How Can I Get My Music Off My iPhone Onto a Computer?

By Diana V. Faustmann

You may be a whiz at downloading music onto your iPhone, but as your device fills up, you should also know how to shed songs. Unfortunately, you can't delete songs from your device as easily you loaded them on. By design, you need your computer and iTunes. Though an extra step, iTunes also allows you to preserve music in your library before removing it from your iPhone. .

Copy Music to Computer

Step 1

Open iTunes on your computer. You'll see a sidebar on the left and a main pane on the right.

Step 2

Plug your iPhone into your computer. Click on its name when it appears under "Devices" in the sidebar.

Step 3

Click the "Music" tab above main pane. Activate the "Sync Music" checkbox and then select "Sync Music" when iTunes asks you to confirm.

Step 4

Click "Entire Music Library" or "Selected playlists, artists, albums and genres." Either way, iTunes will back up all the songs on your iPhone to your computer.

Step 5

Click "Apply" on the lower right to sync and copy the music from your iPhone to your computer. You'll now find your songs in "Music," under "Library" in the iTunes sidebar.

Delete Music from iPhone

Step 1

Open iTunes on your computer and connect your iPhone, if you have not already done so.

Step 2

Click on your iPhone's name when it appears under "Devices" in the sidebar.

Step 3

Select the "Summary" tab above the main pane. Activate the "Manually manage music and videos" checkbox.

Step 4

Click "Apply" on the lower right. If iTunes begins to sync, your iPhone screen will read "Sync in Progress." Drag the slider at the bottom of the screen to the right to stop it.

Step 5

Click on the arrow to the left of your iPhone's name in the iTunes sidebar to reveal its contents by category. Select "Music." On the main pane, you'll see all the songs currently on your device.

Step 6

Select the song or songs you want to delete from your iPhone. Click to select a single song, or press "Ctrl" and click to choose multiple songs.

Step 7

Hit "Delete" or "Backspace" on your keyboard to delete the highlighted songs from your iPhone. Click "Remove" when prompted to confirm your decision.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you wish to get rid of a song permanently, delete it from your iTunes music library. If the song still resides on your device, it will be deleted from your iPhone the next time you sync.