I have a MacBook Air running macOS Mojave and an iPhone 6 running iOS 12.

I have MP3 files from a friend that I put on to my PC using a USB drive. They play fine in iTunes. However, they do not show up in my Apple Music on my iPhone.

I'm guessing this is because I did not purchase them from the iTunes Store, but I'm not sure why.

How do I get the MP3 file from iTunes on my Mac to Apple Music app on my iPhone?

  • Is iTunes logged into your Apple account? Check the "Account" menu in iTunes.
    – user101978
    Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 18:11
  • I just logged in. Now what? ... Do I need to login Apple Music in some way?
    – Sun - FE
    Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 18:13
  • I'll take that as a no. Details in an answer shortly. :)
    – user101978
    Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 18:19
  • Do you have a subscription to Apple Music, or do you just mean the Music app on your iPhone?
    – nekomatic
    Commented Jun 25, 2019 at 13:19

2 Answers 2


duskwuff's answer is correct if you have a subscription to the Apple Music or iTunes Match services. An Apple Music subscription gives you access to the entire Apple Music catalogue from any device signed in to your account; iTunes Match only lets you download a copy of the music you've imported into iTunes on your computer.

If you don't subscribe to either service, you should be able to sync MP3 files from the Mac to the iPhone by connecting via USB. Be aware this may remove music that's already on the iPhone, but you'll see a warning first, and if you had bought that music from the iTunes Store you'll be able to redownload it.


Make sure that both devices are logged into your Apple ID. This is mostly automatic on the iPhone, but you may need to log into iTunes on the Mac, using the "Account" menu.

Once you have logged into iTunes, Apple Music will start scanning the music in your iTunes library. Any songs which are available in Apple Music will be added to your iCloud library, and most other songs will be uploaded so that you can play them on any device.

This process may take some time, especially if you are on a slow network connection. You can check the progress by clicking the button with the spinning circle icon in the upper right corner of the iTunes window. (The button will disappear once the process is complete -- if all you see is a search box, it's done.)

  • I opened up Apple Music on my iPhone and clicked on the Library tab and see nothing still.
    – Sun - FE
    Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 18:42
  • I just opened up my AppleID on my iPhone and clicked on Automatic Downloads for the Music "switch". Was the necessary too?
    – Sun - FE
    Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 18:45
  • All the language makes it sound like the two apps only work with purchased music ... "Automatically download new purchases (including free) made on other devices"
    – Sun - FE
    Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 18:46
  • This is under iPhone -> Settings -> [My User] -> ITunes and App Store -> Automatic Downloads -> Music
    – Sun - FE
    Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 18:47
  • There is also a Music tab under Settings, iPhone -> Settings -> Music were I verified the correct Apple ID. Still no go.
    – Sun - FE
    Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 18:49

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