Apple Music/iTunes Songs Greyed Out? Here's the Fix!

Updated by Adam Gorden on May 20, 2021 5:35 PM.

When searching iTunes forums, you'll probably find a frequently asked question like below:

I have songs that I've added to my library via Apple Music that are grayed out in iTunes. They are unplayable from iTunes now but are fine on my iPhone and iPad. Any idea why iTunes songs greyed out with dotted circle? How to fix it?

You may find it's familiar if you use iTunes music as well. It's really frustrating to play the iTunes songs but only discover that many of the tracks are grayed out and unplayable. Don't worry, though. Fixing the iTunes songs greyed out issue is not very difficult. This post will show you the solutions to this problem.

greyed out songs in apple music

Part 1. Why are Some Songs Greyed out in Apple Music/iTunes?
Part 2. How to Fix Apple Music/iTunes Songs Greyed Out on Computer
Part 3. How to Fix iTunes/Apple Music Songs Greyed Out on iPhone
Part 4. Other Suggestions to Fix iTunes Songs Greyed out

Part 1. Probable Reasons Why Some Songs Greyed Out in iTunes/Apple Music

Before getting started, let's explore the reasons why are songs greyed out on iTunes. The following are some of the possible reasons.

* In most cases, this problem happened due to the sync issue.
* Other cases, such as that specific file is missing on your computer but isn't synced in iTunes.
* The file is corrupt or unreadable.
* Some of your songs are in unsupported format or DRM protected.
* The artist of the song or album may delete it or edit it.
* The songs are not available in your country or region.

All these could cause the greyed-out issue of iTunes songs or Apple Music. Since we already sorted out the possible causes of the problem, it's easy to suit the remedy to the case. Here we go.

Part 2. Solutions to Fix Apple Music/iTunes Songs Greyed Out

1. Check the Audio Format

If you are unable to play certain songs in iTunes or Apple Music, it may be that they are in unsupported formats or protected by the digital right management (DRM) protection.

To confirm whether they're protected, simply go to iTunes to find that specific track. Right-click it and choose Get Info. Look for Kind under the File tab. If it shows "Protected", then it means the track is with protection.

In this case, you can fix the greyed out songs in iTunes by removing protection from the tracks with a third-party tool like ViWizard Audio Converter, an all-in-one audio solution to convert protected iTunes songs and Apple Music to common formats.

ViWizard itunes music converter

Step 1. Download and launch ViWizard Audio Converter on your Mac or PC. Click the Load iTunes Library button to load the specific greyed out iTunes songs or Apple Music tracks to the software.

Download Download

Step 2. Select output format as common MP3, WAV, AAC, FLAC or others according to your own requirements. Set other preferences, like audio codec, bit rate, output folder, etc.

Step 3. Start to remove the limit from iTunes or Apple Music songs.

Once you convert the iTunes or Apple Music songs, you can re-import them into the iTunes library for playing without any issue.

2. Check iTunes Settings

Another possible reason that might cause iTunes songs greyed out is a specific setting in iTunes. Disabling that option would probably fix the issue. Simply follow these instructions:

check selection

Step 1. Navigate to iTunes library and right-click on the song that is greyed out.

Step 2. Find an option that says Check Selection and click it. Then you should be able to play the song as expected without any problem.

Note: This setting is relatively small and not very noticeable so you should carefully look for it.

3. Re-download the Songs Greyed Out in iTunes/Apple Music

Another way to make the greyed out iTunes songs or Apple Music play again is to check if the particular track in question was purchased by you in iTunes. If so, deleting and redownloading it from iTunes would always works.

redownload purchased itunes songs

Step 1. Go to iTunes Store on the top right.

Step 2. Click on your account and find the purchased option from the drop-down menu.

Step 3. It will list all the files you have purchased. Find the song that greyed out and then redownload it from iTunes.

4. Resync the iTunes Music

As we mentioned above, mostly the problem occurs because of a syncing problem. In specific, if you removed the songs from your iTunes library before, they might show up as greyed out when you sync iTunes to iPhone. To fix the issue, follow the tutorial here:

Step 1. Delete the grayed out songs from iTunes.

Step 2. Refresh your iTunes library and playlists.

Step 3. Re-sync your iPhone with iTunes using USB cable instead of Wi-Fi.

5. Re-authorize Your Computer

If unfortunately, all the above-mentioned solutions can't solve the Apple Music/iTunes songs greyed out issue for you, you are suggested to try the other option before contacting Apple support. All you need to do here is de-authorize and re-authorize your computer.

reauthorize itunes

Step 1. Go to iTunes and click Store in menu bar.

Step 2. In the drop-down menu, select Deauthorize This Computer option and log out of your iTunes account.

Step 3. Restart your computer, navigate to iTunes > Store, and then click Authorize This Computer.

6. Check the Checkboxes Setting

If your songs are grayed out but can be played still, you can try to use this method.

click songs list checkboxes

Step 1. You need to open Apple Music or iTunes and go to Library > Songs to see whether there is a check near the song.

Step 2. If you do not see the check, go to the menu bar and choose Music > Preferences on Mac or choose iTunes > Preferences on a PC.

Step 3. Go to General > Songs list checkboxes. Click OK.

Part 3. How to Fix iTunes/Apple Music Greyed Out Songs on iPhone/iPad

1. Delete and Redownload the Songs

If you meet Apple Music songs greyed out issue on iPhone or iPad, you can simply delete and reinstall the songs in order to fix the problem. The process is quite simple as shown below.

delete and redownload the songs on iphone

Step 1. On your iPhone, launch the Settings app and navigate to General > Storage > Music. If you are using older iOS, you should go to Storage & iCloud Usage and choose Manage Storage under Storage.

Step 2. Press Music and tap the edit option.

Step 3. Tap the symbol on the left for all songs and select Delete. Then wait for the process to complete.

Step 4. Sync your iPhone to iTunes and let it re-download all the songs for you.

2. Check Network Setting

Apple Music allows us to stream songs on WiFi networking only by default. If you're using cellular data, it may become greyed out. Now check your network setting and allow it to use cellular network, too.

use cellular data

Step 1. Open the Settings App on your iPhone.

Step 2. Scroll down and find the iTunes & App Store menu. Enable the Use Cellular Data option. Now enjoy your Apple Music songs again.

3. Check Permission Settings

Your device permissions may cause the iTunes songs greyed out problem. You need to check the permission settings on your device to solve this problem. Follow the guide below:

choose screen time

Step 1. Go to the Settings app on your iPhone, Mac, or iPad.

Step 2. Choose the Screen Time button.

Step 3. You can edit the permissions and exclusions here.

Part 4. Other Suggestions to Fix iTunes Songs Greyed out

Except for the solutions above, some other suggestions deserve to be tried.

1. Sometimes you will find that all or most of your songs are grayed out. You need to make sure that the Sync Library button is turned on.

2. If you are an Apple Music subscriber and some songs downloaded to iTunes greyed out, there are mainly 2 conditions. First, some songs might have not been released yet. So you need to wait for the release of these songs. Second, these songs may be removed by Apple Music. But you can buy them on iTunes to listen to them.


is an experienced writer of ViWizard who is obsessed about tech, movie and software.

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