Apple Music & Storage: 7 Common Questions (Answered)

Apple Music is one of the best platforms for your music needs. However, when it comes to using a music platform like Apple Music, it’s important to know how much space it will take up on your device.

In this article, all the answers you need can be found in regard to Apple Music and its storage.

Everything You Need To Know About Apple Music’s Storage

Apple Music enables users to both stream and download music for offline listening. Downloading music straight to a device will use its internal storage, with one song taking up 10MB on average. However, users can set limits to how much storage Apple Music takes up.

Apple Store interior with new Apple MacBook Air laptop featuring Apple Music service on the Retina display screen with back of musician

Does Apple Music Stream Or Download Music?

When choosing which music streaming service you want to use, it is important to know what features are available to make sure it is the best one for you.

Most would agree that having a platform that allows you to both stream and download music in this day and age is a definite must.

Apple Music boasts a library offering over 90 million songs that subscribers can stream when their device is connected to the internet, and also download for offline listening later on – making it a great choice to listen to the latest tunes.

Streaming music on Apple Music is as simple as clicking play on the song you desire in the library. To download music for offline listening simply follow the steps below.

It’s worth noting that in order to download a song you must first add it to your library.

Download Music On iOS & Android

  1. Open the Apple Music app on your device.
  2. Scroll through your library until you find the song you wish to download.
  3. Tap and hold on the song until a pop-up appears.
  4. Tap ‘Download’ on the menu.

You can also swipe left on a song in your library and tap the download symbol (identified by a downwards arrow).

Read our blog here about 8 reasons Spotify is better than Applemusic.

Download Music On Desktop

  1. On your PC or Mac open up the Apple Music app or iTunes.
  2. In your library locate the song or album that you want to download for offline listening.
  3. Next, click the ‘Download’ button located next to the song or album. (On Mac it’s a downward arrow, on PC it’s a small cloud with a downward arrow).

Does Apple Music Cache Songs When Streaming?

Apple Music, like many streaming services, caches songs to reduce any buffering time and data wastage when you go to listen to the same song or album again.

It is incredibly useful, but if you have limited storage on your device it is worth occasionally clearing the cache files that Apple Music has created to clear some space.

How Much Storage Does Apple Music Downloads Take?

Apple Music’s offline listening tool is a brilliant alternative to streaming music online as users do not have to worry about always being linked to a stable internet connection.

However, downloading songs for offline listening does use up storage space on your device and, if you have limited room on your device, it is definitely worth knowing how much space downloading your music library will use up.

On average, 100 songs on Apple Music or iTunes will take up roughly 1GB of storage space.

This may not seem like much, but it does add up very quickly. That is why some users will opt for streaming their music online over downloading their playlists for offline listening.

How do you Check How Much Storage Apple Music Uses?

So now that you’ve got a grasp of how and why Apple Music can use your storage space, it’s time to see exactly how much storage it’s taking up on your device.

If you own an iPhone or iPad, use the following steps to understand how much storage Apple Music is using:

  1. Open ‘Settings’ on your iOS device.
  2. Tap ‘General’ followed by ‘Storage’
  3. You’ll now be shown a display of your device’s storage capacity and how much space you have available.
  4. Scroll down and find the Apple Music app.
  5. Here you can view the total storage space that Apple Music is using.

If you want to find out how much storage Apple Music is using on your MacBook, follow these steps instead:

  1. Launch the Finder on your Mac.
  2. Right-click the ‘Music’ folder and select ‘Get info’
  3. A pop-up will now appear and will show you how much data Apple Music is taking up.

If you own an Apple Watch and are subscribed to Apple Music, check the storage use with the following steps:

  1. Navigate to ‘Settings’ on your Apple Watch.
  2. Now select ‘General’ and then ‘Storage’
  3. Locate Apple Music and note the file size.

Can You Limit How Much Storage Apple Music Will Use?

If you are worried that Apple Music will end up taking up too much space on your device, don’t worry, there are ways in which you can limit and control the amount of storage that the app uses up.

How To Set Up A Storage Limit On iOS

  1. On your iOS device, open the ‘Settings’ menu.
  2. Scroll down the apps and tap ‘Music’.
  3. In the downloads section, locate and tap ‘Optimized storage’.
  4. Toggle this option ON.
  5. From here, you can choose the storage limit. There are several options, from 1GB (200 songs) all the way to 16GB (3200songs).

You can also toggle the option ‘Automatic Downloads’ OFF to make sure you are in full control of what is being downloaded onto your iOS device.

How To Set Cache Limit On Android

If you are using Apple Music on an Android device, you can set a limit on the playback cache that the app can store to reduce the amount of internal storage space the app uses up. To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Apple Music app on your android device.
  2. In the top left tap the three lines to navigate to the main menu.
  3. Tap ‘Settings’.
  4. Next, scroll down the settings menu and tap on ‘Playback cache’.
  5. From here you can select from 4 options; 0MB, 200MB, 500MB, and 1GB.
  6. Choose the cache limit size most appropriate for your device.

Read our blog here about Spotify & storage.

Where Is Apple Music Stored On Your Phone?

On an iPhone, you can access your Apple Music through the music app and by going to your library.

You cannot, however, physically locate the file in which the music is actually stored in your iPhone’s internal storage. This is because iOS systems are designed to not allow users to access music files.

There are ways to bypass this by using either:

  • Jailbreaking the iOS device (not recommended) or
  • Using a file management app

For Android phones, you can access any Apple Music files by accessing your device’s app drawer and then opening the ‘File manager’ or the ‘My Files’ app.

Where Is Apple Music Stored On Your Computer?

Apple Music files will be stored in the Apple iTunes folder by default on your PC. You can access this by clicking on your username, then navigating to music. From here you can open iTunes> iTunes Media.

On Mac, open the Apple Music app and right-click a song in the library. Select ‘Show in finder’ to locate the music file.

Please also read our article about where Apple Music Files are stored for more detailed information on various devices.

Does Apple Music Use iCloud Storage?

Apple Music users have the ability to sync their iCloud to their music library, and only when this option is activated will Apple music use up any iCloud storage. If it is disabled, no iCloud storage will be used.

To adjust the iCloud settings, simply follow the steps below:

Activate iCloud Music Library On iOS

  1. From your iPhone or iPad home screen, tap on ‘Settings’.
  2. Scroll down and tap on ‘Music’.
  3. On this screen, you will see ‘iCloud Music Library’.
  4. Toggle this ON by sliding it across to green.
  5. To disable it, simply toggle it back OFF.

Activate iCloud Music Library On Mac or PC

  1. Open up iTunes on your desktop.
  2. For PC, click on ‘Edit’ then ‘Preferences’.
  3. For Mac, click ‘iTunes’ then ‘Preferences’.
  4. Next, using the ‘General’ tab locate the ‘iTunes Music Library’ option.
  5. Tick the box to activate iCloud, and untick it to disable it.



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