Music downloads allow you to play your favorite songs without requiring an internet connection. If you have downloaded a song to Apple Music and it’s not playing, it can be cause for concern.

When Apple Music is not playing your downloaded songs this is usually a result of human error. While connected to the internet, ensure that you have downloaded the song and not just simply added it to your library.

If you are still experiencing issues, here are some common reasons your downloaded songs might be unable to play.

Clear App Data

iphone storage

Sometimes, cache files can become corrupted and prevent the app from functioning correctly. The exact method will vary depending on the device you are using, but here are the typical steps to clearing your cache files & data on IOS:

  1. On your iPhone, head to ‘Settings
  2. Locate and select the ‘General‘ tab
  3. Select ‘iPhone Storage
  4. Here, you will see a list of apps on your phone. Select ‘Apple Music
  5. Tap ‘Offload App

Check The Song is Downloaded and Not Just in Library

itune song library

Many people complain about Apple Music not playing downloaded songs without actually downloading the songs.

Typically, they make this mistake because they think adding a song to the library is the same as downloading it.

Just to make sure, here’s how you download songs on Apple Music.

  • Open the Apple Music app and navigate to the song you want.
  • Touch and hold the song to see menu options.
  • Select Add to Library.
  • Instead of touching and holding, you can also add a song to your library by swiping left and then touching the Add button (plus sign).
  • Go to your library and find the song you want.
  • Touch and hold the song to see menu options.
  • Select Download.
  • You can download by swiping left on the song in your library and then touching the Download button (downward arrow sign).

Redownload All the Music

apple music not playing downloaded songs

If you’ve properly downloaded your chosen songs and are still unable to play them without a network connection, then you should try re-downloading the songs.

To re-download songs, you’ll need to delete them first.

  • Open the Apple Music app and navigate to a downloaded song.
  • Touch and hold the song to see menu options.
  • Select Remove (trash can).
  • Once removed, re-open the Apple Music app, and Download the song again.

Reboot Your Device

restart your iphone
Photo by Envato Elements

You probably already know how to reboot your device but we’ll give instructions here in case you’re new to iPhones.

  • If you have an iPhone X, 11, 12, or 13, then press and hold one Volume button and the Power button till power options appear.
  • If you have an iPhone 8, 7, 6, or SE (2nd Generation), you’ll have to press and hold the Power button on the side of the device.
  • If you have an iPhone SE (1st Generation), 5, or an earlier version, you’ll have to press and hold the Power button on the top of the device.
  • Switch the slider and wait for 60 seconds.
  • Press and hold the Power button to start your device again.

Re-Enable the Sync Library

sync library

The job of the Sync Library is to make sure that you have access to the songs you like even when you switch from one device to another.

However, sometimes, syncing issues can be behind Apple Music not playing downloaded songs too.

The trick here is to disable and re-enable the Sync Library.

  • Open Settings on your phone and navigate to Music.
  • If you’ve subscribed to Apple Music, you’ll see the option Sync Library as enabled. Disable it.
  • Close the app and reboot your device (instructions are here).
  • Once your phone is on again, follow the same steps to enable Sync Library.

Check if your downloaded songs are playing on Apple Music.

Sign Into iCloud Again

sign into icloud

If re-enabling the Sync Library didn’t work for you, then you should try signing out of iCloud.

Don’t worry, you won’t lose your precious data because signing out of iCloud doesn’t delete it. Besides, you’ll be signing in again immediately anyway.

Here are the steps to follow.

  • Navigate to Settings on your phone and tap your Name.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page and touch Sign Out.
  • You’ll need to provide your Apple ID Password before tapping Turn Off.
  • You’ll next see a list where you will be asked about which data you want to keep on your device after signing out of iCloud. Pick what you want other than Music data.
  • After you’ve made your selections, press Sign Out.
  • You’ll have to touch another Sign Out to confirm your intention before the process is complete.
  • Reboot your device (instructions are here) and then sign in to iCloud again.
  • Open and sign in to your Apple Music app.

Switch Off Dolby Atmos

apple music app

Apple offers the Dolby Atmos feature to Apple Music subscribers. Its purpose is to make the sound appear as realistic as possible.

Unfortunately, it is one of the common reasons for Apple Music not playing downloaded songs.

So, turning it off often fixes the problem.

  • Navigate to Settings on your phone and tap Music.
  • Go to Audio and touch Dolby Atmos.
  • You’ll see options – Automatic, Always On, and Turn Dolby Atmos Off.
  • Choose the last option and check if the songs are playing.

Conclusion:

When Apple Music is not playing your downloaded songs it’s typically an error that occurs on iPhones after a recent update and is caused by errors relating to the Dolby Atmos feature of the app.

However, sometimes syncing issues with other settings can also cause this problem to crop up.

Fortunately, it isn’t all that difficult to fix this problem and at least one of the solutions we’ve provided should work for you.