How to Restart a Failed iTunes Download on an iPhone

Recover your digital music from an interrupted iTunes Store download

It's rare to have a problem downloading digital music from the iTunes Store to the iPhone, but things can and do go wrong from time to time. If you use an iPhone to purchase songs, there may be times when a download is interrupted before it is complete.

Instructions in this article apply to iPhones with iOS 14 through iOS 11.

Reasons Downloads Are Interrupted on iPhone

An interruption during an iTunes Store download can happen for various reasons, including:

  • The iPhone drops the internet connection: A malfunctioning internet connection is the most likely reason why the song fails to download correctly. You may end up with a partial song or nothing at all.
  • An issue with the iTunes Store servers: Apple servers are rarely down, but it can happen. A problem with a server can terminate the connection to the iTunes Store.
  • An unexpected iOS restart: If the iPhone restarts during a download, the song cannot fully download.
  • The internet connection is slow or the Wi-Fi router has problems: If your internet connection slows down or your Wi-Fi router loses its sync during a song download, the result may be a failed song download.

How to Resume a Failed Song Download on the iPhone

To restart a failed song download on your iPhone:

  1. Open the iTunes Store app on the iPhone.

  2. Tap More.

  3. Tap Downloads to display any content from the iTunes Store that didn't transfer to the device.

  4. Tap the arrow next to a download to restart it.

    iTunes Store app on an iPhone showing More and Downloads buttons

If these steps don't fix the download problem, restart the iPhone and repeat the process. If the failed download doesn't appear in the list or if you can't fix the broken download, either report the issue to Apple in person at an Apple Store or use iTunes (or the Music app) on a computer.

Use iTunes on a Computer to Fix a Download

If you sync your iPhone with iTunes on a computer, fix an interrupted download by using the iTunes software to sync the song to the iPhone. Open iTunes on your computer, select Music from the menu in the upper-left corner, then select Store from the options at the top of the screen. Then, go to the menu bar, select Account, and choose Check for Available Downloads.

iTunes with "Check for Available Downloads" under the Account menu highlighted

If there are no available downloads, check your account details in iTunes in macOS Mojave (10.14) or earlier to confirm you purchased the song and to request support.

With macOS Catalina (10.15 ), Apple replaced iTunes with three apps: Music, Podcasts, and Apple TV. The instructions below also apply to macOS Catalina (10.15) and later, except you start by opening the Music app.

  1. Open iTunes > Music > Store in macOS Mojave (10.14) and earlier or launch the Music app in macOS Catalina (10.15) or later.

  2. Go to Account in the menu bar and select View My Account.

    iTunes with the View My Account option under the Account menu highlighted
  3. Enter your Apple ID name and password if prompted to do so.

  4. In the Account Information screen, go to the Purchase History section and select See All.

    Account Information page in Apple ID with the See All button highlighted
  5. Go the song that did not download properly and select More.

    A song in iTunes Purchase History with the More button highlighted

    The list of purchases is in reverse chronological order.

  6. Select Report a Problem.

    A purchase in iTunes History with the Report a Problem button highlighted
  7. Select the Choose Problem drop-down arrow and choose Item didn't download or can't be found.

  8. Type a brief explanation of the problem and then select Submit.

    Report a Problem screen in iTunes with the "Item didn't download" and Submit buttons highlighted
  9. Your problem is submitted to Apple Support, and you will receive a reply, although not immediately.

Was this page helpful?