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

There's no reason to recreate the same playlist on iPhone if you've already created one on the laptop. Here are some of your best options to transfer music from laptop to iPhone.

Elma Ellis Updated on Apr 21, 2023 10:54 AM

Transferring music from a laptop to an iPhone is a common practice for many music lovers. Luckily it's very simple and convenient to import music from laptop to your iPhone by using file-sharing supported apps, cloud services, and streaming media applications.

As long as your iPhone is running iOS 4 or later, you'll be able to transfer music from your laptop to your iPhone with iTunes, which is highly recommended by Apple. However, while syncing music with iTunes to your iPhone, any previously synced music will be replaced. To avoid erasing any important data by mistake, you can transfer music to iPhone without syncing by disabling the automatic sync option.

Transferring music from laptop to iPhone is a great idea to update your music menu with new songs.

There are several ways to transfer music to an iPhone from laptop without causing accidental overwriting of existing files, including using iPhone Data Transfer software, cloud storage services like Google Drive, and Apple Music. And with iPhone Data Transfer, not only can you easily manage your music, but you can also create your very own custom ringtones.

Transfer music from your laptop to iPhone with the iTunes app

While iTunes is no longer the primary method for iOS device management and media syncing, it still has a dedicated user base, particularly among people who prefer to manage and organize their large music collections on their desktops or laptops.

iTunes provides a safe and convenient way for users to download and transfer their music files from laptop to iPhone device. Additionally, the iTunes Store offers an abundant selection of music, movies, TV shows, and other media resources that users can purchase and download directly to their devices.


  • Syncing iTunes music files with your iPhone can cause data loss if the syncing process is interrupted, corrupted, or incomplete. In case something goes wrong during the syncing process, you'd better get a copy of your device data using iCloud or iTunes.

How to transfer music from laptop to iPhone with iTunes?

Here are the steps on how to transfer music from your laptop to iPhone with iTunes:

Step 1: Connect iPhone to your laptop with a USB cable

Grab your iPhone and the charging cable that came with it. Then, plug one end of the cable into your iPhone, and the other end into an available USB port on your laptop. If you are using a Mac, the USB port may be a USB-C port, in which case you may need to use a USB-C to Lightning cable.

Step 2: Add music to your iTunes library from laptop

To do so, you can click on "File > Add File to Library" or "File > Add Folder to Library", depending on whether you want to transfer individual files or an entire folder of music. Once you've selected the music you want to transfer to iPhone from laptop, click "Open" to add the music files to your iTunes library.

Step 3: Transfer songs from laptop to iPhone via syncing

Click on the Device button, and then select the "Music" option from "Settings". You can find transferred music files in the right part of the interface.

Firstly, you should tick the box next to "Sync Music". Then, if you want to sync all music files to your iPhone from the laptop, click on "Entire music library", and click the "Apply" button in the bottom right corner of the screen to confirm.

Because iTunes does not have a pop-up window to prompt whether the synchronization process is complete, you may be confused about the completion time and result of the synchronization. Here's an easy way to check, go to " On My Device > Music", the updated content after synchronous processing will be shown.

Tip - Transfer home demos from your iPhone to laptop

In the main iTunes window, click on the "Device button". From there, select "File Sharing" from "Settings". You'll see a list of apps in the left column. Click on the app where your home demo is created and saved, such as app Dictaphone, or Recorder.

Documents information from the app will be listed in the column on the right. Click on the homemade recording file you'd like to transfer from iPhone to laptop, then click the "Save to" button in iTunes and choose a location on your laptop to save the file.

Also see: How to do when iPhone text messages and iMessages disappeared

Transfer music from a laptop PC to iPhone without iTunes

While iTunes is a classic and common way to transfer music from PC to iPhone, it's important to note that it isn't perfect. Since it's designed primarily to work with Apple's proprietary file formats, the use of iTunes can be quite inconvenient and limited if you prefer to manage your music and media collection using third-party software instead of Apple Music.

For example, iTunes makes it difficult to transfer music in non-Apple file formats to iPhone or to customize metadata for music files. As a result, if you're looking for a more flexible or customizable way to manage your media files or transfer music to iPhone from laptop, you may want to consider using alternative software that better suits your needs.

Tip: When the non-purchased music you like cannot be found on Apple Music, or when you feel like saving the background music of a funny video on YouTube to your music library, make the most use of AppGeeker Screen Recorder, which enables you to record any sound you want.

Alternative 1. iPhone Data Transfer

iPhone Data Transfer ideally helps you transfer music to iPhone from your laptop with no worries about data overwritten or limitations. In addition to data transfer, the app also offers a range of other features that make managing your iPhone's media library easier than ever before. You can import, delete, and edit music and videos quickly and easily, with just a few clicks.

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The app also provides a one-click backup feature, allowing you to back up your entire music playlist with ease. Whether you're looking to transfer your music collection from a laptop to your iPhone, create a backup of an album, or manage your media library, the iPhone Data Transfer app is an essential tool for any iPhone user.

Key Features

  • Easy music file transfer to and from your iOS device
  • Supports the creation of custom ringtones
  • Enables music moving from one playlist to another
  • Allows syncing with iTunes library
  • ID3 tags editting for music

After downloading the app for free, you can check the following tutorial on how to put music on iPhone from laptop computer:

1. Launch iPhone Data Transfer on your laptop. You'll see a simple interface with instructions to inform you to connect your device to manage data.

2. Connect your iPhone to laptop with a USB cable. Right after that, the app will recognize your iPhone device and have the information displayed on the right pane.

3. Click on "Music" option from the left list, and all music files on your iPhone will be shown. In iPhone Data Transfer app, your existing music will be classified into the following categories, such as Music, Podcasts, Ringtones, and Audiobooks for better organization.

4. Click "Add item(s)" to add music to iPhone from laptop. You can choose one or multiple songs from the destination folder. Once the selection is confirmed, hit the "Open" button to begin the transfer process.

After the transfer is complete, you can safely disconnect your iPhone from your laptop.

Video Tutorial: How to Add Music to iPhone without iTunes

Alternative 2. Google Drive

Google Drive has the ability to transfer music from a laptop to an iPhone using its cloud service. With Google Drive, you can upload your music files to the cloud-based storage and access them from any device, including your iPhone. This makes it easy to listen to your favorite songs on the go, without the need for cables or complicated syncing processes.

To transfer music from your laptop to your iPhone using Google Drive, simply upload your music files to your Google Drive account by logging in and clicking on the "New" button, then selecting "File Upload" and choosing your music files. After that, download the Google Drive app on your iPhone and sign in to your account. From there, you can access your music files and download them directly to your device.

Alternative 3. Apple Music

Apple Music is an excellent all-in-one music streaming app, which enables music lovers to stream music from a vast library of songs and playlists. It also allows iOS users to transfer music from laptop to any iPhone device. To get rid of physical storage devices, you just need to add music to your personal library on laptop, then the updated music playlist can be accessed from any device linked to the account, including iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple Watches, and more.

Here's how to add music to iPhone from laptop PC using Apple Music:

  • Download and install the Apple Music app on your laptop and iPhone.
  • Open the Apple Music app on laptop and sign in to your account.
  • Click on "Playlist > New Playlist" to create a new playlist.
  • Click the plus button next to each song to add them to the playlist.
  • Click on "Done" to proceed.

Open the Apple Music app on your iPhone, now you'll have access to the playlist you just created or edited. And you can choose to download the playlist to your iPhone for offline listening, by clicking on the download button next to the playlist.

Related: How to restore photos from iCloud backup (iPhone & iPad supported)


1. How can I remove transferred music files from iPhone?

Here are the steps to remove transferred music files from your iPhone:

  • Connect your iPhone to your laptop using a USB cable.
  • Open iTunes and click on the Device button.
  • Click on "File Sharing" in the left-hand sidebar.
  • Select the files you want to delete and press the Delete key.

2. How do I transfer music from my laptop to iPhone without iTunes?

You can transfer music to your iPhone without iTunes using third-party apps like iPhone Data Transfer, iCloud service to upload music to the cloud, or streaming apps like Spotify, Amazon Music, and Google Play Music that offer offline listening and downloading options.

3. Why can't I transfer MP3 to iTunes?

There are several reasons why MP3 files may not transfer to iTunes, including outdated software, incompatible file formats such as those not supported by iTunes, and corrupted files. Troubleshooting these issues to determine the cause so that you find the perfect solution to solve your problem.

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