iTunes is key for downloading, listening and backing up music on any Apple device. But what does it mean when iTunes songs are greyed out with a dotted circle?

Launched back in the late ’90s, iTunes has become the most well-known program for storing music. Whilst for some, it can be a confusing system to use, it is certainly a great piece of software for managing your tunes.

iTunes uses symbols to indicate the status of your music, whether it be stored in the cloud, downloaded from Apple Music, or ready to listen now – the key to understand iTunes is through the symbols.

But many users report their songs on iTunes being greyed out with a dotted circle.

If you’ve ever encountered this on your iTunes, we’re going to tell you what it means and how you can get your music playing again.

What Does it Mean When iTunes Songs are Greyed Out with Dotted Circle?

phone playing itunes music
Photo by Igor Miske on Unsplash

If your songs on iTunes are greyed out with a dotted circle next to it, then there are three possible causes.

First, it could mean that the song was unable to sync to your device. This could be because the sync was interrupted, or iTunes was closed down before the sync could complete.

Secondly, it could be because you have ‘Manually Manage Music and Videos’ switched off in your settings.

Thirdly, you may be seeing the dotted grey circle because you may not have enough storage on your device.

Regardless of which of these issues is causing your music to be greyed out on iTunes, they are all easily fixed.

Read on to find out how.

How to Fix iTunes Dotted Circle and Music Greyed Out

If your songs are greyed out with a dotted circle due to a synchronisation error, you can fix this easily.

First, delete the song from your iTunes library and then drag it back in again from the file on your PC or Mac. Next, try syncing your device again.

Is the song still greyed out?

Next, check ‘Manually Manage Music and Videos’ is switched on in your settings.

To do this, open ‘Settings’ in iTunes and make sure the box next to this option is ticked. Save your settings and retry syncing your device again.

If your iTunes songs are still greyed out with a dotted circle, check how much storage you have left on your device. If you’re running low on space, clear some files and sync your device again.

iTunes Dotted Cloud Fix

Another common symbol found on iTunes is the dotted cloud.

This symbol means that the song is in the process of being matched on iTunes. You will only see this symbol being used in iTunes if you are also subscribed to iTunes Match.

To fix this issue, go to ‘File’ and select ‘Update iCloud Music Library’.

Once you become familiar with the iTunes symbols, they are actually extremely helpful. They allow you to see the status of your songs and their availability to listen or download.

About the Author

Spark Wit

Over 10 years of experience working as a technical support engineer. Highly skilled in fixing any technical issue, including app configuration and account setup, gaming errors, television problems, and any other electronics-related issue.

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