I have seen this: Greyed out songs when trying to add from itunes to iphone? but though the issues are similar, I think my version has a different cause. Anyways, none of the answers there did work for me.

When I try to add an album to my iPhone, it does not synchronise the album. I think this is the case because:

  • When I click "Synchronise", it only takes a split second. This is strange, since the album is a little over 100 MB in size (according to iTunes itself).
  • The album does not appear on my iPhone
  • They do appear in iTunes->iPhone->On My iPhone, but greyed out, with a dotted circle to the left of the tracks.

What I did first was (as I have always done and never had problems with) just select the album from iTunes->iPhone->Music (with "Sync Music" and "Sync only selected items" checked), but this gave the result described above. I then tried to do it manually (after checking the "manage music and videos manually" option in the summary) but this gave the same result. I even tried another album, which doesn't work as well. Both albums come from CDs and do play normally in iTunes. (In fact, I'm listening to one right now.)

I do not mind deleting all songs from my iPhone, since restoring that wouldn't take long, even manually (it's just one album right now), but future visitors might benefit more from your answer if it didn't require that.

What I think to be the cause: I reinstalled the operating system on the computer with iTunes a while ago (see my previous questions for more info) and didn't want to restore from the Time Machine backup, since I had accumulated a lot of superfluous bytes, and the reinstallation seemed like a good opportunity to get rid of those. I restored my iTunes library by simply restoring only the ~/Music directory, which restored all my songs. But when I connected my iPhone to my computer it asked me if I trusted the iPhone (and the iPhone asked if I trusted the computer). I think my manual restoration of iTunes didn't include some files connected to managing devices with iTunes which causes this now.

5 Answers 5


There could be several reasons for this as far as I can tell, but my solution, after hours of research was rebuilding the iTunes library.

You might be able to check if this will actually work by addig some new music to your library and then trying to sync it to your device.

If becomes available (black instead of gray in the Music section), then this might work for you.

The steps for rebuilding your library are pretty simple, described here: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201561


  1. Close iTunes
  2. Go to your iTunes Music folder
  3. Move the itunes library xml to a different location (e.g. desktop)
  4. Delete the .itl file (the actual library information)
  5. Reopen iTunes and import the moved xml (Import Playlist)

Make sure the iPhone and iTunes are both signed in and Authorized (iTunes 11 > Store > Authorize this Computer). What happens if you just drag and drop the album to the iPhone listing inside iTunes?


reset the iPhone and re-import your music.

  • thats it, nothing more to it ?
    – Ruskes
    May 4, 2014 at 15:59
  • Thank you for your answer, but how do I reset? Shut down and turn on holding the home button?
    – 11684
    May 4, 2014 at 15:59
  • 2
    Hi and welcome to Ask Different! If you could expand on this answer, giving some direction for how to reset and iPhone specifically, you might have a correct answer here.
    – Ian C.
    May 4, 2014 at 16:54

It is possible that the iOS drivers required by your computer to correctly recognize the iPhone are misconfigured or that their installation is corrupt.

I'd suggest fully uninstalling iTunes and its components from the computer and re-installing it.

A computer restart after this procedure, and you should be fine.

Let us know how it goes.


I talked to Mac support because all the cd's I have put in my iTunes all of a sudden couldn't be played in my iPhone. they said that it's not possible anymore to add own cd in iPhone unless it is bought in iTunes Store. I WILL NEVER buy my music in iTunes Store period. I have bought the CD and as long as I do it for personal use I can't see the problem. He said that too many people are borrowing cd's from others and recording those so in Apples optic I am a criminal???? Normally one is innocent until proven guilty but not according to Apple. Companies like Apple are having way too much power and should be stripped from it or maybe we, the consumers should go back to PC to gain a certain level of freedom?

  • 1
    This isn't the experience I have. In fact, I've ripped 50 CD from storage using iTunes 12 on the Mac and they play beautifully on all my iOS devices. They even get upgraded to iTunes Match when the CD is well known.
    – bmike
    Oct 28, 2014 at 0:28
  • 2
    If an Apple employee really told you this then you need to make a complaint about them because it's completely untrue.
    – nekomatic
    Nov 27, 2014 at 12:51

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