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How to transfer music from Mac to iPhone in 3 different ways

Transferring music from your Mac to iPhone can be a bit of pain, but don't fear; it's quite possible to make the move.

Robin Swift Updated on Mar 15, 2023 11:27 AM

Key Points

  • When you get a new iPhone, you may want to add your favorite songs from Mac to it so that you are able to listen to music on the go.
  • There are many ways to transfer music from Mac to iPhone: iTunes or Finder, Apple Music, Dropbox and Airdrop.
  • You can transfer music without iTunes (or Finder) by using a third-party tool named iPhone Data Transfer, which works seamlessly in data transfer between devices.

In this post, we help you move music from Mac to your iPhone in 3 simple yet useful ways.

Getting a new iPhone is always exciting, but transferring some important data you need-including photos, your favorite music, tons of files, and more-from Mac to your new iPhone may seem daunting. If you're a music lover who is looking for ways to get music from Mac to iPhone, then this post will be of interest to you.

Because Mac and iPhone are parts of the Apple ecosystem, there are quite a few ways that lets you move music from Mac to iPhone. Among them, iTunes (or Finder) is highly recommended by the Apple official. However, iTunes lacks flexibility in syncing music between Mac and iPhone. In this article, in addition to iTunes, we'll also cover other ways you can use to transfer music from Mac to iPhone without iTunes.

Let's look at the different ways to move music from Mac to your iPhone:

  • iTunes or Finder
  • iPhone Data Transfer (All-in-one solution)
  • Dropbox

Sync music to iPhone from Mac with iTunes or Finder

When it comes to transferring music from Mac to iPhone, iTunes or Finder has always been your first out-of-the-box choice, letting you move music or other data from an Apple device to another over a USB cable.


  • Using iTunes to transfer music from your Mac to your iPhone will erase current music on your iPhone.
  • iTunes only supports certain music formats, which means you may need to convert the music format before transferring.
  • iTunes has been retired in macOS Catalina. Therefore, if you're using a mac Catalina or a newer version, launch Finder instead.

Don't worry, the process of transfering music to iphone with Finder or iTunes is very similar. Here we take Finder as an example.

1. Let Finder run on your Mac.

2. Connect your iPhone to the Mac via a USB cord. If you haven't previously done so, type in the passcode to let your two devices to trust each other.

3. Click on ''your iPhone's name'' from the left sidebar. The details about your iPhone should be displayed in front of you.

4. Hit on ''Music" button from the horizontal options bar, followed by ''Sync music onto your iPhone's name''.

Also see: How to unlock an Unavailable iPhone

5. A window will pop up reminding you that syncing "your iPhone's name" with this Mac will replace media from another library on "device's name." Choose ''Remove & sync'' to proceed.

6. You can choose ''Entire music library" (or "Selected artists, albums, genres, and playlists" if you want to sync specific music).

7. At the bottom of Finder, hit on "Apply" to start syncing.

How to transfer music from Mac to iPhone without iTunes

Don't want iTunes to replace existing songs on your phone with songs you select locally? There are still some neat little tricks you can use to quickly and easily share music from Mac to iPhone.

Use iPhone Data Transfer to move music from Mac to iPhone

If you don't want to get lost in iTunes (or Finder), you can rely on a third-party tool to get music onto your iPhone. There are plenty of programs that can make that happen, probably the most polished and reliable of which is iPhone Data Transfer. This software can sync your music and other stuff over a USB cord from Mac to iPhone, PC to iPhone, and even iPhone to iPhone. Since it focuses on data transfer, you will find it effortless to import music and other files on iOS, macOS, and Windows systems.

In addition to all the usual data management features that make this software great, the developer has just released a new feature for iPhone Data Transfer that you can beam any incompatible music file to your iPhone. Download and install it from the button below.

Download Now!

for macOS | for Windows

First of all, connect your iPhone to the Mac. You may need to enter the lock screen passcode to let your iPhone trust the Mac. Then launch iPhone Data Transfer on Mac. Once the software has detected your iPhone, you should see a screen showing you the details of your iPhone.

Next, click on the "Music" button from the left sidebar. All types of audio files from your phone will be loaded here. Click on any file type to preview it on the right side of the software.

Now it's time to add music from Mac to iPhone. Hit on the "+" icon at the top from the options. Then a box appears giving you two options. Select "Add Files" (or "Add folder" to transfer all songs in that folder).

It usually takes a few seconds to get music from Mac to iPhone. Once done, you can play the newly added songs in Music app on your iPhone.

Again, compatibility is no longer an issue: it doesn't matter which format the music file is, iPhone Data Transfer can convert it to a format playable by your device automatically.

Supported audio tracks: MP3, FLAC, WAV, APE, M4A, WMA, OGG, AIFF, AAC, etc.

Video Guide: How to Transfer Music from Mac to iPhone

How to sync music from Mac to iPhone by Dropbox

Anyone who knows anything about cloud storage will be familiar with Dropbox which is regularly used to store music, images, and other files. With a concise and excellent user interface, it is friendly to novices and can also perform a multitude of transfer tasks quickly. Follow these steps to sync music from Mac to iPhone with Dropbox:

Note that the songs download from Dropbox can't be played on the Apple Music, you need to rely on other audio player app.

  • Visit the Dropbox in the web browser on the Mac.
  • Sign in with the account you logged into on your iPhone.
  • Once you are on the homepage of the account, choose the folder you want to save the files in.
  • Click on the "Upload" button in blue. You should see a drop-down menu from Upload button. Choose "Files" to upload individual music file or "Folders" to upload all music from that folder.

  • Move to the Dropbox app on your iPhone, you should see the uploaded items.
  • Choose the songs and download them to your iPhone.

In addition to the Dropbox method, there are many other cloud services to help you move music from Mac to iPhone without using iTunes. You can choose based on your preferences.

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