How to Use iCloud to Redownload iTunes Purchases

No need to pay twice if you lose a song, app, movie or book

It used to be important to back up all your iTunes Store purchases, because if you accidentally deleted a file or lost data in a hard drive crash and didn't have a backup, you'd have to repurchase the content to retrieve it.

Fortunately, iCloud solved this problem. iCloud allows every song, app, TV show, movie, or book purchase made through iTunes or the App Store to be stored in your iTunes account, available to download onto any compatible device. If you lose a file or get a new device, it's easy to reload your purchase.

Here's a look at using iCloud to redownload iTunes and App Store purchases via iTunes on a Mac or Windows desktop or from your iOS device.

This article addresses redownloading iTunes content in Macs running macOS Catalina and earlier macOS and OS X versions, as well as redownloading iTunes, App Store, and Books content on an iOS device.

Redownload iTunes Purchases on a Desktop

Accessing and redownloading your iTunes purchases is easy using iTunes or the Music app on your desktop computer, whether it's a Mac or Windows PC.

Redownload on a Mac With macOS Catalina

Macs running macOS Catalina have a slightly different process than Macs running macOS Mojave and earlier macOS and OS X versions. With Catalina, use the Music app to find your iTunes purchases.

  1. Open the Music app on your Mac, and select the iTunes Store in the sidebar.

    If you don't see the iTunes Store in the sidebar, choose Music > Preferences, select General, and make sure the iTunes Store is selected.

    Selecting the iTunes Store in Music app.
  2. Below Quick Links, select Purchased.

    Selecting Purchased in Music Quick Links.
  3. Select Not in My Library near the top right of the page that appears, depending on what you want to redownload. You'll see all your purchases that are available for download.

    Selecting files not downloaded onto the system.
  4. To redownload an item, select the Download button.

    Selecting the Download button.

Redownload on a Mac With Mojave and Earlier Versions

  1. Open the iTunes app on your Mac and select Store.

    Selecting Store in iTunes Store
  2. Select Purchased near the top right of the iTunes Store window. (In older iTunes versions, scroll down and select Purchased from the Features menu on the bottom of the screen.)

    Navigating to Purchased items in iTunes.
  3. Select Music, Movies, TV Shows, or Audiobooks near the top right of the page that appears. iTunes shows you which of your purchases are available for download.

    redownloading content on iTunes.
  4. To download an item, select its iCloud Download button.

    The download icon.

Redownload on a Windows PC With iTunes

  1. Open iTunes and sign in with the same Apple ID that you originally used to purchase the item.

  2. Select Store.

    Selecting Store in iTunes in Windows.
  3. Below Quick Links, select Purchased.

    Purchased under Quick Links.
  4. Select Music, Films, TV Programs, or Audiobooks near the top right of the page that appears. iTunes shows you which of your purchases are available for download.

    Selecting the type of file in iTunes.
  5. To download an item, select its iCloud Download button.

    The download button in iTunes for Windows.

Redownload App Purchases With an iOS Device

It's also easy to redownload your App Store purchases directly from an iOS device such as an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

  1. Open the App Store app, then tap Today at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Tap the sign-in button or your photo at the top of the screen. If prompted, sign in with the same Apple ID that you originally used to purchase the item.

  3. Tap Purchased.

    If you use Family Sharing, tap My Purchases or choose a family member's name to see content that they purchased.

  4. Find the app you want to download, and then tap the Download button.

    redownloading iTunes content on an iPhone

Redownload iTunes Content on an iOS Device

Redownload your music, movies, or TV shows from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

  1. Open the iTunes Store app.

  2. Tap the three dots (More).

  3. Tap Purchased.

  4. Tap Music, Movies, or TV Shows.

  5. Tap the item you want to redownload, and then tap the Download button.

    redownloading iTunes content on an iPhone

Redownload Books From an iOS Device

It's also easy to redownload books you purchased using the Books app on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

  1. Open the Books app.

  2. Tap Reading Now at the bottom of the screen.

  3. Tap the sign-in button or your photo in the top-right corner of the screen. Sign in with your Apple ID if prompted.

  4. Under My Purchases, tap either Books or Audiobooks.

  5. Tap Not on this [device], then tap All Books or All Audiobooks.

  6. Find the book or audiobook that you want to download, and then tap the Download button.

    downloading books from an iOS device