Is it possible for me to keep iCloud Music Library turned on so I can actually use Apple Music (save tracks and playlists to the My Music playlist) while also maintaining the ability to sync any music I acquire the old-fashioned way (downloads, CDs, etc) and add to my iTunes library?

It's so damn annoying to have to turn on and off iCloud Music Library just to be able to sync music to my phone while using Apple Music.

  • I've looked and looked and can't find anyone saying it's possible, but putting up a bounty in a fit of blind optimism!
    – miken32
    Aug 11, 2015 at 1:54
  • 1
    I've waited months for this problem to be solved.. But I'm just getting tired.. Thinking to cancel Apple Music service.. Dec 3, 2015 at 16:26
  • 2
    @FidelEduardoLópez i have had a ticket open with Apple for over a month. Last week I opened another one. No one at Apple even seems to be able to confirm if you should be able to do this or not. Isn't this Syncing 101?
    – Julien
    Dec 20, 2015 at 21:41
  • support.apple.com/en-us/HT204925 here is the Apple post that implies it is possible.
    – Julien
    Dec 20, 2015 at 21:42
  • 1
    Apple Music seemed great till I realised this issue meant I couldn't add any music bought elsewhere, in the end after research decided I had to cancel Apple Music entirely. Odd behaviour from apple, send like a perfect way to sabotage apple music as a product.
    – Colin Jack
    Apr 30, 2016 at 18:45

3 Answers 3


Ok, I think there is a way to do this, but it is not my preferred method.

When you have iCloud Music Library turned on for your iPhone or iOS device, you will also need to make sure it is turned on for your iTunes library on the desktop. When you do so Apple automatically uploads your iTunes library to iCloud. Then, your iTunes library shows up on your iOS device. If you want to save those tracks locally, you must choose to do so within Apple Music on the device itself.

Basically, Apple has done away with the idea of syncing your music locally through a USB cable, you must do it over the air via your data connection or WiFi. Kind of stupid that it has to go through Apple's iCloud servers first and then back to your device...

  • This doesn't address the issue though. When you enable iCloud music library, you can't manage what gets synced, which is the point of the question. The only benefit of iCloud music library that I and OP want is to be able to save music from Apple Music to a device.
    – miken32
    Aug 18, 2015 at 1:19
  • Heh, I am OP. I agree that this isn't quite the solution that we were looking for. I don't see any other way of doing it. Unless Apple revises how users can sync their library to their devices (which I strongly doubt they will, because they're Apple and they know best). You will see your entire library on your device (in the 'cloud') and you can choose what to save locally... I believe you can show only saved items on your device as well if that helps.
    – Fam
    Aug 18, 2015 at 14:59
  • Haha I didn't even notice.
    – miken32
    Aug 18, 2015 at 15:01
  • Thanks!!! I switched computers and for months haven't known why my phone wasn't getting updated. So frustrating.
    – lmyers
    Jul 23, 2016 at 13:47

I agree, this is a huge pain to manage and it has been bugging me ever since I turned it on.

That being said, I just tried this and it worked:

  • Turn off iCloud Music Library on your iOS Device
  • Plug into your computer and sync playlists
  • Turn on iCloud Music Library on your iOS Device

It will not delete the playlists that are already there; they will be merged with your iCloud Playlists.

  • 1
    This is only a temporary solution. Once you try to sync over the USB cable again with iCloud Music Library turned on, you will not be allowed to do so.
    – Fam
    Sep 29, 2015 at 15:00
  • 1
    This does work, but the actual contents of your playlists no longer sync across your devices. all this gives is you a one time clone of your iTunes playlists.
    – Julien
    Nov 15, 2015 at 23:39
  • I can't answer over here coz I'm new to this community, but this worked for me. Sign out from your iTunes and you'll find the option to sync music and videos. Then go to your music section and select sync entire music library and BOOM!! it will work. Jan 6, 2018 at 7:02

Have you tried this? (Inside red square)

enter image description here

You can group your music inside a playlist and only select that playlist to sync from the Playlist on bottom.

I have not tried it yet because I have that Apple Music iCloud Library problem and can't save music offline.

Let me know if that helped you!

  • 5
    The problem is, when iCloud music library is enabled, you get none of that when you click on music. You get a blank screen saying "iCloud music library is on." Nothing else!
    – miken32
    Aug 11, 2015 at 14:51
  • I have mentioned that I am not able to test this. Down vote was not necessary. Hope you find someone that can help you ;)
    – Silviu St
    Aug 11, 2015 at 14:57
  • Downvote was not necessary? You're just putting misinformation here. This answer should be downvoted.
    – Neel
    Apr 13, 2016 at 7:52
  • Thanks for sticking onto my answer. You can simply downvote it ;)
    – Silviu St
    Apr 13, 2016 at 7:59

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