Apple’s iCloud Music Library is a handy feature that allows you to store your entire Apple Music library on iCloud. This means that all your songs, albums, and playlists will stay in sync across all your Apple devices, and you can access your library from any of those devices as long as you’re signed in with the same Apple ID.
But as useful as this feature is, there are some drawbacks. For example, users with an extensive music library notice that downloading music on different devices takes a lot of time and data. And if the cons outweigh the pros for you, you can disable iCloud Music Library. Below we teach you how to do that on an iPhone, Mac or PC.
The Pros and Cons of Using iCloud Music Library
Before we look at how to disable iCloud Music Library, here’s a quick rundown of the feature’s pros and cons to help you better decide if it’s doing you more harm than good.
With iCloud Music Library, you can take advantage of the following:
- Stream and download songs from Apple Music or the iTunes Store to up to 10 devices.
- Access your library on any device, whenever you have internet access.
- Store up to 100,000 songs with Apple Music or an iTunes Match subscription (excluding songs purchased from the iTunes Store).
But here are some of the drawbacks:
- You need a paid Apple Music or iTunes Match subscription to use iCloud Music Library. Otherwise, your song library won’t sync across all your devices.
- iCloud Music sync matches and replaces songs or albums you already have on your device with a higher quality version from the Apple Music streaming library, if available. That process can lead to missing or incorrect song metadata, album art, and mismatching of songs.
- You cannot manually sync music from iTunes to your iPhone or iPad.
If any of these negatives are a deal breaker for you, here’s how to disable iCloud Music Library regardless of the device you’re using.
How to Disable iCloud Music Library on iPhone and iPad
Follow these simple instructions below to disable iCloud Music Library in iOS and iPadOS:
- Open the Settings app, scroll down the menu and select Music.
- Below the Library section, turn the switch next to . from Sync Library. You will see a warning that this action will remove all Apple Music content and downloads from your iPhone music library.
- Select Turn off to confirm your decision. You know the feature is off when the switch turns from green to gray.
How to turn off iCloud Music Library on a Mac
To disable iCloud Music Library on a Mac, you need to do the following:
- Open the Music app on your Mac and click Music from the top menu bar.
- Select Preferences from the resulting drop-down menu.
- Now go to the General tab and uncheck the box next to Sync library. You can re-enable it at any time by checking the box again.
- Click Okay to save your changes.
How to Disable iCloud Music Library on Windows PC
If you are using iTunes to listen to music on a PC, follow the steps below:
- Open the iTunes app on your Windows computer.
- Click edit in the menu bar and select Preferences from the drop-down menu.
- Uncheck the box next to iCloud Music Library to disable the function. Note: If you don’t have an Apple Music or iTunes Match subscription, this option won’t appear on your device.
- Select Okay to save your changes.
What happens if you turn off iCloud Music Library?
Because iCloud Music Library is a syncing service, your data is only available on synced devices as long as the feature is turned on. Therefore, when you disable this feature, your entire Apple Music catalog and the copy of your iTunes library stored on iCloud will be deleted from your device. Only the songs stored locally on your device will not be affected.
Also remember that iCloud Music Library is still enabled on your other devices and you will need to disable the feature for each device individually.
Likewise, Apple users have access to a similar feature called iCloud Photo Library that syncs your photo library across devices. So if you want to know more about it, here’s how to set up and sync iCloud Photos.
Stay in control of your music library
If iCloud Music Library no longer serves you well, turning it off is the way to go. However, if you ever change your mind and need to re-enable the service, just repeat the steps and change your preferences.
That said, if you’re not happy with Apple Music as a service, you can cancel your subscription and try another streaming service like Spotify; You are in charge. But remember that you will lose access to iCloud Music Library when you do that.