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MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Apple Music and iCloud Music Library sometimes face slight delays when syncing your music between devices like a Mac and iPhone, but since the launch of iOS 11.3 reports about these delays have grown much more frequent. On the MacRumors forums, in Apple's support communities, and throughout numerous Reddit posts, users have mentioned that when they add new music on their Mac or iPad, it no longer appears on their iPhone.

Some users have said that toggling iCloud Music Library on/off works to kickstart the sync and force a refresh of albums on their iPhone, but that has the potential to cause further problems like deleted music and the removal of some song downloads. Fortunately, one user on the Apple support communities website has shared a helpful temporary fix for the issue, which MacRumors has been able to successfully perform more than five times.

apple-music-sync-issue.jpg
Creating a new, blank playlist works to refresh your Apple Music library


To manually refresh your iPhone's music library, simply create a new, blank playlist by navigating to the Library tab in the iOS Music app, tap Playlists, tap New Playlist, and tap Done. Once the refresh is done, jump to the bottom of the Playlists page and 3D Touch to delete the empty playlist. Note that this will also update songs added and removed within playlists.
There is no fix for this, but there is a work around until Apple fixes this: just create a blank playlist on the iOS device. This forces a read/write with the library stored in iCloud, then all your changes will suddenly get pulled down. You have to do this every time, it's essentially a manual refresh now.
Unfortunately, the reverse method doesn't appear to work as consistently in iTunes on Mac, but desktop users also have another potential easy solution to refresh their library: simply rate a song by loving/disliking it. Afterwards, the Recently Added tab in iTunes should refresh with the addition or removal of content that you made on any other devices connected to the same iCloud account.

On both macOS and iOS, you can also add any other new song, album, or playlist to your library to manually refresh and force the content not syncing across devices to appear. Then, you can delete the new songs after everything else has been updated.

Multiple Apple Music subscribers have opened up support cases on the bug, and Apple support in most instances have said that it's not a known issue. However, support staff told one user that they will start an investigation after he "rebooted, changed password, signed out of iCloud, switched iCloud music library off," and more.

Article Link: Apple Music and iCloud Music Library Face Syncing Issues as Users Discover Temporary Fixes
 
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zooby

macrumors 6502a
Feb 2, 2008
908
324
Yep. Had this issue as well. It's annoying for sure.

A simpler fix than the one suggested that I do is simply add a random song. I'll go to "browse", add a song, then delete it (or keep it if I want it) but it forces the refresh.
 
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iTim314

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2005
329
3
U.S.
I've basically stopped listening to music on my phone because of this.

Nice to see my discovery is making its rounds, though.
 
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mcfly88

macrumors 6502
Nov 3, 2012
395
239
This has been driving me crazy since yesterday! I tried everything to fix this and nothing helped.. so I'm glad to see it's not just on my end. I even tried installing 11.4 to see if that would help, but the issue is even in this build.
 
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TallGuyGT

macrumors 6502
Aug 8, 2011
314
509
NYC
This has been an off an on issue for me since last fall. Thought I had everything working, then did a clean install of iOS 11.3 since it had been such an improvement in the betas. Now sync doesn’t work anymore. Again. :mad:
 
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Will.O.Bie

macrumors 6502
Aug 29, 2016
443
1,148
This is the primary reason I was reluctant to install the new update. I depend heavily on Apple Music at work, and learning from my mistake installing iOS 10 initially, I refrained from jumping the gun and installing this update. I feel for those that are experiencing this bug but am glad I waited.
 
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archvile

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2007
463
597
This synchronisation across all Apple devices works flawlessly for me. Always has, always will.

Mine did too, for the longest time. Then all of a sudden I noticed that my latest couple albums I added via iTunes on the Mac didn't show up on my phone. Then I got to looking into it and sure enough, I could add or remove albums on the Mac and it wouldn't do squat on the phone. However, I could add something off the phone and *poof* there it was on the Mac.

Worked flawlessly before that. No idea what caused it to break, as nothing was changed, and I only have the 1 Apple ID/e-mail account on my devices.
[doublepost=1522860990][/doublepost]
This is the primary reason I was reluctant to install the new update. I depend heavily on Apple Music at work, and learning from my mistake installing iOS 10 initially, I refrained from jumping the gun and installing this update. I feel for those that are experiencing this bug but am glad I waited.

This started well before 11.3. I think it was around 11.0.X or 11.1 that issues started for me.
 
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Spaceboy88

macrumors regular
Apr 2, 2005
134
210
New York, NY
This was a big on and off problem for me too in iOS 10 but iOS 11 finally fixed it for me, until 11.3. I even tried a erase and restore and it did nothing. In fact, it wouldn't even bring back my iCloud Music Library on the restored device until I created a blank playlist and then turned it on.
 
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zorinlynx

macrumors 604
May 31, 2007
6,521
10,730
Florida, USA
I've noticed this issue within days of giving iTunes Match another try. I guess I didn't learn my lesson the first time and wasted my money. If this crap isn't fixed soon I'm just going to back to syncing my songs manually again.
 
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PFox78

macrumors member
Jan 2, 2013
82
42
This is the primary reason I was reluctant to install the new update. I depend heavily on Apple Music at work, and learning from my mistake installing iOS 10 initially, I refrained from jumping the gun and installing this update. I feel for those that are experiencing this bug but am glad I waited.

Can you confirm that everything is working OK on iOS 11.2.6? Just wondering if this is related to 11.3 or the back end somehow.
 
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zorinlynx

macrumors 604
May 31, 2007
6,521
10,730
Florida, USA
Can you confirm that everything is working OK on iOS 11.2.6? Just wondering if this is related to 11.3 or the back end somehow.

I was having problems on 11.2.6 before I updated to 11.3 so I don't think it's an 11.3 problem.
[doublepost=1522862897][/doublepost]
Here's what my temporary fix looks like ;)

View attachment 756956

Sometimes I miss those days. The iPod, and first few versions of iOS, had such a great, simple, straightforward interface for dealing with music.

It started going downhill in iOS 7 and has gotten steadily worse since then.

I still wonder why.
 
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Will.O.Bie

macrumors 6502
Aug 29, 2016
443
1,148
Can you confirm that everything is working OK on iOS 11.2.6? Just wondering if this is related to 11.3 or the back end somehow.
Yes I can. I've had no problems syncing my music across all my devices. Sometimes it doesn't sync well with iTunes over WiFi to back up but that's been an issue for me for a while now, I just plug it into my Mac and off it goes.
 
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jonnyb098

macrumors 68040
Nov 16, 2010
3,266
3,138
Michigan
I was having problems on 11.2.6 before I updated to 11.3 so I don't think it's an 11.3 problem.
[doublepost=1522862897][/doublepost]

Sometimes I miss those days. The iPod, and first few versions of iOS, had such a great, simple, straightforward interface for dealing with music.

It started going downhill in iOS 7 and has gotten steadily worse since then.

I still wonder why.
I wouldn’t say it’s gone downhill so much as gotten more complicated. I love Apple Music but I can see some people’s frustrations. It’s very hard to have a streaming service be ALL THINGS to ALL PEOPLE. Spotify is great but certain things Apple Music does better and vice versa.
 
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harriska2

macrumors 65816
Mar 16, 2011
1,456
711
Oregon
11.3 seems to have more than just icloud music syncing. For the first time ever I’m having icloud calendar reminding problems.
 
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VulchR

macrumors 68020
Jun 8, 2009
2,404
11,988
Scotland
I haven't been able to successfully back-up and synchronise my iPhone in over a year. Syncing and backing up should be simple and reliable, but iTunes is cr*p. Good thing that Apple spent all that money to get Beats. :rolleyes:
 
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hagar

macrumors 65816
Jan 19, 2008
1,031
2,116
I've basically stopped listening to music on my phone because of this.

Nice to see my discovery is making its rounds, though.

Not sure why it would be your discovery. But we can call it the iTim bug if you like that.
 
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GrumpyMom

macrumors G3
Sep 11, 2014
9,509
13,646
I wouldn’t say it’s gone downhill so much as gotten more complicated. I love Apple Music but I can see some people’s frustrations. It’s very hard to have a streaming service be ALL THINGS to ALL PEOPLE. Spotify is great but certain things Apple Music does better and vice versa.
Yeah I use Spotify and Google Play Music and Apple Music. We have family accounts on all three to support various devices and family member preferences. They’re all a little quirky and awkward in places. I stick to strictly streaming and don’t attempt to use my old iTunes music libraries from before streaming services days so that saves me some of the grief everyone else deals with.
 
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zorinlynx

macrumors 604
May 31, 2007
6,521
10,730
Florida, USA
Yeah I use Spotify and Google Play Music and Apple Music. We have family accounts on all three to support various devices and family member preferences. They’re all a little quirky and awkward in places. I stick to strictly streaming and don’t attempt to use my old iTunes music libraries from before streaming services days so that saves me some of the grief everyone else deals with.

It's not easy to let go of my library. My library goes all the way back to 1996 and I've been carefully adding the songs I love to it ever since.

It's my music collection, much like someone would have an art collection or a physical CD or vinyl collection. It means a lot to me, and I don't want to have to leave it behind.

Apple's music playing software worked amazingly well until iOS 7. They're the ones who broke it!
 
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GrumpyMom

macrumors G3
Sep 11, 2014
9,509
13,646
It's not easy to let go of my library. My library goes all the way back to 1996 and I've been carefully adding the songs I love to it ever since.

It's my music collection, much like someone would have an art collection or a physical CD or vinyl collection. It means a lot to me, and I don't want to have to leave it behind.

Apple's music playing software worked amazingly well until iOS 7. They're the ones who broke it!
Oh I don't disagree. My husband has a gorgeous digital music library that he took great pains to compile with cover art and other features. He hasn't mentioned it in a long time so I don't know if it got messed up and he gave up on it. I know only that now he uses the services the same way I do with small playlists he compiles for different purposes.
 
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