Can You Install iTunes on a Mac?

Starting with macOS Catalina, Apple replaced iTunes with other apps

What to Know

  • Launch Apple Music from the Dock. Buy a subscription to stream music or just listen to your iTunes library.
  • Download iTunes purchases: In Music, go to iTunes Store > Purchased. To import music, select File > Import.
  • Apple replaced iTunes with separate music, podcast, and TV apps on macOS Catalina and later.

This article explains how to set up and use Apple Music on your Mac since Apple changed the iTunes media management system. Now there's a separate app for music, videos, podcasts, and audio books.

How Do I Use Apple Music on a Mac?

Accessing and using Apple Music on your Mac is straightforward. It's preinstalled on Macs with macOS Catalina or later. Here's how it works.

  1. Select the Apple Music icon from the Dock.

    Apple Music icon highlighted in Mac Dock

    If you don't see Apple Music, click the Launchpad icon in the Dock, then select Music

  2. Apple Music will prompt you with a free trial offer. Select Try It Free if you want to start a free trial, or click Not Now.

    Apple Music with Try It Free and Not Now highlighted
  3. You'll need to authorize your device to access all your previous iTunes purchases. Go to Account > Authorizations and select Authorize This Computer.

    Apple Music Account menu with Authorize This Computer highlighted

    You can authorize up to five computers to play iTunes purchases. An iPhone or iPad doesn't count as a computer.

  4. Enter your Apple ID and password and select Authorize.

    Apple Music Apple ID box with Authorize highlighted
  5. To access your previous iTunes Music purchases, select an option under Library on the left pane. For example, selecting Songs will bring up all your previous iTunes song purchases.

    Music open with Songs highlighted
  6. If you want to purchase music for your library, select iTunes Store. Find a song or album you want to buy and select the purchase price. Enter your Apple ID and password to complete the purchase.

    iTunes Store highlighted in Apple Music, with song selection price highlighted

    Select the arrow next to a song for other options, such as gifting a song, sharing on social media, or copying the song link.

How Do I Download My Previous iTunes Purchases?

To replace iTunes files you may have lost or deleted, or if you don't want to sync devices, you can download previous iTunes purchases on your computer.

  1. Ensure your computer is authorized by opening Apple Music and going to Account > Authorizations > Authorize This Computer.

    Apple Music Account menu with Authorize This Computer highlighted
  2. Select the iTunes Store.

    Apple Music with iTunes Store highlighted
  3. Select Purchased under Music Quick Links.

    Purchased highlighted in Apple Music iTunes store
  4. You'll see all the purchased items available for download. To download an item, select the download icon. To download everything in a category, select Download All.

    Download icon and Download All highlighted

How Do I Import Music Into Apple Music?

You may have songs or music video files on your computer you'd like to add to your music library. Here's how to import these files.

  1. Launch Apple Music and select File > Import. (Select File > Add to Library or File > Import on some macOS versions.)

    Import highlighted in Apple Music File menu
  2. Locate the music file or folder you want to add and click Open.

    Open highlighted in Aple Music import feature
  3. Music will put a copy of each audio file you input into the Music folder. The original file stays in its current location.

    If you have an Apple Music account, you can access your library from all your devices. Go to Settings > Music. Toggle on Sync Library

What Is Apple Music?

Apple Music is the successor to iTunes. Apple Music is also a streaming music service similar to Spotify. You can use Apple Music for free to listen to any music you previously bought via iTunes, sync music from your computer, and listen to Apple 1, a free Apple radio station.

However, to purchase new music and take advantage of Apple Music's streaming capabilities, you'll need an Apple Music subscription. An Individual plan is $10.99 per month or $109 a year, while a Family Plan is $16.99 monthly

What Happened to iTunes?

With the launch of macOS Catalina, Apple replaced iTunes with dedicated music (Apple Music), video (Apple TV), podcast (Apple Podcasts), and audiobook (Apple Books) apps. You can access any previous iTunes purchases through these apps, as these apps pull content from your iTunes libraries.

These apps come preinstalled on your Mac if you have macOS Catalina or later, so you don't need to download them.

If you have a Windows PC, you'll use iTunes for Windows to manage your music and media libraries.

  • How do I see lyrics on Apple Music?

    You'll need an Apple Music subscription to view lyrics on Apple Music. In the Apple Music mobile app, play a song, and then tap the song you're playing in the bottom bar. Tap Lyrics (looks like a quote mark) to view lyrics for that song.

  • How do I share a playlist on Apple Music?

    To share a playlist, launch the Apple Music mobile app and go to Library > Playlists. Tap More (three dots) and select Share Playlist. Choose a contact and select AirDrop or another sharing method, such as email.

  • What does the star mean on Apple Music?

    If you see a star on a song or album, Apple considers it to be a "Hot Track." Those songs or albums are the most played in Apple Music's library based on all users, not just your device or account.

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