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How to transfer music from iTunes to iPhone [Full Guidance]

iTunes provides two simple ways to enable you to transfer music from PC to iPhone easily, and this article will guide you how to transfer iTunes music to your iPhone in detail.

Aileena Ivy Updated on Jun 20, 2023 6:03 PM

Quick Tutorial: Transferring music to iPhone with iTunes is relatively straightforward but, it lacks flexibility. If you want to get more control to add music to iPhone, iPhone Data Transfer can let you efficiently and time-savingly transfer music files from computer to iPhone, and vice versa.

You can transfer music to your iPhone with iTunes automatically or manually.

Transferring music files from iTunes to iPhone is a common task for users of Windows PC or macOS Mojave or earlier. It allows you to access your favorite songs, playlists, and podcasts on the go. There are two primary ways to transfer music from iTunes to an iPhone: simple automatic sync of iTunes library and corresponding manual music transfer.

Both methods provide users with the option to transfer music library from iTunes to their iPhone in the way that best suits their needs. This article will cover how to transfer music from iTunes to your iPhone and a great way to transfer music to your iPhone without using iTunes.

Table of Contents

Auto-transfer music from iTunes to iPhone

Syncing iTunes with iPhone can help you add music to your mobile. And all you need to prepare is a well-connected USB cable. Here's how to transfer music files from iTunes to iPhone via automatic method.

Step 1. Check the update of iTunes and iPhone

Make sure your computer is installed with the latest iTunes version and your iPhone is using the latest iOS to avoid compatibility problems.

Step 2. Connect iPhone to your computer

Plug your iPhone into your Windows PC or macOS Mojave or earlier computer with a USB cable.


  • If your iPhone is connected to a computer for the first time, you need to keep your iPhone unlocked. And enter the passcode to confirm after choosing to trust this computer.

Step 3. Run iTunes on the desktop

Open the iTunes app and click on the device icon located in the top left corner of the main interface to access the page with device-related information.

Step 4. Select Sync Music option

Select the "Music" tab in the left-hand sidebar and check the "Sync Music" option. By default, the entire music library is selected for syncing. But if you want to transfer specific songs, select "Selected playlists, artists, albums, and genres." Then choose the items you want to transfer from the categories of playlists, artists, albums, and genres at the bottom of the panel.

Step 5. Start syncing iTunes music to iPhone

Click "Apply" in the lower right corner to start syncing your selected music tracks to iPhone.


  • You can only sync or transfer music, videos, and other media files from a single iTunes library to your iPhone at any given time.
  • If you receive the message "An iPhone can be synced with only one iTunes library at a time", select "Sync and Replace" to continue, which will also erase the iPhone's previously synced iTunes library and replace it with the new one.

The progress can be seen in the top center of iTunes. Once the sync is complete, disconnect your iPhone from your computer and open the Music app on your iPhone to access your transferred music library.

Tip: Another way to automatically transfer music from iTunes to your iPhone is to use Wi-Fi. In the iTunes app, go to Summary > Options, and activate the "Sync with this iPhone over Wi-Fi." This will automatically download music from iTunes to your iPhone when both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network and iTunes is running on the computer.

If you want to transfer MP3 music, please see how to transfer MP3 to iPhone from computer.

Transfer iTunes music to iPhone without syncing

Automatic transfer will cause the existing music on your iPhone to be replaced. To prevent the loss of original songs, you can manually select which music tracks to transfer from iTunes to your iPhone 13 / 12 / 11 or any other model.


  • Only one of manual transfer and music sync can be configured. If manual song transfer from iTunes to iPhone is enabled, then music sync will be automatically turned off.

1. Connect your iPhone to iTunes and run iTunes on your PC or Mac.

2. Click on the iPhone icon in the top left corner of iTunes to open iPhone's Summary page.

3. Navigate to "Options" in the Summary tab.

4. Check "Manually manage music and videos" and hit "Apply" in the lower-right corner to switch to manual transfer mode.

5. Go back to the iTunes' Library page and locate the "Songs" tab on the left side.

6. Select the songs, albums, artists or genres you want to transfer from the given list, then drag and drop them onto the "Devices" section on the left-hand side. Hold down the "Ctrl" key to select multiple songs at once for transfer.


  • Be careful not to disconnect your iPhone from your computer while the sync is in progress, as this can interrupt the process and potentially cause data loss.

How to transfer music from computer to iPhone without iTunes

As we know, the original music library on iPhone will be overwritten by default if you transfer music from iTunes to iPhone. Therefore, for greater flexibility and effectiveness, you can take the help of iPhone Data Transfer, an overall and practical tool for novices and professionals to manage and transfer music from computer to your iPhone without using iTunes.

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for macOS | for Windows

It allows you to safely manage your music library, including adding, deleting, editing, exporting, creating playlists, etc., moving songs to iPhone or importing songs from iPhone. Besides transferring music between computers (Windows & Mac) and iPhones, it can also transfer podcasts, audiobooks, voice memos, photos, videos, and other multimedia files without iTunes syncing.

Key features:

  • Support adding multiple music formats from computer to iPhone, including MP3, WMA, WAV, FLAC, AAC, etc.
  • Convert music formats during transfer to make it compatible and playable with iPhone.
  • Modify and manage song and album information, such as lyrics, genres, artists, and more.
  • Ability to customize personalized ringtones for iPhone.

Here is how to transfer music from PC to iPhone without iTunes step by step:

1. Plug your iPhone into the computer using a suitable USB cable. If your phone receives a trust prompt, tap "Trust This Computer."

2. Launch iPhone Data Transfer. And it will automatically recognize your connected iPhone model and its basic information.

3. Click the "Music" option. Hit "Music" option on the left side to perform the music transfer task.

4. Add music to iPhone. To transfer songs from your computer to iPhone, click the "plus" icon at the top left and you can select certain music files or specific folders where the music is stored. Use the "Ctrl" key to perform multiple file selection. Or you can drag your music files directly to the Music window.

With the function of identifying duplicate songs, when you transfer the same song, there will be a window indicating that the song already exists and you can choose to skip it.

5. Transfer music files successfully. The whole transfer process will be fast and you can quickly add music from your computer to your iPhone. Then you can open the Apple Music app to view the successfully transferred songs and play them.

Tip: The software will actively recognize your music format and convert incompatible music file into a format that is playable with your iPhone before transferring.

If you want to capture online music to your iPhone and listen to it offline as you like, consider using the AppGeeker Screen Recorder to record and save your favorite songs on your computer first, and then transfer the music to your iPhone using iTunes or other methods.

Why can't transfer music to iPhone via iTunes?

When you transfer songs from iTunes to iPhone, you may run into the problem of transferring music. We have listed the common reasons why you fail to transfer music from iTunes to the iPhone so that you can fix the problem.

1. iTunes is not up to date: You may need to update the iTunes application to the latest version. For Windows PC, navigate to Help > Check for Updates on iTunes to check for updates; for Mac users, go to App Store > Updates in the toolbar and look for any available iTunes updates.

2. Storage issue: Ensure that your iPhone has enough storage space to accommodate the music you want to transfer. You can check your iPhone's available storage in the Settings app under "General" and "iPhone Storage."

3. Transfer mode: If you don't have "Manually manage music and videos" enabled in the Summary tab of iTunes, you can't manually move music to iPhone.

4. USB connection or network issue: If there is a problem with the USB connection between your computer and iPhone, or if your network is unstable, transferring songs will fail.

5. Apple Music or iTunes Match is not turned off: If you have a subscription to Apple Music or iTunes Match, you can't use iTunes to sync music to your iPhone.

6. Music format issue: The music files you are trying to transfer from iTunes may not be in a compatible format with your iPhone.

Read next: How to transfer videos from PC to iPhone with or without iTunes


1. How to transfer music from iPhone to computer?

To transfer music from iPhone to computer, connect your two devices and head to Files > Devices > Transfer Purchases from on iTunes. Then go to Library > Recently Added to download the songs on your computer.

Alternatively, you can use iCloud Music Library, Google Drive and other cloud-based services to transfer songs.

2. How to transfer music from computer to iPhone using Apple Music?

Subscribing to Apple Music and using the same Apple ID give you access to the iTunes music library and the entire Apple Music library, allowing you to transfer music between iOS and macOS.

  • Open the Apple Music app on your computer and sign in with your Apple ID.
  • Create a new playlist or select an existing one that you want to add music to.
  • Drag and drop the songs or albums you want to add to the playlist.
  • Ensure that your iPhone is connected to the internet and signed in to the same Apple ID.
  • Open the Apple Music app on your iPhone.
  • Go to the "Library" tab and select the playlist that you created or updated on your computer.
  • Tap the "Download" button next to each song or album to download it to your iPhone.
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