How to Add Album Art in iTunes

Album art enhances your music experience

Illustration of a person looking at Album Artwork on her iMac

Lifewire / Derek Abella

When you buy music from the iTunes Store or other online music stores or add songs from streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify to your library, the songs or albums come with album art — the equivalent of an album cover or CD booklet cover for the digital age. However, that album art may be missing for songs you download from a file-sharing service or rip from a CD

You can enjoy music without album art, but iTunes and the iOS Music app are visual. Your experience with your music is more interesting if you have artwork for as many albums and songs as possible. 

Information in this article applies to iTunes 12 and iTunes 11 on a Mac or PC except as otherwise noted. Using iTunes to grab missing album artwork only works on the desktop version of iTunes. There is no iOS feature to add cover art on Apple's mobile devices. 

There are a few ways to get album art, but using iTunes' built-in album artwork grabber is the easiest. 

Use iTunes to Get Album Cover Art

Here's how to employ this easy-to-use tool to get album art in iTunes.

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 process depends on the version of iTunes you're running: 

  • In iTunes 12 and iTunes 11, click or press File > Library > Get Album Artwork.
  • In older versions of iTunes, go to the Advanced menu and select Get Album Artwork.

In some versions of iTunes, a window pops up letting you know that you have to send information about your library to Apple to get album artwork 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 want to proceed, 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, you select the Window menu and choose Activity to follow the progress.

How long the process 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.

If you use iTunes Match or Apple Music, all art is added automatically.

Review Missing Album Art

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 must use another method to get album art for these songs or albums.

Viewing Album Art

To see the artwork you have, click on or play songs or albums in iTunes and see if the album artwork shows up.

In iTunes 12 and iTunes 11, you'll see the album art in your Album view or when you start playing a song.

Album view in iTunes showing album art

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.

If you're running iTunes 10 or earlier, use Cover Flow to see the artwork. To view your iTunes library using Cover Flow, click the fourth button in the top right corner next to the search box. Navigate using the mouse or arrow keys through a presentation of your iTunes library by cover art. Some albums will have artwork, and others won't. Cover Flow is not available in iTunes 11 and higher.

Choose other view options, such as Artists or Albums. Different options are available depending on the version of iTunes you use. 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 display cover art when it is available.

Adding CD Cover Art From the Web to 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 suitable images are the band's website, its record label's website, Google Images, or Amazon.

When you find the image you want, download it to your computer. How you do this depends on the browser you're using, but in most cases, right-clicking on an image gives you a download option.

Band website showing album art for download

Next, in iTunes, find the song or album you downloaded the artwork for.

Add Art From the Web to a Song

To add art to a song:

  1. Locate the song title that lacks album art. Right-click on it and select Song Info, or use Command +on a Mac or Control +on a PC to open the information screen.

    ITunes library showing a song without album art

    You may need to click the album art and open it before selecting the song.

  2. Click on the Artwork tab and 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. Either method adds the artwork to the album.

    The Artwork tab of a song's information screen
  3. Click OK, and iTunes adds the new art to the song.

    Album art with missing artwork added

Add Art From the Web to an Album

Adding album art to more than one song at a time follows the same process as adding it to a single song, but you must open the album and select all the songs on the album (using Command + A on a Mac or Control + A on a PC) before right-clicking and selecting Get Info to open the information screen. Select the Artwork tab and drag an image into the space for album art or click Add Artwork. When you click OK, iTunes updates all the selected songs with the new art.

Other Options

If you have a lot of songs to add art to, you may not want to do it by hand. In that case, consider third-party tools that automate the process for you. Check out the best free cover art downloaders for digital music.

Adding Album Art to Music on Older iPods

Some older iPods require an additional step that isn't necessary on more recent iPhones, iPads, or iPod touch devices.

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

Sync your iPod and go to the Music tab. There you'll find a check box in front of Display album artwork on your iPod. Check it. When you play songs on your iPod, the album artwork will show up.

If you don't see this option when you sync your iPod, don't worry; you don't need it for your particular device. Your album art is added automatically.