Apple Music Only Playing Clean Songs? (8 Reasons)

Apple Music is a music streaming service that enables listening to both clean and explicit versions of songs.

If you are finding that your music content is being restricted and you can only listen to the clean versions, then take a look at the reasons why this may be happening below.

Just follow the troubleshooting tips in this article and you’ll be listening to the explicit, or original, versions in no time.

Happy hipster with headphones listening to music

1. You may have Accidentally Downloaded the Clean Version

On Apple Music, both clean and explicit versions of songs are available and, therefore, mixing them up is easily done. The most obvious solution is to double-check that you have, in fact, downloaded the explicit version.

Explicit songs can be identified by a small black or red ‘E’ label, located next to the song title.

If there is no explicit label, then you may have mistakenly downloaded the clean version of the song instead of the original.

All you have to do to listen to the explicit version is download it, but be sure to first delete the clean version. If you have them both in your library, Apple Music will play them both.

Remember, downloading a song again on Apple Music will use cellular data unless you are connected to Wi-Fi.

2. Your Apple Music Censoring is Activated

Apple Music has a great feature that enables users to restrict the content so that no explicit songs or content is played to those that are underage.

Using this function, parents can therefore monitor how much cursing or inappropriate language their family has access to.

Moreover, there are some Apple Music users who would rather listen to clean versions of the music out of personal preference and are sensitive to certain words and phrases.

However, if you are a user who prefers to listen to tracks as they were originally intended to be heard, irrespective of explicit content, then you have every right to.

Despite this, some users find that they cannot hear the explicit versions of tracks because the Apple Music restrictions mentioned above have been put in place. 

To disable the content restrictions and play explicit content on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, follow these simple steps:

  1. Start by opening Apple Music on your iOS device.
  2. Navigate to ‘Settings’
  3. Tap on ‘Screen Time’
  4. Next, toggle off ‘Content & Privacy Restrictions’

Now the restrictions on content have been deactivated, you will be able to listen to any and all explicit material.

To turn off your explicit content restrictions on your Mac, follow these steps instead:

  1. Launch Apple Music.
  2. Click on ‘Music’ located at the top of your screen.
  3. Next, click ‘Preferences’
  4. A pop-up window will appear. Click ‘Restrictions’
  5. Under the restrictions section, untick ‘Music with explicit content’

Now you will be able to listen to any content with explicit lyrics.

Another helpful tip – from the restrictions menu, you can also choose to prevent any further changes by clicking the ‘Padlock’

Keep in mind that, at times, Apple Music may block songs. You can read our article all about why Apple Music blocks songs

3. Your Library has been Replaced with Clean Versions

This reason connects with the previous one, and, once again, it is to do with your explicit content restriction settings.

Annoyingly, if you play around with Apple Music’s content restrictions, then all the explicit music in your library will be swapped out for the clean versions.

For example, a parent may switch the restrictions on and off depending on whether they are listening or whether their child is listening. When the Parent switches the restrictions off, Apple Music will still have, and keep, the clean versions of songs in their library.

This has been frustrating Apple Music users for a while and, hopefully, Apple fixes this glitch in the near future. Yet, for now, it’s just worth remembering you will have to redownload your explicit music if you turn restrictions on and off.

4. You Need to Turn Off Dolby Atmos

This is a surprising fix that some users have used to stop Apple Music from only playing clean songs. Turning off the Dolby Atmos settings for them has, in fact, enabled explicit content in their music library.

However, Dolby Atmos in Apple Music should only, as TechBullion explains, provide

“(…) the highest quality sound the device could support, ensuring that your music invariably sounds better whether listened to through headphones or speakers.” [Source:]

It shouldn’t necessarily have anything to do with your explicit restrictions on Apple Music, but for some, turning it off seems to have worked.

To turn Dolby Atmos off, follow these steps:

  1. Open Apple Music.
  2. Navigate to ‘Settings’ and tap ‘Music’
  3. Next, beneath Audio, tap Dolby Atmos.
  4. You can change the settings between ‘Always on’, ‘Automatic’, and ‘Off’

5. You Need to Delete & Re-download the Song

If you find Apple Music is only playing the clean version of a specific song, it may be due to a fault in the download.

Music files can sometimes, but not often, become corrupted when you download them, which causes playback issues and glitches.

Here’s how to delete music from your iOS or Android device:

  1. Begin by opening the Apple Music app.
  2. Navigate to your ‘Library’
  3. Tap on ‘Downloaded’ so that you can see your downloaded songs.
  4. Search for the song you wish to delete.
  5. Next, press and hold on to the song until a pop-up appears.
  6. Tap ‘Remove’
  7. Finally, select ‘Remove from Device’

Now hopefully, when you re-download the explicit song from Apple Music to your library, you will find that it is no longer the clean version.

6. You Need to Delete and Redownload Apple Music App

If none of the troubleshooting tips above have worked, and your Apple Music app is still only playing clean songs, then it may be worth uninstalling the app and then installing it again.

There may be some glitch in the Apple Music app that is causing you to only be able to access clean songs.

To remove Apple Music from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch then follow these simple steps:

  1. Find the Apple Music app on your iOS device.
  2. Press and hold on to the app’s icon.
  3. Select ‘Remove App’ to delete Apple Music from your device.
  4. Next, simply go to the App Store, search for music and download the app once more.

It’s worth noting that if you do delete the Music app from your iOS device, you will need to download all of your music again for offline listening as your downloads will automatically be removed too.

7. Your Device Needs Updating

It’s crucial for the overall performance of your device to make sure that the operating system is kept up-to-date.

If you are listening to Apple Music on a device that has an outdated OS, you may experience playback-related issues, amongst other general problems. Playback-related issues include, but are not limited to, only hearing clean versions of songs.

Updating your device’s OS is incredibly straightforward, just take a look at the steps below.

Here’s How to Update your Mac’s Operating System

  1. Begin by clicking on the Apple logo located at the top of your desktop screen.
  2. Next, go to ‘System Preferences’
  3. Click on ‘Software Update’
    • Here you will be given a list of the updates that are currently available for your Mac desktop.
  4. Simply choose the most recent one and click ‘Install’, following the on-screen instructions.

It’s also quite useful to check – ‘Automatically keep my Mac up to date’ – so that you no longer have to update your Mac desktop operating system manually in the future.

Here’s How to Update your iOS

Before you begin, it’s worth backing up your iPhone, iPad, or iPod using a desktop computer or through iCloud.

Also, make sure that your iOS device has a sufficient charge (plugged in) and has access to a stable internet connection. Now follow these steps:

  1. Open up ‘Settings’
  2. Scroll down and select ‘General’
  3. Choose ‘System Update’
  4. To finish, simply tap ‘Install Now’

Your iOS will now begin updating, and it will take a good half an hour on average to complete. If you see no updates available, then your iOS device is running the most recent version.

Here’s How to Update your Android Device’s Operating System

  1. Begin by tapping ‘Settings’
  2. Next, open ‘System’ and select ‘System Update’
  3. From here you will be able to see the current OS for your Android device and whether you are able to install a new update. Simply follow the onscreen instructions.

When your Android device has finished installing the latest update try listening to your explicit songs on Apple Music and see if the problem has been resolved.

8. The Apple Music App Needs Updating

Keeping your apps updated is incredibly important when it comes to the smooth running of their performance. If you ensure Apple Music is updated on your device, you’re ensuring it will function at its best.

To update Apple Music on your iOS, follow these steps:

  1. Begin by opening the App Store on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod.
  2. Tap on your profile icon in the top right of the screen.
  3. Press and swipe down on the screen to refresh the page.
  4. Scroll down and you will see a list of all apps that are in need of updating.
  5. Find Apple Music, then tap ‘Update’

To update Apple Music on your Android device, follow these steps instead:

  1. Go to the home screen on your Android device and open the Google Play Store.
  2. Search for ‘Apple Music’
  3. Next to the Apple Music logo, a small ‘Update’ button will be visible if an update is available.
  4. Select ‘Update’ and your Android will start installing the latest OS.


How to turn off explicit content on Apple Music on iPhone and Mac

How To Turn Off Dolby Atmos Apple Music?

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