synced across all your Apple devices, and you can access your library from any of them as long as you’re signed in with the same Apple ID.
But as handy as this feature is, there are a few downsides. For example, users with a large music library find that downloading music to multiple devices consumes a lot of time and data. And if the cons outweigh the pros for you, you can turn off iCloud Music Library. Below, we’ll teach you how to do this on an iPhone, Mac, or PC.
The Pros and Cons of Using iCloud Music Library
Before we look at how to turn off iCloud Music Library, here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of the feature to help you better decide if it’s doing you more harm than good.
With iCloud Music Library, you can enjoy the following benefits:
- Stream and download songs from Apple Music or the iTunes Store on up to 10 devices.
- Access your library on any device anytime, as long as you have internet access.
- Store up to 100,000 songs with Apple Music or an iTunes Match subscription (this does not include songs purchased from the iTunes Store).
But here are some downsides:
- You need a paid Apple Music or iTunes Match subscription to use iCloud Music Library. Otherwise, your song library will not be synced across your devices.
- iCloud Music syncing matches and replaces songs or albums you already have on your device with a higher quality version from the Apple Music streaming library if available. This process can result in missing or incorrect song metadata, incorrect album art and song matches.
- You cannot manually sync music from iTunes to your iPhone or iPad.
If any of these negatives are a deal breaker for you, here’s how to turn off iCloud Music Library no matter what device you’re using.
How to Disable iCloud Music Library on iPhone and iPad
To turn off iCloud Music Library in iOS and iPadOS, follow these simple instructions below:
- Open the Settings app, scroll down the menu and select Music.
- Under the Library section, turn off the switch next to Synchronization Library. You will see a warning that this action will remove all Apple Music content and downloads from your iPhone music library.
- Select Switch off to confirm your decision. You’ll know the feature has been disabled when the toggle changes from green to gray.
How to Disable iCloud Music Library on a Mac
To turn off iCloud Music Library on a Mac, here’s what you need to do:
- Open the Music app on your Mac and click Music in the top menu bar.
- Select Preferences in the resulting drop-down menu.
- Now head to the General tab and uncheck the box next to Synchronization library. You can reactivate it at any time by checking the box again.
- Click on OKAY to save your changes.
How to Disable iCloud Music Library on Windows PC
If you use iTunes to listen to music on a PC, follow the steps below:
- Open the itunes application on your Windows computer.
- Click on Edit in the menu bar and select Preferences in the drop-down menu.
- Uncheck the box next to iCloud Music Library to disable the feature. Note: If you don’t have an Apple Music or iTunes Match subscription, this option won’t appear on your device.
- Select OKAY to save your changes.
What happens when you turn off iCloud Music Library?
Since iCloud Music Library is a sync service, your data is only available on synced devices as long as the feature is enabled. Therefore, when you turn off this feature, your entire Apple Music catalog and the copy of your iTunes library stored in iCloud will be deleted from your device. Only songs stored locally on your device will not be affected.
Also remember that iCloud Music Library will still be enabled on your other devices and you need to turn off the feature for each device individually.
Similarly, Apple users have access to a similar feature called iCloud Photo Library which syncs your photo library across multiple devices. So, if you want to know more about it, here is how to set up and sync iCloud Photos.
Stay in control of your music library
If iCloud Music Library no longer serves you well, turning it off is the solution. However, if you ever change your mind and need to re-enable the service, simply repeat the steps and change your preferences.
That said, if you’re unhappy with Apple Music as a service, you can cancel your subscription and try another streaming service like Spotify; You are responsible. But remember that you will lose access to iCloud Music Library when you do this.