How to Download Previously Purchased Songs From Your iTunes Library

Key takeaways:

  • You can easily redownload music you’ve previously purchased from the iTunes Store
  • Downloading past purchases is a great way to add music to new devices without syncing
  • You can download all your purchased music at once or select specific songs and albums
  • Purchased music will download in the same format it was originally purchased in

If you’ve been using iTunes and purchasing music for a while, you may have built up quite the library of songs. But what happens if you get a new computer or device and want to access all that music you’ve invested in over the years? Fortunately, Apple makes it easy to redownload any music you’ve previously purchased right from your iTunes account. Here’s how to do it.

Redownloading All Your Purchased Music

The quickest way to get all your past iTunes purchases onto a new computer or device is to download everything at once. Here’s how:

  1. Open the iTunes app (or Music app on macOS Catalina or later)
  2. Click on your account in the top-right and sign in if prompted
  3. Click on Purchased on the right side of the window
  4. At the top, click on Music to see all your purchased songs and albums
  5. In the top-right corner, click the Download All button

iTunes will now start downloading your entire purchased music library. Depending on how much music you’ve bought over the years, this could take a while. You can monitor the progress in the top-center of the iTunes window.

Downloading Specific Songs or Albums

Maybe you don’t want to download your entire purchased library and just need to grab a few specific tracks or albums. No problem, you can easily do that too:

  1. Navigate to your Purchased Music section as described above
  2. Browse through your purchases or use the search bar to find specific songs or albums
  3. Click the download icon (a cloud with a downward arrow) next to any song or album to download it

The selected songs will be added to your iTunes library and downloaded to your computer. You can monitor the download progress in the top-center of the iTunes window.

What Format Will the Music Download In?

When you redownload purchased music, it will be in the same format as it was originally purchased in. So if you bought a song in MP3 format, that’s what you’ll get when you redownload it.

However, it’s important to note that some older purchases may download in an outdated DRM-protected format that has limitations on playback and usage. Luckily, Apple offers a free upgrade to the modern DRM-free iTunes Plus format – just click the Upgrade button if you see it next to a song or album.

Original Purchase FormatRedownload Format
iTunes Plus AACiTunes Plus AAC
Protected AACProtected AAC (with free upgrade to iTunes Plus)

As long as you’re signed into the same Apple ID you used to make the original purchases, you can redownload your music as many times as you need to, on up to 10 authorized devices. So don’t worry if you lose some files or get a new computer – your iTunes purchases will always be available to you.


Can I redownload music I purchased on my iPhone or iPad?

Yes! Any music you’ve purchased from the iTunes Store, whether on your computer or an iOS device, can be redownloaded on your other devices as long as you’re signed into the same Apple ID.

What if I don’t see a purchased song or album available to redownload?

In rare cases, a previously purchased song or album may no longer be available if it has been removed from the iTunes Store. Artists and labels have the ability to pull their content at any time. If something you bought is no longer there, unfortunately there’s no way to redownload it.

Will redownloading purchased music overwrite what’s already in my library?

Nope! Redownloading a song will simply add an additional copy to your library, leaving any existing files as they are. You can always delete the duplicates later if you want.

Do I have to redownload purchased music to my computer, or can I download it directly to my iPhone/iPad?

You can do either! If you want the music files stored locally on your computer, redownload them in iTunes. But you can also download past purchases directly in the Music app on your iOS device. Just go to the More tab, tap Purchased, and tap the download buttons next to the songs you want.