How to Download Music From a CD to Your iPhone

By Laurel Storm

Updated February 10, 2017

The importing process in iTunes.
i Image courtesy of Apple.

Your old CD player may be gathering dust now that you listen to music using your iPhone, but that doesn't mean your music collection must suffer the same fate. You can convert the songs on your CDs into digital files and copy them to your iPhone using iTunes.

Importing a CD.
i Image courtesy of Apple.

Launch iTunes and insert the CD into your computer's CD or DVD drive. By default, iTunes prompts you to confirm importing the music from the CD -- just click "Yes." If the prompt doesn't appear, click the CD icon and then click "Import CD."

The importing process.
i Image courtesy of Apple.

Wait for the importing process to complete. While importing, iTunes displays a progress bar. The song currently being imported is marked with a spinning circle icon, while songs that have been imported display green check marks.

Ejecting the CD.
i Image courtesy of Apple.

Click the "Eject" button to eject the CD from your computer. At this point, ITunes returns to displaying your music library. Repeat the process with any other CDs you want to import.

Copying the imported music to an iPhone.
i Image courtesy of Apple.

Connect your iPhone to your computer. If iTunes is configured to automatically sync your entire music library to your iPhone, you don't need to do anything -- the syncing process begins immediately. Otherwise, scroll to the newly added songs in your music library, select them and drag them. As soon as you start dragging, iTunes shows a sidebar containing your playlists and connected devices -- simply drop the music onto the entry for your iPhone to start syncing.


If you want to import only some songs from the CD, click "No" when prompted to import. Click the CD icon, click the check marks by the songs you don't want to import, and only then click "Import CD."

If you're not connected to the Internet when importing or the information for the CD is not available in the music database used by iTunes, generic track names display instead of detailed song information. If this happens, you can import the CD anyway and correct the song information later.

By default, iTunes imports songs in the AAC format. If you'd like to change this to a different format, you need to adjust the software's preferences (see Resources). The imported songs are saved in the same folder as music you buy from the iTunes Store.