Updated: February 5th, 2018

Why can’t I add music to my iPhone?!! [Best Forum Solutions]

Can’t add music to iPhone? – No problem! We analyzed 100s forum threads to bring you best solutions! 

  • Published
  • by Julia

Just why??!!

You probably have 1 question in mind “ Why can’t I add music to iPhone?”. Most likely, you are confused & frustrated because iTunes just won’t sync music to iPhone. The truth is – iTunes doesn’t always work as expected. And there can be many reasons that caused this. 

So before you smash your computer – make sure to try all the solutions below. These are “out-of-the-box” techniques that worked for many curious forum-based techies for years!

Sit back & relax – this quick guide will help you add music to iPhone with no issues.

Cheat sheet. What if you can’t add music to iPhone? 

  • Just don’t. Use an easy third-party solution instead. 
  • Go on iTunes and enable “Manually manage music”
  • Disable iCloud Music Library.
  • Disable iTunes Match.
  • Check if the music format is correct
  • Create a custom music playlist > click “Autofill” 
  • Revert to a previous iTunes version (after the update) 

Option. 1. Forget iTunes & try WALTR 2!

If iTunes doesn’t work…Why bother? Try something else! And there’s plenty fish to choose from. We suggest WALTR 2. The app helps you seamlessly drag and drop your music and play it. It’s an easy solution if you can’t add music to iPhone with iTunes.

WALTR 2 is a handy, nifty, breeze solution if you need to add music to any Apple device. The beauty of it – it’s exceptionally simple.

if you can't add music to iPhone, WALTR 2 is a perfect iTunes alternative

It doesn’t have any buttons or tabs – it’s a simple drop zone. Just push your file in it – it immediately will land onto your iPhone. Best of all, it supports all music & movie formats, M4r ringtones, PDF and ePub files. 

Say, you have a FLAC file – iTunes can’t add music to iPhone, because it’s not officially supported. Instead, you can just drag and drop your music file into WALTR 2 without any hassle. 

Step 1.Launch WALTR 2. 

WALTR 2 works on both – Mac and Windows. It comes with a free trial so you can try before you buy. Download for free below: 

Download WALTR 2 for FREE
Opens in a new tab

Install the app and launch it. Feeling Sceptical? Read WALTR 2 press reviews: MacWorld rated WALTR 2 with 4/5 stars. 

Step 2. Connect iPhone to your computer

At first, take your standard USB cable and simply plug in your computer. WALTR 2 will see it right away and all you have to do is to simply tap ‘Trust” on your device.  

Connect your iPhone & WALTR 2 will see it right away

Step 3. Finally, drag your music file into the drop zone. 

WALTR 2 supports all the music formats you can imagine. Besides standard MP3 or AAC, it works with ALAC, FLAC, WAV, AIFF and many many more. 

WALTR 2 is transferring music to iPod touch

That’s all there is to it. WALTR 2 automatically recognizes the type of files you are transferring and adds it to your iPhone. It will also show up in your music folder on your iPhone – with proper artwork and meta data.

WALTR 2 just added music to iPhone 

WALTR 2 has a smart file recognition technology built-in. If you transfer an ebook, a music file or a movie – they will all land in their proper Apple folders. But wait, there’s more.

In addition, WALTR 2 can add music to your iPhone via Wi-Fi. In fact, all you need to do is to click on a Settings button in WALTR 2 and check “Enable Wi-Fi Connectivity”. Next time you don’t even need to connect your iPhone to a computer. WALTR 2 will see the device immediately. 

All in all, the easiest solution is simply to eliminate iTunes out of the equation. WALTR 2 is a nice way to ditch iTunes once and for all. It also has a free trial in case you just want to try and see if it works for you.

6 ways to fix iTunes if it can’t add music to iPhone 

Good News! You also can try to fix iTunes error on your own. There are quick guidelines to follow right below. In fact, they helped thousands of Apple users, me included. So go ahead, try them and let me know how it worked out in the comments below!

#1. Go on iTunes and enable “Manually manage music” 

This is a golden rule #1. Make sure that you can add music to iPhone – manually.
 Launch iTunes, connect your iPhone. Then click on iPhone’s icon in the iTunes topbar. Navigate to ‘Options” and check “Manually manage music”. Finally, see if it worked by dropping your music right into iPhone’s tab!

check manually manage music and videos if you can't add music to iPhone

#2. Disable iCloud Music Library

Like it or not – but you can’t manually add music to iPhone if you have iCloud Music Library on. Make sure you disable it.

Open up Settings on your iPhone, select Music and tap on iCloud Music Library to turn it off. Done! 

The downside is that you won’t be able to listen to music from your iCloud Music Library. That’s just how Apple made this work. Bittersweet, if you ask me. 

#3 What audio format do you have?

Apple supports: WAV, AIFF, Apple Lossless, AAC, and MP3

In fact, there is no support for FLAC, OGG and other widely popular music formats.  It’s not coming anytime soon. That’s a dead end. You can’t add music to iPhone, if you have FLAC, APE, WMA files  – you won’t be able to even play them back. The only way-out is to really use third-party software. 

Check if you have an Apple-compatible audio format. You will either see it in the file’s extension, or if you right-click on the file and select “Get info”. 

Find out what music format you are using, if you can't add music to iPhone

#4 Turn off iTunes Match

iTunes Match lets you upload up to 100,000 songs from your Mac to iCloud. Later you can access them on any of your Apple devices. 

But you can’t add music to iPhone manually, if iTunes Match is on. In this case, you need to turn it  off. This is something that worked for many users according to the forums on the web. They complained that after then update, iTunes Match was switched on automatically. Try to turn it off and let us know if it worked in the comments. 

In fact, you can disable iTunes Match directly in iTunes:

  1. AT first, open up  iTunes app.
  2. Select Account from the menu bar. Then click “View My Account“.
  3. You’ll need to enter Apple ID password when prompted.
  4. Scroll down to the iTunes in the Cloud section.
  5. Finally, click on the button to turn off iTunes Match auto-renewal. 

#5 Create a custom playlist with music

Before writing this post, we checked out all the forum threads dedicated to iTunes sync. Seriously – literally all of them. This technique is something that worked for many frustrated, confused and angry Apple users. The idea is that you need to create a custom playlist with all the music you want to add and then sync it automatically. So here’s how you sync a custom playlist to your device if you can’t add music to iPhone manually:

  1. Create a playlist inside Apple music – add all songs that you want to transfer on your iPod. 
  2. Connect your iPhone & navigate to the device’s tab in iTunes. 
  3. Then select “Music” under ‘on this device” menu. 
  4. Choose your newly created playlist below ‘Autofill from” 
  5. Finally, click ‘Autofill”. 

create a custom playlist in iTunes and sync it

#6 Last resort – revert iTunes to the previous version (after update)

This is hard, long and painful. It has to be your last step. If you have a time machine and can travel back in time to tell yourself NOT to update – do it. Or follow the steps below (which is so much harder!)

  1. Launch iTunes. You might want to save your music library on your computer before you revert to iTunes’ previous version.  Click File > Library > Export library.
  2. Open up Terminal app on your Mac and type the following, hit ‘Return”
cd /Applications/

Next step is to remove iTunes. Make sure to type exactly the following: 

sudo rm -rf iTunes.app/

Double check if you wrote everything correctly. It has to point to iTunes.app. Only then hit return. You will then need to insert your password to confirm the removal. 

3. Afterwards, open Finder and locate user ~/Music/iTunes/ folder. There you will find the file named “iTunes Library.itl”. Move it to the desktop.

4. Go back to ~/Music/iTunes/ folder. Open ‘Previous iTunes libraries” folder and locate the iTunes Library file with the most recent date. (They all are labeled with the exact date, when you installed iTunes.) Make sure to copy that file.

5. Move that copy to ~/Music/iTunes/ folder. Next step is to rename the file to “iTunes Library.itl”

6. In fact, Apple stores installer files of previous iTunes versions. Your call is to find the iTunes version you want to revert to and download it

7. Finally, install iTunes version that you just downloaded. 

That’s it! Congratulations! You’ve been through a lot of trouble and it’s time for the reward. There’s a previous iTunes version on your computer now – so if you couldn’t add music to iPhone after the update – you probably can now!

Conclusion

iTunes, you are drunk. Go home. 

Sometimes you have to go through tons of hassle just to add music to iPhone. iTunes is so complex. In fact, you never know what really went wrong. The software has so many options and you are the one to do all the quesswork. 

On the good days iTunes behaves like a nice pal, but sometimes you just can’t add music to iPhone with this app. iTunes is now a media store – more than it ever was a music player. Its purpose is to sell –mainly. It’s not the dear music player that we are used to. 

Once again, iTunes is a very complex software. And probably Apple does a great job trying to fit such a huge functionality in just 1 app. But the user experience leaves much to be desired. 

Did it help or not? 

Hey, give us a heads up what worked for you! Was it a custom playlist? iCloud music library? WALTR? Let us know! 

If nothing helped you and you still can’t add music to iPhone – write in the comments and we’ll try to give you a hand. Let’s brainstorm this together. 

P.S. There’s a  jillion of people who also can’t add music to iPhone! So if you find this article helpful, please share it on social media! 🙂 

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