How to Add Album Art in iTunes

Add album art to your iTunes music


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If you've purchased music from the iTunes Store or other online music stores, or added songs from streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify to your library, the songs or albums you buy come with album art — the equivalent of an album cover or CD booklet cover for the digital age. But that album art may be missing for songs downloaded from a file-sharing service or ripped from CDs

You can definitely enjoy music without album art, but with iTunes and the iOS Music app being so visual, your experience of your music will be much nicer if you've got art for as many albums and songs as possible. 

There are a number of ways to get album art, including third-party programs, but probably the easiest is iTunes' built-in album artwork grabber. (If you use iTunes Match or Apple Music, all art should be automatically added.) Here's how to employ this easy-to-use tool to get album art in iTunes.

The last couple of steps in this article provide other ways to get album art when iTunes can't find the right artwork.

This only works on the desktop version of iTunes. There is no feature in the iOS to add cover art. 

Use iTunes to Get Ablum Cover Art

Use the iTunes album art tool to find the cover images for your favorite songs.

 Busybee-CR/Getty Images

The built-in iTunes album art tool scans your music library and Apple's servers. When it finds art for songs that you have, even songs that you didn't buy at iTunes, it adds them to your library.

The way you do this depends on what version of iTunes you're running: 

  • In iTunes 11 and higher, click on File -> Library -> Get Album Artwork.
  • In older versions of iTunes, go to the Advanced menu. Then click on Get Album Artwork.

In some versions of iTunes, a window pops up letting you know that, to get album artwork, you have to send information about your library to Apple but that Apple doesn't store that information. There's no way around this; Apple needs to know what music you have to send you the art for it. If you still want to go ahead, click Get Album Artwork.

In some versions, the status window at the top of iTunes shows a progress bar as it scans your library for albums and downloads the correct art from iTunes. In others, click the Window menu and select Activity to follow the progress.

How long this takes depends on how much music needs to be scanned, but expect to spend at least a few minutes. The art is automatically downloaded, categorized, and added to the correct songs. You don't have to do anything other than wait for the process to complete.

Review Missing Album Art

Screenshot of iTunes scanning for missing cover art, but not finding it

When iTunes completes the scan for the album art you need and imports all available art, a window pops up to let you know the albums for which iTunes couldn't find or add any album artwork. You can use the tips in the next few steps that show how to get album art from other locations.

Before that, though, if you want to see the artwork you've now got:

  1. Click on or play songs or albums in iTunes and see if the album artwork shows up. In iTunes 11 and up, you'll see the album art in your Album view or when you start playing a song. In iTunes 10 and earlier, you can see the art in the album art window. To reveal the window, click the button that looks like a box with an arrow in it at the bottom left corner of the iTunes window.
  2. If you're running iTunes 10 or earlier, use Cover Flow to see what artwork you have. To view your iTunes library using Cover Flow, click the fourth button in the top right corner next to the search box. You'll then be able to navigate using the mouse or arrow keys through a presentation of your iTunes library by cover art. Some albums will have art, others won't. In iTunes 11 and higher, Cover Flow is not available.
  3. Choose other view options, like Artists or Albums. Different options are available depending on what version of iTunes you're using. You'll find these options at the top or right of the iTunes window. You can also use the View menu to control the content you can see in the main iTunes window. Any of these options will display cover art where it is available. You'll need to get cover art by another means for any album that doesn't show art in these views.

Adding CD Cover Art From the Web to iTunes

Screenshot of adding cover art from the web to your albums in iTunes

To add album cover art to albums that iTunes didn't download, you need to find the album cover image online somewhere. The best bets to find good images are the band's website, its record label's website, Google Images, or Amazon.

When you've found the image you want, download it to your computer (exactly how you do this will depend on what browser you're using, but in most cases, right-clicking on an image will allow you to download it).

Next, in iTunes, find the album you want to add artwork to.

Add Art to a Single Song

To add art to a single song:

  1. Find the song you want and right click on it 
  2. Select Get Info or click use Command + I on a Mac or Control + I on a PC 
  3. Click on the Artwork tab and then drag the art you downloaded to the window (in iTunes 12, you can also click the Add Artwork button and select the file on your hard drive). This will add the artwork to the album.
  4. Click OK and iTunes will add the new art to the song.

Add Art to an Album

To add album art to more than one song at a time:

  1. First, browse through iTunes so just the album you want to add artwork to is displayed. Then select all the songs in that album. To do this on a Mac, use Command + A. On a PC, use Control + A. (You can also select non-contiguous songs by holding down the Command key on a Mac or the Control key on a PC and then clicking songs.)
  2. Choose Get Info either by right-clicking, by going to the File menu and clicking Get Info, or, via the keyboard using Apple + I on a Mac and Control + I on a PC.
  3. Drag the art you downloaded to the Artwork window or click Add Artwork.
  4. Click OK and iTunes will update all the selected songs with the new art.

Other Options

If you've got a lot of songs to add art to, you may not want to do it by hand. In that case, you may want to consider third-party tools that automate the process for you.

Adding Album Art to Music on Older iPods

Screenshot showing specific steps to add album art on some older iPods

This step isn't necessary on recent iPods, the iPhone or iPad, but for some early iPod models, you need to use it if you want your iTunes album art to display on your iPod's screen. If you don't see these options when you sync your device, don't worry; you don't need it.

To do this, begin by syncing your iPod and going to the Music tab. There you'll find a checkbox that says display album artwork on your iPod. Select that and then when you play songs on your iPod, the album artwork will show up, too.

If you don't see this checkbox when you sync, don't worry. That means your album art will be automatically added.