iCloud Music Library: How to Switch off

Suppose you’re an iTunes Match or Apple Music subscriber; you can use Apple’s iCloud Music Library. So long as you’re logged into an identical iCloud account, the feature permits you to sync your music library on up to 10 Apple devices.

But there are grounds you may not want your tunes synced up to the iCloud Music Library. While convenient, the iCloud Music Library also has its quirks.

That’s because it matches and replaces songs or albums you already have on your device with a high-quality version from the Apple Music streaming library.

That process can lead to messed-up metadata, missing album art, and matching to the wrong song. Users have also complained in forums about the feature being confusing and accidentally wiping files off their devices. And it also means you’re locked into listening to your Music on Apple devices.

The iTunes Store is a media store driven by Apple Inc. It extended on April 28, 2003, as a result of Steve Jobs’ stimulus to open a digital marketplace for Music. As of April 2020, 2.2 million apps, 25,000 TV shows, and iTunes offer 60 million songs and 65,000 films. When it was extended, it was the only legal digital catalog of Music to offer songs from all five major record labels.

The iTunes Store is obtainable on most Apple devices, with the Mac (inside the Music app), the iPhone, the iPad, the iPod touch, and the Apple TV, as agreeably as on Windows (inside iTunes). In addition, video purchases from the iTunes Store are viewable on the Apple TV app on Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices and certain intelligent televisions.

While initially a chief player in digital media, by the mid-2010s, streaming media services were rendering more revenue than the buy-to-own model used by the iTunes Store. Apple now operates its subscription-based streaming music service, Apple Music, alongside the iTunes Store.

Music, alternatively called the Music app, previously iPod, is a media player application designed for the iOS, watchOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and macOS operating systems by Apple Inc. It can recreate music files stored locally on devices and stream from the iTunes Store and Apple Music.

The iOS version was submitted with iOS 5 on October 12, 2011, returning the iPod app. It was incorporated in the initial releases of watchOS, tvOS, and iPadOS. It was discharged with macOS Catalina on October 7, 2019, as one of three applications constructed to replace iTunes. The Music app is distinguished from iTunes by concentrating on surging media and focusing less on the iTunes Store, where content may be bought outright.

iOS, tvOS, and watchOS Versions

The iPod app preceded the Music app on iOS, initially released on iPhone 1. It was renamed Music with the dismissal of iOS 5 on October 12, 2011. It was revised with a redesign and functionality for Apple Music with iOS 8.4 in 2015. It is a definitive app on CarPlay.

The Music app is known on 2nd, and 3rd-generation Apple TVs to stream music bought from the iTunes Store or synced with iTunes Match but was never edited with support for Apple Music. However, Apple Music support was added to the tvOS version on the 4th generation Apple TV in early November 2015.

The Music app has been included in each version of watchOS on the Apple Watch. Music can be downloaded directly to an Apple Watch for use without a paired iPhone.

macOS Version

The Music app on macOS was preceded by the iTunes application, which was launched on January 9, 2001. Video support within the iTunes app was enabled in May 2005; podcast and books support followed in June 2005 and January 2010, respectively. However, by the 2010s, the application had been criticized for software bloat with features that extended well beyond the original scope of Music.

Apple announced at Apple’s 2019 Worldwide Developers Conference that iTunes would be replaced with the specific Music app, Podcasts, and TV applications with the release of macOS Catalina (10.15). Apple describes the Music app as a “music streaming experience,” whereas the company described iTunes as a digital library and online music store.

Previous iTunes versions designed for older macOS versions and iTunes for Windows will remain unaffected. In addition, Music, TV shows, movies, and podcasts on the iTunes Store will be accessible through the Music, TV, and Podcasts apps, respectively, compared to the standalone iTunes Store app featured on iOS.

Android Version

The music app was released for devices running Android Lollipop (5.x) and later on November 10, 2015, where it is referred to as Apple Music. It marked the first time music from the iTunes Store was available on non-Apple mobile devices since the ROKR E1 during a brief partnership with Motorola in 2005.

Another thing to keep in mind: iCloud Music Library isn’t the same as having a backup of your offline files. That’s because, like most streaming services, Apple Music files are DRM encrypted, meaning it’s tied to your Apple ID. So, even though you can build up quite a library, you don’t own any of the tracks — and it will become inaccessible should you ever choose to cancel your subscription.

If you’ve bought a new iPhone, iPad, or Mac, iCloud Music Library syncing is enabled by default. It isn’t a significant issue for many folks, and the convenience can outweigh the cons. But if you’ve spent years cultivating your music library or aren’t committed to sticking with Apple Music in the long term, you may desire to disable this feature from the get-go.

Here’s how to stop the iCloud Music Library from syncing to your devices. First, you’ll need to turn off the “Sync Library” toggle.


  • Go to Settings.
  • Scroll down and select Music.
  • Tap the Sync Library toggle to turn off the iCloud Music Library.
  • You’ll then be notified that this will remove all Apple Music content and downloads from your iPhone music library.
  • Tap Turn Off.


  • Open the Apple Music app.
  • In the top menu bar, pick Preferences from the Music menu.
  • Go to the General Tab.
  • In the Library section, uncheck Sync Library.
  • Click OK.


  • Open iTunes.
  • Select Preferences from the Edit menu.
  • In the General tab, unselect iCloud Music Library.
  • Click OK.