What Do I Do if I Paid for a Song on iTunes & Didn't Get It?

By Editorial Team

Updated September 09, 2022

Even when your song doesn't download, the purchase exists in the cloud.
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Buying music from iTunes is intended to be a simple, pain-free process. You click the item you want, tap the “Buy” button and that item is automatically added to your music collection. Unfortunately, software and the internet do not always perform as hoped, and occasionally you may end up with a completed purchase and no song. If something you bought from iTunes won't download, resolving the problem is usually fairly straightforward, according to Apple.

Restart iTunes and Your Computer

Any time you have problems with iTunes or a downloaded item, the first troubleshooting step should be restarting the software along with your computer. Sometimes downloads can get stuck or various factors can corrupt processes, and a but you can easily clear out the cobwebs with a quick restart. iTunes will automatically sync your purchases upon restarting the software, so this may be all you need to do in order to get the song you purchased.

Manually Download Purchased Files

Regardless of whether the song downloaded, if the purchase goes through it should be reflected in your iTunes account. You can download and re-download any iTunes purchase at any time. First, enable “Show iTunes in the Cloud Purchases” in the iTunes Preferences menu under the Store tab, then sign into your Apple ID in iTunes. Next, click the “Music” tab in your iTunes library, look for the song you just purchased and click the download icon to resume the download.

Check for Available Downloads

Alternatively, from the iTunes Store, choose "Check for Available Downloads." You'll be prompted to sign into iTunes. Then click "Check Downloads," followed by "Resume" or "Resume All."

Check for Hidden Music

When you buy songs on iTunes, the content should show up by default. However, Apple points out that it is possible to hide music, and this could be why you can't find a song you purchased. Go to "Account" and then either "Account Settings" (Mac) or "View My Account" (PC). Scroll to the "Downloads and Purchases" section and click the "Manage" button beside "Hidden Purchases."

From here, simply navigate to the item you're looking for and click "Unhide" to reveal it. Note that this only works if the song has been hidden previously, so if the song genuinely just hasn't downloaded, this won't rectify the issue.

Use The iTunes Cloud

iTunes utilizes cloud technology to keep track of your purchases across multiple devices. In other words, if you buy a song on your iPod, iPad or in iTunes, all devices associated with your Apple ID (and with iCloud enabled) will automatically receive the new song. As long as your purchase goes through, the music you buy should show up automatically on every device you use with your shared Apple ID. The technology isn’t perfect, and problems do occasionally arise.

iTunes Won't Download: Getting Help

Apple offers a wide range of support options should you be unable to complete the download of a purchased song. The company’s official website has a deep knowledgebase of questions and answers related to iTunes and associated devices, many of which help troubleshoot common problems. Additionally, you can email the support team directly after filling out a quick questionnaire as to the nature of your problem. Finally, you have the option of visiting a local Apple Store and bringing the problem directly to the company’s “Genius” support team.