How to Recover Deleted Music From an IPhone

By Rob Clarkson

The iPhone and iPod Touch run the same music software.
i Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Music can be deleted from an iPhone through a factory data reset, synchronizing with a different iTunes music library or by changing iCloud sync settings and storage. It is possible to recover any music no longer accessible on an iPhone, as long as that music is stored in another location or in a prior iTunes or iCloud backup.

Recovering From the Cloud

Music purchased through iTunes can always be recovered through Apple's cloud-based purchase storage. To recover lost music previously purchased, access the iTunes app on your iPhone. Ensure you are logged in with your unique Apple ID and then press the "More" option in the bottom right side. Select the "Purchased" tab and then select "Music." A list of all songs purchased with that Apple ID will appear. To re-download any song, click the download button next to the song -- it appears as a cloud with a down arrow inside of it.

Recovering From iTunes

Songs that have been deleted from your device but still appear in your computer's iTunes application can be recovered by syncing your iPhone with your PC. To do this, plug the iPhone into the PC on which your music is stored and allow it to synchronize. Select the tab on the left side of the iTunes program on your PC that shows your iPhone's device name to open an iPhone menu which will allow for a customized synchronization of specific songs, artists, playlists and more.

Recovering From a Backup

In the event that music lost or deleted was previously on your iPhone during a recent iTunes or iCloud backup, restoring the phone to that previous backup will renew the lost media. Plug the phone into the computer, open iTunes, select the "Restore from Backup" option in the iPhone menu and choose the appropriate restore date to recover your music via PC backup.

To restore a backup from iCloud, access the iPhone settings app and select "General." At the bottom of the "General" page, select "Reset." Choose the second option to "Erase All Content and Settings." When the phone restarts, select the "Restore from iCloud" option and restore to the appropriate backup.

In both cases, any information that had been saved to your iPhone after your last iTunes or iCloud backup will be lost.

Other Troubleshooting

Check to ensure that your iPhone has the required space available to store the songs desired. Go into the Settings app and tap "General." Click on "Usage" to see statistics on how much memory has been used on your iPhone and how much is available. Sometimes a simple soft reset will recover lost media. To do this, hold the Home and Power buttons simultaneously until your iPhone restarts.