How to Turn Off iCloud Music Library on Mac

apple music on mac

If you don’t want Apple Music to sync across devices, you can turn the feature off. Learn how to turn off iCloud Music Library on Mac.

Apple Music allows you to create a library of songs from its own catalog, as well as add in music you already own, to create your own personalized library of content. By default, your Apple Music library will be shared across all the devices that are signed in to the same iCloud account, including your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. However, there may be reasons why you prefer to have different music available on different devices. If you want to keep the music on your Mac distinct from the music on your other Apple gear, then here’s how to turn off iCloud Music Library on your Mac.

What is iCloud Music Library?

If you’re an Apple Music subscriber, you can save songs from the streaming service to your personal library. You can also add your own music to your library if you have CDs or other media that aren’t part of the Apple Music catalog.

icloud webpage

The iCloud Music Library allows you to share your Apple Music library across all of your devices. If you add a song to your Library on your iPhone, it will be available in the Apple Music library on your Mac. If you rip a CD on your iMac and add the songs to your library, they’ll be available on your iPhone or iPad.

How to Turn Off iCloud Music Library on Mac

If you want to keep the music on your Mac separate from the music on your other devices, you can turn off iCloud Music Library to stop anything syncing to your Mac.

To turn off iCloud Music Library on Mac:

  1. Open the Music app on your Mac.
  2. In the menu bar, click the Music menu.
    apple music menu mac
  3. Select Settings.
    apple music settings mac
  4. Under the General tab, uncheck Sync Library.
    apple music sync checkbox mac
  5. Click OK.
  6. Your iCloud Music Library will no longer sync to your Mac.
  7. You can reverse your decision at any point by repeating steps 1 through 3 and rechecking the Sync Library.

Why Turn Off iCloud Music Library on Mac?

There are a few reasons why you might decide that you’d rather turn off the iCloud Music Library. Firstly, you might want to keep the libraries on your different devices distinct, to match your listening preferences. For example, you might only listen to classical music on your Mac when you’re working to help you concentrate, but use your iPhone to listen to current music in your free time. By turning off iCloud Music Library, you can have a different library entirely on your Mac compared to your iPhone.

apple music app

Also, in the syncing process, iCloud Music Library may replace some of the songs you already have stored locally with high-quality versions from the Apple Music catalog. This can lead to problems with messed up metadata, artwork, or even ending up with the wrong song.

Another key consideration is that you can only access your Apple Music library whilst you have a subscription. If you ever decide to end your subscription, you won’t be able to access the tracks in your Apple Music library at all.

Learn More About Apple Music

Learning how to turn off iCloud Music Library on a Mac ensures that you have complete control of the music on your Mac. You don’t have to worry about your music getting replaced with tracks with the wrong artwork, the wrong metadata, or even just the wrong song. It also allows you to have multiple different music libraries on your different devices, so you can have a library for work and a library for fun, for example.

There’s a lot more you can learn about Apple Music. For example, you might want to learn how to see your Apple Music history. This can help you to track down a song that you really liked from your New Music Mix or your personal station but forgot to make a note of when you heard it. Just look back through the songs Apple Music has played recently to find the song you heard.

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