When I go into the Music app on my iPhone 6, many of the songs in my library are grayed out. When I tap on them, it gives an error saying

Item Not Available
This item can't be played.

How can I get my songs sync fully onto my iPhone?

Here's what I know:

  • All of the songs on my iPhone are coming from my computer's iTunes library. I don't have an Apple Music subscription.

  • The playlists I've chosen to sync do show up on my iPhone, with the proper songs, but many of the songs give the error above, throughout the whole library.

  • If I go, in my iPhone, into Settings / Music / Downloaded Music, I see a list of some of the songs that should sync - the ones that actually play and that aren't grayed out.

  • I just checked the TV app on my iPhone also - some of the movies that had synced before also aren't syncing now, while some do sync and play normally on my iPhone.

I've tried:

  • converting some of the grayed out songs to AAC, then syncing. It didn't seem to change anything.

  • unchecking "Sync Music" in iTunes for my iPhone, syncing, then checking it again and syncing. Some playlists that had grayed out songs were removed completely from my iPhone and also from iTunes. The songs in iTunes still existed in the library.

iPhone 6, iOS 10.3.2

iTunes 12.6.1

Windows 10 Pro

  • I ran into something similar on a smaller scale recently. Do any of the songs have a little circled lowercase "i" next to them in iTunes? That means that iTunes likely has lost the physical location on disk where the song is. You may have to tell iTunes where those songs are. Jun 13 '17 at 13:17
  • That's not the case here. I know what you're talking about, but the files are playable, and don't send up that "Where is this file?" error.
    – code-love
    Jun 14 '17 at 13:22

Had the exact same issue - no Apple Music, all files playable on iTunes.

Here's how I fixed it on my end -

  1. Delete all songs from iPhone (from Settings - as of iOS 11, that's Settings/iPhone Storage/Music/All Songs)
  2. Re-synch to iTunes
    • Might need to restart your phone several times, because when re-synching, iTunes can have a hard time identifying that music is no longer on the phone (the greyed-out songs still showed up on my music list).

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