How to troubleshoot iTunes Match

If you're having trouble with iTunes Match, try the methods below to resolve your issue.

Issues:

Before trying any of the steps below, make sure that you meet the iTunes Match minimum requirements:

  • iTunes 10.5.1 or later.
  • Mac: Mac OS X v10.6.8 or later.
  • Windows: Windows Vista or later.
  • iOS devices: iOS 5.0.1 or later.

Can't download, play, or access songs

  1. Make sure you have an active Internet connection. Check this by opening Safari or another Web browser and loading a website.

If you're using  an iOS device and aren't on a Wi-Fi network, turn on 3G cellular data for iTunes Match. Fees might be associated with downloading over cellular networks; contact your wireless carrier for details. Learn how to understand cellular data settings and usage. To turn on cellular data:

  • iOS 6: Tap Settings > iTunes & App Stores > Use Cellular Data > On
  • iOS 5.1.1 or earlier: Tap Settings > iTunes & App Store > Use Cellular Data > On
  1. Make sure that your iTunes viewing options are properly set. To do so:
  • Open iTunes. Make sure that you're in the My Music window. If you're not, click on the Music icon in the upper-left corner, then click on My Music in the top-middle of the screen.
  • In the pop-up menu in the upper-right corner of the screen, select Songs.
  • In the same menu, click Show Columns.
  • Make sure that there is a check next to iCloud Download. If there's not, click on iCloud Download.
    A download button will then be visible next to songs available for download from iCloud.
  1. Make sure iTunes Match is turned on.
    See How to add a computer or iOS device to iTunes Match for information about how to turn on or add a computer or device to iTunes Match.

If iTunes Match is already enabled on your computer or device, try turning iTunes Match off and then on again.

  • Mac: While holding down the option key, choose Store > Turn Off iTunes Match.
    Turn iTunes Match on by selecting Store > Turn On iTunes Match.
  • Windows: While holding down the shift key, choose Store > Turn Off iTunes Match.
    Turn iTunes Match on by selecting Store > Turn On iTunes Match.
  • iOS devices: Tap Settings > Music > iTunes Match Off,
    Turn iTunes Match on by tapping Settings > Music > iTunes Match On.

Songs appear to be missing

Songs containing DRM (Digital Rights Management) might not appear in iCloud, or might appear grayed out. This can occur if your computer is not authorized to play that content. Try authorizing your computer, then manually update iTunes Match. To determine what Apple ID your computer needs to be authorized for to play a specific song:

  1. Locate and select the song in your iTunes library.
  2. Choose File > Get Info.
  3. In the Summary tab, locate the Account Name field in the right column. Write it down. 
  4. Click OK.
  5. Choose Store > Authorize this Computer.
  6. Type in the account name from the Summary field and enter its password. Click Authorize.
  7. Choose Store > Update iTunes Match.

Check iCloud Status

iCloud status will help you to determine whether a song was purchased from the iTunes Store, matched, uploaded, or is ineligible for upload. Items might not be eligible for upload if:

  • Your computer is not authorized for playback for that item.
  • The music video was not purchased from the iTunes Store or was purchased using a different Apple ID. 

To see the iCloud status of your songs:

  1. Open iTunes. Make sure that you're in the My Music window. If you're not, click on the Music icon in the upper-left corner, then click on My Music in the top-middle of the screen.
  2. In the pop-up menu in the upper-right corner of the screen, select Songs.
  3. In the same menu, click Show Columns.
  4. Make sure that there is a check next to iCloud Status. If there's not, click on iCloud Status.
    A status button will then be visible next to songs.

If a song contains DRM and is no longer available on the iTunes Store for purchase, the song is uploaded to iCloud and made available for download in protected DRM format. You will be required to authorize your computer or device for playback.

A song will not be uploaded to iCloud if the song contains DRM, was purchased using a different Apple ID, and could not be matched.

When you subscribe to or enable iTunes Match, your iOS device or computer will be associated to the Apple ID being used for iTunes Match. Learn more about associating a device or computer to an Apple ID.

Songs or albums are missing artwork

If some songs or albums downloaded to an iOS device from your iCloud library are missing album artwork:

  1. Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes. You can download the latest version for free.
  2. Launch iTunes on your computer.
  3. From the iTunes menu, choose Advanced > Get Album Artwork.
  4. Once iTunes has completed processing the album artwork, you'll need to update iTunes Match. 
  5. From the iTunes menu, choose Store > Update iTunes Match.
  6. Once iTunes Match has finished updating, launch the Music app on your iOS device.
  7. Locate the songs that are missing artwork, and delete them from your device by swiping left over a song.
  8. After you've deleted the song, download the item again from your iCloud library by tapping on the download icon. 

Playlists are duplicated

Try the following steps if you are seeing duplicated playlists on your iOS device:

  1. Make sure your iOS device is running the latest iOS software. Learn more about updating your iOS device.
  2. Delete any duplicated playlists in iTunes. To delete a playlist:
    1. Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes. You can download the latest version for free.
    2. Launch iTunes on your computer.
    3. From the Source List in the left-hand column of iTunes, locate the playlist you would like to delete.
    4. Right-click or Control-click on the playlist title. Choose Delete. 
    5. Launch the Music app on your iOS device to update iTunes Match on your device. Depending on your device's Internet connection, it may take a few minutes for the changes to be reflected.

Learn more

  • Songs encoded as MP3 or AAC that have been matched to the iTunes Store will be made available for download as 256 kbps as AAC from iCloud. 
  • Songs encoded as MP3 or AAC that cannot be matched to the iTunes Store will be uploaded as is. These songs will be made available for download in the same format it was uploaded in.
  • Songs encoded as MP3 or AAC that do not meet certain quality criteria will not be matched or uploaded to iCloud.
  • Songs encoded as ALAC, WAV, or AIFF, will be transcoded in iTunes to 256 kbps AAC when uploaded to iCloud.
  • Song files over 200 MB will not be uploaded to iCloud.
  • Matched songs in your local library will not automatically be transcoded to 256 kbps AAC. To obtain a higher quality transcoding, download the matched songs from iCloud.

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Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
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