How to Restart a Failed iTunes Store Download on an iPhone

Recovering Your Digital Music From an Interrupted iTunes Store Download

Confused Girl With Phone

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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 your iPhone to purchase songs, there may be times when downloads are interrupted before they complete.

Instructions in this article apply to iPhones running iOS 12 or iOS 11.

Reasons Downloads Are Interrupted on iPhone

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

  • Your iPhone drops its connection to the internet: This is the most likely reason why the song you just purchased 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 at the server end can result in a terminated connection to the iTunes Store.
  • Unexpected iOS restart: If your iPhone suddenly restarts during a download, the song cannot fully download.
  • Internet connection too slow / Wi-Fi router problems: If your internet connection slows to a crawl or your Wi-Fi router loses its sync during a song download, the result may be a failed song download.

Resuming a Failed Song Download on the iPhone

  1. Open the iTunes Store app on the iPhone.

  2. Tap on the More tab near the bottom right corner of the screen.

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

  4. The Downloads screen contains a list of songs that haven't completed the download to your iPhone. Tap the arrow next to a download to restart it.

    iTunes Store path to Downloads screen on iPhone

If these steps don't fix your download problem, restart your iPhone and repeat the process. If the screen says You have no active downloads — and you are sure you do — or you still can't fix your broken download, report the issue to Apple in person at an Apple Store or by using iTunes on a computer.

Using iTunes on a Computer

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

Check for Available Downloads in iTunes Store on Mac

If there are no available downloads, check your Account details in iTunes to confirm you purchased the song and to request support. Here's how.

  1. In the same Account drop-down menu, select View My Account.

    Opening iTunes account information on a computer
  2. Enter your Apple ID name and password.

  3. Click or press See All in the Purchase History section of your Account Information screen.

    Account Information screen in iTunes on a computer
  4. Scroll through the list of purchases, which is in reverse chronological order, until you find the song that did not download properly and select More next to it.

    Purchase History showing a song selection
  5. Select Report a Problem in the section with the song that didn't download correctly.

    Account screen showing Report a Problem with a song
  6. In the drop-down menu in the song's section, select Item didn't download or can't be found. Type a brief explanation in the field and choose Submit.

    Reporting a problem screen in iTunes

Your problem is submitted to Apple Support, and you will receive a reply, although not immediately.