How to Add Album Art in iTunes & Music

Album art enhances your music experience

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. However, 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 Music app are visual. Your experience with your music is more interesting if you have the artwork for as many albums and songs as possible. Here's how to add album art to iTunes and the Music app.

Illustration of a person looking at Album Artwork on an iMac
Lifewire / Derek Abella

Information in this article applies to iTunes 11 and up on a Mac or Windows PC except as noted. Album artwork can only be downloaded using the desktop version of iTunes. It also applies to Music, the Mac app that Apple replaced iTunes with in 2019.

How to Use iTunes to Get Album Cover Art

There are a few ways to get album art, but using the tool to add album art built into iTunes and Music is the easiest. The built-in album art tool scans your music library and Apple servers. When it finds art for songs that you have, no matter where you got the songs originally, it adds them to your library. Here's how to use this tool to get album art in iTunes and Music.

  1. The process depends on the program you're using:

    • In Music, and iTunes 12 and iTunes 11: click File > Library > Get Album Artwork.
    • In older versions of iTunes: go to the Advanced menu and click Get Album Artwork.
    Screenshot of getting album art in the Music app
  2. In some versions of iTunes, a window lets 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, select Get Album Artwork.

  3. In the Music app, a status bar at the bottom left corner lets you know the program is Processing Album Artwork. Hover your mouse there and click the i icon to pop up a window to see your progress.

    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, select the Window menu and choose Activity to follow the progress.

    Screenshot of getting album art in the Music app
  4. 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.

  5. When iTunes completes the scan for the album art and imports the available art, a message appears and lists the albums for which Music or iTunes couldn't find or add any album artwork. Use another method to get album art for these songs or albums.

    Screenshot of getting album art in the Music app

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

How to View Album Art in iTunes and Music

To see the album artwork you've added (or already have):

  • In Music and iTunes 11 and up, the album art appears in the Recently Added, Artists, and Albums views or in the bar at the top of the window when you play a song.
Album view in iTunes showing album art
  • In iTunes 10 and earlier, the art displays in the album art window in the lower-left corner of the iTunes window. If it's not present, click the button that looks like a box with an arrow in it at the bottom left.

In iTunes 10 and earlier, you can also use Cover Flow to see the artwork. To view your iTunes library using Cover Flow, click the fourth button in the upper-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.

How Add Album Cover Art From the Web to iTunes and Music

To add album cover art to albums that Music or iTunes didn't download, follow these steps:

  1. Find the album cover image online. To find suitable images, go to the band's website, its record label's website, Google Images, or Amazon.

  2. When you find the image you want, download it to your computer. How you do this depends on the browser you use, but in most cases, right-click the image and select a download option.

    Band website showing album art for download
  3. Open Music or iTunes and find the song or album that goes with the downloaded artwork.

  4. Right-click the song that lacks album art and select Get Info. Or, press Command+I on a Mac or Control+I on a PC to open the information screen.

    ITunes library showing a song without album art
  5. Go to the Artwork tab and drag the art you downloaded to the window. In Music and iTunes 12, click Add Artwork and select the file on your hard drive.

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

    Album art with missing artwork added

How to Add Art From the Web to All Songs on 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 (press Command+A on a Mac or Control+A on a PC), right-click any song, then select Get Info to open the information screen.

Select the Artwork tab and drag an image to the space for album art or click Add Artwork. When you click OK, Music or iTunes updates all the selected songs with the new art.

If a lot of your songs need album art, try a third-party tool to automate the process. Check out the best free cover art downloaders for digital music.

How to Add Album Art to Music on Older iPods

Getting album art on some older iPods requires an additional step that isn't necessary on the more recent iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices.

Sync your iPod, go to the Music tab, and select the Display album artwork on your iPod checkbox. When you play songs on your iPod, the album artwork will show up.

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

If you don't see this option when you sync your iPod, you don't need it for your device. Album art is added automatically.

Was this page helpful?