Remove All Music from iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad

Feb 18, 2012 - 44 Comments

Remove All Music from iPhone

You probably know by now that you can delete songs on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, just by swiping on a song and tapping “Delete”, but what if you want to remove all music from an iOS device? That can be done too, and although it’s a few settings deep to prevent accidental access, it’s easy to do in just a few steps.

  1. Tap on “Settings” and tap on “General”
  2. Select “Usage” and tap on “Music”
  3. Tap the Minus symbol next to “All Music” then tap on “Delete” to remove all songs from the device

The total storage space taken up by the music collection will be listed alongside the “All Music” label, letting you know how much space is about to be freed up by removing all the songs.

Just remember, there’s no going back if you choose to do this without resyncing to iTunes or downloading songs again from iTunes Store or iCloud. Also keep in mind that if you have iTunes Automatic Downloads enabled on the device, any future music downloads on other iOS devices will continue to copy over to the once cleared out list.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Just A Schmuck says:

    please forgive me, but isn’t this a bit obvious?

    oh, dang it all, what do I care? you have to keep your little enterprise going 24 hours each day and I am sure it gets quite boring searching for content and what ends up getting posted is all trivial and trite anyway so, go ahead, fill your little blog with whatever. i’m going off in search of a life. goodbye cruel technology world. you promised so much and yet delivered so little. i will no longer be seduced and distracted by your inane appearance of importance and relevance. adieu, my macbook and iPhone have just been launched from the 4th floor of my apartment building. seriously, adieu!

    • Paul says:

      For some maybe, but not everyone is as well informed as you regarding iOS options and settings. Enjoy launching your MacBook from the 4th floor, sounds like fun!

      • Liz Hale says:

        Thank you very much Paul!!!!! you are right A LOT of us are not Iphone savy yet and we download a crap ton of music not realizing it takes up so much space you can not even update the dang phone. however on a droid you can select all the music and delete it much faster if you didn’t know about the “systems” folder. Thank you so much Paul I really appreciate your help. :)

    • Rafagon says:

      And launch yourself right after…!!

    • Jay says:

      Have you been drinking?

    • Replier to a jerk! says:

      Hey.. I’m pretty niffty with iPhones, but never thought about this feature… This actually helped me fix several iPhones, so don’t judge people when they have a point.

    • Charles says:

      This friend will one day learn everyone is different. Thank goodness. The anon person making the immature remarks might mature someday.

      I did not pay for the help from this tip so I want to thank you here.

      I’m 58, he probably is not, I like Schubert Lieder, he probably does not, have been using a PC all my life, he probably has not, purchased first iPhone last week, he’s had his longer, don’t know how to use it well, he probably does, I generally dislike technology’s intrusion into one’s life, and we probably agree on the pain that stems from that.

      I lived in China for 30 years, what the average Chinese person does is obvious to me but probably not to this person.

      Needed to delete all the music off of that phone so I could set up a new play list for a trip to see a boyfriend. Did a quick search to get the job done, quickly found this link explaining how to do it, and I want to thank all.

      • Matthew says:

        You’ve lived in China longer than I’ve been alive! It’s uncommon to even hear of foreigners with that much China experience… I’m not even at 2 years yet. Can I ask what you did all that time?

    • James says:

      I found this useful, unlike some people my gadgets are tools for work and consuming entertainment not a replacement for the real fun stuff in life i.e. girlfriend/ family etc.

  2. get a life says:

    That’s odd…. doesn’t exist. I was hoping for expert OS X tips unknown to anyone. I’m sure you’re working on it – unless you were on the phone while it was launched from the 4th floor; then I guess not.

  3. me says:

    didnt work :((

  4. Mig954 says:

    Forgot to mention step 2.5: Press the “EDIT” button on the top right to make the minus sign appear.

  5. J says:

    is this for iOS 5 only? ’cause i don’t see music in the usage option.

  6. ricren says:

    Hi, thanks a lot for this tip. I;m a new user of the iPad and i didn’t know how to do it. This function is simple but is hidden somehow.

  7. Thanks. Just what I needed. Have a new iPad3, but hardly ever listen to music on it, so wanted to quickly remove all the music.

    Our Schmuck friend forgets that some of us older folk might have known how to do this yesterday, but today we don’t even remember who we are. Such is life.

    Thanks again. You saved me a bunch of pain.

  8. Peter says:

    Thanks! I had made hundreds of changes to my itunes/icloud/match (or whatever it’s called) library, and couldn’t figure out why the duplicates I deleted in my library were still showing on my iPad. Turned out deleting all downloaded music as per your instructions fixed my problem- my iPad library now fully matches itunes/icloud/match.

    One extra step I had to take was to completely close the music app and re-open it after deleting the music (by double clicking the home button to get the task-switching ribbon on the bottom, holding down the music app until it wiggled, then hitting the minus sign to close). Otherwise the music app still showed the deleted music.

    Apple hasn’t achieved the it-just-works level yet with itunes match, but once you learn the little tricks like this it becomes awesome.

    Thanks for the post!

  9. George says:

    Thank you for this, it is the tips like this that make the internet the wonderful place it could become… Keep it up. 20 minutes of searching my iPad, or 1 minute searching the internet for you… Figured I would repay some of the time by saying thank you.

  10. shari says:

    thanks for all the responses, but i have an ipod nano – so is there any way on this device to just delete a song without going through the whole synching process?

  11. Sylvia says:

    Thank you… to iPad and having tried for 2 weeks to figure it out, your solution worked straight away…..thanks very much!!!

  12. Anon says:

    Thanks a lot for the info. It worked like a charm! Saved me some time & effort.

  13. Susan says:

    I did what you said and all the music erased, but there are still song titles listed with no music attached – how can i get rid of this??

  14. JonWJ says:

    This works just great for me! Was headache when my iPhone keeps showing duplicates of my songs. After clearing the Music section and re-sync, everything is back in order! Thanks! :D

  15. KiloVolt says:

    That one can delete all music in the “usage” option is not obvious at all.
    (One would expect this option in the “music” settings in stead.)
    I had to delete all my music on the new iPod Touch 5G because the playlists skipped all songs while rolling through the playlist texts. Peculiar bug, that did not appear with newly downloaded songs.
    This solved the bug for me, so thanks a lot.

  16. Siva says:

    Nice tip. Thanks.

  17. alex says:

    okay i swiped my camera roll and pressed delete and then nothing happens. help???

  18. […] the direct link to the tip on OSX Daily. It’s four brilliant and easy steps. It certainly isn’t […]

  19. Timothy ahn says:

    Okay so it will delete all music except greyed music (like songs synced but cancelled before finished syncing) how can i delete these without reseting iphone and don’t have my original laptop/computer i used to sync those songs, but it’s greyed out so i can’t swipe-delete?

  20. Holly Harvey says:

    Thank You! Really useful!

  21. […] the direct link to the tip on OSX Daily. It’s four brilliant and easy steps. It certainly isn’t […]

  22. doneho says:

    Thanks for the help! I never fails to sadden me when people say such cruel things. Words are not just words. Words changes things. Say something nice to someone today. I wll make a great world better!

  23. doneho says:

    Thanks for the help! It never fails to sadden me when people say such cruel things. Words are not just words. Words changes things. Say something nice to someone today. I wll make a great world better!

  24. zinnia says:

    Thank you so much! this worked in about 5 seconds., I have been looking for this fix since I messed up my iTunes library months ago. Had no idea it was that easy. But I did sync all my music before I deleted it. Nice work Man!

  25. Storm says:

    I have 1.7GB of music on my iphone and just deleted it all through the steps posted above, but 1.7GB of memory isn’t free now and my music still shows up in the music app. Did I do something wrong?

  26. Ronnyk says:

    Same here

  27. […] Keeping Music on the iPhone and iPad in particular is unnecessary, so do yourself a favor and remove all the music and then take the time to set up and use iTunes Home Sharing to play music from a computer while at […]

  28. Tracey says:

    It was useful to me, I don’t know apple very well. You missed one step though. Step 2 is ‘tap edit.

  29. Alistair says:

    I’m confused to why everyone thinks this works. I went through the steps above and all the music was removed except anything I had downloaded! So music copied from a CD Has gone but every download (all for my daughters before I realised the utter woes of Apple ID sharing) is flatly refusing to get lost.

    As for the delete each song individually, that fails too. Going through those steps does bring up the ‘delete’ symbol, tapping it just prompts the iPad to repalce it with a ‘download cloud’ symbol. Tapping again makes the blessed song play.

    Is there another setting I have to disable or enable before I take these steps… Please help I can’t take any more Katy Perry on shuffle!

  30. Kevin says:

    Thank you ever so much. I am not a techie person familiar with everything iOS. I had been searching my iPhone myself for the way to delete my entire music library from my new phone and simply use my previous one as an iPod. He problem came when each time I wishes to restore from the iCloud I had no idea how to prevent all my music being downloaded as well and taking up tons of memory. Again, thank you for providing the solution. :)

  31. mae says:

    Thanks for this. Big help!

  32. Yvonne E Schwartz says:

    This will not work on my iphone
    I did as instructed.
    It showed it worked as zero data
    closed settings
    went to music app and all 5000 songs still there and will play

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