Is it possible to prevent U2's "Songs of Innocence" from being downloaded to iPod during iOS update? No matter how many times I delete the album it always reappears when iOS is updated. This occurs at least on an iPod 6, iOS 12.x.

Sure, I can always delete it. But, really, why must it be considered part of the OS?

Edit: I suspect I have not been sufficiently explicit on the use of this iPod. So here goes:

I acquired it 3 years ago. At that time it received its initial population of music via iTunes, an iTunes that did not have a copy of the U2 album "Songs of Innocence".

Since then the iPod has sat in a custom cradle, with two connections to the universe. One is a splitter that provides DC power input and allows audio output to my sound system. The other connection is wireless, which periodically collects iOS updates. The iPod has not been connected to iTunes or any other source of music in the past three years.

So as far as I can tell, the only explanation of the return of the U2 album is that it is included in iOS 12. I delete the album after every update. If there was a fix that removed the album from the operating system, that fix has failed. This tale has nothing to do with what happens on iPhones or in iTunes. So my apologies if you construe this tale otherwise. I just find the issue to be slightly annoying, that's all.

  • 1
    Apple released a 'deleter' a couple of weeks after they gave the album for free… but it's long gone now - apple.stackexchange.com/questions/204331/…
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jun 25, 2021 at 17:20
  • Does this answer your question? 100% Delete U2 from iPhone?
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Jun 25, 2021 at 17:21
  • Both links are to the same answer, but the answer describes removing the album from iTunes. How is iTunes involved in the periodic iOS updates to an iPod (or iPhone)? The impression I have is that the album is considered integral to the operating system, which I find to be ludicrous.
    – geoB
    Commented Jun 25, 2021 at 17:45
  • tbh, you're complaining about something that was "fixed" so long ago no-one really remembers, & on an iOS no-one else has seen in ages, & the solution to which has died of old age.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jun 25, 2021 at 17:51
  • Damn .. I didn't even realize that had happened. Now I'm really $%&^$ annoyed because iOS has already pushed a lot of my local music into teh cloud, and yet here I have something I don't want. @Tetsujin It's in my phone iOS 14.6 No idea when it appeared.
    – Peter M
    Commented Jun 25, 2021 at 18:45

1 Answer 1


The pod and software are designed to download everything that is in your account when you choose the default settings. The fastest way to solve this would be to remove that “purchase” and work with Apple support to relay your irritation and or confirm you’ve managed your account in the way you wish to minimize your frustration.

The mechanism to get the update also can provide internet access to iOS devices so you will get updates to apps and other content like books needed for the apps to function. I’ve not seen any good way to block this, but I’m sure someone has reverse engineered everything and might step up with a more detailed process.

This is entwines with security checks to be sure the download wasn’t tapered with and certificates are properly signed and also designed to minimize the chance an install would break existing apps from what I’ve gleaned from Apple feedback during beta periods and just using it for a few years.

  • I've stumbled into a chat session at Apple that claims to have removed the album from my account. Unfortunately I won't be able to confirm until the next update. I shall remain hopeful.
    – geoB
    Commented Jun 25, 2021 at 20:59
  • For sure @geoB we all are not so innocent after using the app stores for decades. We don’t really own what we think we do like the days of physical books and physical music. There is some bad with the good of easier access to content brokered by corporations.
    – bmike
    Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 14:45

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