How to Redownload Songs From iTunes for Free

Person re-downloading songs purchased on iTunes

Lifewire / Ellen Lindner


Ever deleted something from your computer or iPhone by accident, only to realize right away that you wanted it back? If what you deleted was a song you bought from the iTunes Store, you might be worried that you'll have to buy it again.

Well, good news: There are multiple ways to redownload songs you've bought from iTunes without having to pay a second time.

How to Redownload Songs With iCloud Music Library or iTunes Match

If you use an iPhone or iPod Touch and subscribe to iTunes Match or Apple Music (and therefore use iCloud Music Library), redownloading is super simple: just find the song in your device's Music app and tap the download icon (the cloud with the down arrow in it). You'll have the song back in no time.

How to Redownload Songs on iPhone or iPod touch

If you don't use one of those services, redownload a song or album you've purchased at the iTunes Store directly to your iPhone or iPod touch by following these steps:

  1. Make sure you're logged into the Apple ID on your iOS device that you used to buy the music (go to Settings > iTunes & App Store > Apple ID).

  2. Tap the iTunes Store app to launch it.

  3. Tap the More button at the bottom right.

    Two iOS screenshots showing iTunes Store icon and More button
  4. Tap Purchased.

  5. Tap Music.

  6. Scroll through your list of purchases until you find the one you want to download.

  7. Tap the download icon (the cloud with the down arrow in it) to begin downloading the item.

    Three iOS screenshots showing Purchased, Music, and cloud download buttons

How to Redownload Music Using iTunes

If you'd rather use iTunes to redownload your music, here's what you need to do:

  1. Open iTunes.

  2. Go to the iTunes Store.

    iTunes on macOS, showing the Store button in the top navigation bar screenshots
  3. If you're not already in the Music section of the Store, click the music icon in the top left corner of iTunes or select Music from the menu in the right-hand column of the Store.

  4. Click Purchased in the Quick Links section on the right.

    Purchased link in iTunes Store via macOS screenshot
  5. Click the Not in My Library toggle if it's not already selected.

    Not in My Library toggle in iTunes screenshot
  6. Select the Albums/Songs toggle to choose how to see the music.

    Albums/Songs toggle in iTunes screenshot
  7. Select the artist whose music you want to download from the list on the left. You can also Search for a specific artist or just view Recent Purchases with the top link.

    Recent Purchases link in iTunes screenshot
  8. Click the download icon on the album or next to the song to start the download.

    Download icon for recently purchased album screenshot

If You're Still Not Seeing the Purchase

If you've followed all of these steps but still aren't able to download your past purchases (or don't see them at all), there are a few things to try:

  • Confirm where you got the music. Could you have gotten the music from another music download store or from a CD? If so, you need to go to that source to get the music back.
  • Make sure you're using the right Apple ID. If you bought the music with one Apple ID, and are now using another, you need to log into the correct account to access the music.
  • Is the purchase hidden? It's possible to hide purchases in iTunes (either because you don't want to see them anymore or to block them from Family Sharing). Learn how to see what purchases are hidden and how to unhide them in this tutorial from Apple.
  • Did you change the country in your Apple ID? You may not be able to access all of your purchases if you changed the country in your Apple ID setting. Apple may be able to offer redownloads of purchases in your previous country but not the new one.
  • Can you redownload music in your country? The licensing agreements Apple has with music companies, and the local laws of different countries, determine what purchases can be redownloaded. Check Apple's official list to see what sort of content is available in your country.

Download Other People's Purchases Using Family Sharing 

You're not limited to downloading only the purchases you've made. You can also download the purchases made by anyone in your family by using Family Sharing.

Family Sharing is a feature that allows people who are connected via Apple ID (presumably because they're family, though I suppose you could set it up with friends, too) to see and download each other's purchases from iTunes, the App Store, and Apple Books — for free.

Learn how to set up Family Sharing and then learn how to use Family Sharing.