I replaced my iPhone 4 today and used iTunes to restore all of my settings, contacts, calendars and apps. Everything but my music was restored- including my purchased items. I have tried the iTunes Store on iTunes and on my iPhone and I feel like I'm missing something- is there another step that I should be taking when restoring to retrieve my music?


5 Answers 5


It appears there are multiple ways. The first, is outlined by Apple here.

Automatic Downloads and downloading previous purchases are not compatible with iPhone 4 (CDMA Model). Automatic Downloads and downloading past purchased music and TV Shows is supported only in the US and is not compatible with iPhone 4 (CDMA Model). Previous purchases may be unavailable if they are no longer on the iTunes Store. Downloading past purchased TV Shows requires iTunes 10.4 or later.

It details the following methods:

  1. Open the iTunes Store on your device.

  2. Make sure you are signed in with the same account used for the original purchase.

  3. Tap Purchased from the bottom navigation bar.

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  1. From the Purchased tab, tap the artist name for the content you intend to download again.

  2. Once you've located the music you are looking for, tap the download button.

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Note: To download all songs from a purchased album, tap on the Album's toggle button to switch to Album view.

Once you redownload the music to your phone, they will transfer to your iTunes library when you sync the device.

And an alternate method using the new iCloud service can be found here (it's of note that when I tested this method, I could redownload books and apps but not music; your experience may, however, differ).

  • 1
    Note, that service is only available in the US. If you try it from another country, it will charge you for the album again. Oct 2, 2011 at 22:33

If you have back up your music, you can restore from the backup.

To restore information from a backup, use one of the following methods after connecting your iOS device to the computer with which you normally sync:

  1. Right-click (or Control-click) the device and choose Restore from Backup
  2. If you have a new phone, you can connect to iTunes and it will prompt to restore from your backup

Solution from Apple.com: ht1766


Try enabling "manually manage music", and then dragging the music you want onto your iPhone from iTunes.

  • Thanks Paul, that worked for the music already on my computer- but I am still missing the music I purchased from the iTunes app on the iPhone itself- I did not transfer those purchases over to my computer at any point
    – Jginger
    Aug 2, 2011 at 20:36
  • Those may be lost. Sorry! I think you can re-download them on iTunes thanks to the iCloud goodness in place, that's my only suggestion. Aug 2, 2011 at 20:38

If you're outside of the U.S. you'll be missing out on the iCloud previous purchases fun at the moment, it is coming but no one knows when.

However, if you get in touch with Apple through iTunes support they can restore your purchases so they're redownloadable, it's accepted that they'll do it once for you and never again but that's probably your best option.


If you don't have a backup, the following user tip is worth checking through:

Recovering your iTunes library from your iPod or iOS device

  • While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes.
    – grg
    Oct 9, 2013 at 5:35

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