How to Redownload Music on iTunes for Free

Ever deleted something from your computer or iPhone and then realized right away that you wanted it back? If you've deleted a song you bought from the iTunes Store, you might be worried that you'll have to buy it again.

Well, there's good news: You can redownload music you've bought from iTunes and redownloading that music is free! Here's everything you need to know about redownloading music on iTunes.

Person re-downloading songs purchased on iTunes
Lifewire / Ellen Lindner

Do you use Apple Music instead of iTunes? If you do, redownloading is super simple. Just find the song in your 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 Music from iTunes on iPhone

Redownloading music from the iTunes Store directly to your iPhone or iPod touch is easy. Just follow 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
     Lifewire
  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 redownload the music from iTunes. When it's downloaded, it will appear in the Music app on your device.

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

How to Redownload Music Using iTunes

If you'd rather use the iTunes to redownload your music on a computer, 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
     Lifewire
  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
     Lifewire
  5. Click Not in My Library if it's not already selected.

    Not in My Library toggle in iTunes screenshot
     Lifewire
  6. Select Albums or Songs to choose how to browse your past music purchases.

    Albums/Songs toggle in iTunes screenshot
     Lifewire
  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
     Lifewire
  8. Click the download icon on the album or next to the song to redownload music from iTunes. The music will appear in your iTunes library.

    Download icon for recently purchased album screenshot
    Lifewire

How to Redownload Music Using the Music App on Mac

If you're running macOS Catalina (10.15) or higher on your Mac, you can't redownload music using the iTunes program because it no longer exists. It's been replaced by a new app called Music. Luckily, you can still redownload music using that. Here's how:

  1. Default, the iTunes Store is hidden in Music. To reveal it, click Music menu > Preferences > in the Show section, check the box next to iTunes Store > OK.

    Screenshot of enabling the iTunes Store setting in the Music app
  2. In the left-hand menu, click iTunes Store.

  3. Follow steps 3-8 from the last section. They're identical in iTunes and Music.

What to Do If You Can't Redownload Music From iTunes

If you've followed these steps but aren't able to redownload music or don't see the music at all, try this:

  • Confirm where you got the music. Could you have gotten the music from another download store, streaming service, or from a CD? If so, 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 hidden purchases and how to unhide them.
  • Did you change the country in your Apple ID? You may not be able to access all of your music if you changed the country in your Apple ID settings. Apple may be able to offer music redownloads in your previous country but not the current 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.
  • Are you using the Music app? If you're using the Music app on recent versions of the macOS, the iTunes Store is hidden by default. Check out the last section for instructions on what to do.

How to Download Other People's Music Using Family Sharing 

share apple music with family
image credit: JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Getty Images

You're not limited to downloading only the music you bought. You can also download the music from anyone in your family using Family Sharing.

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

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