Sometimes, songs on the Music app just get greyed out and you can’t play them. Ever faced that? It’s usually a problem with sync and there’s nothing to worry about when songs get greyed out on your iPhone.

Before we try to fix it, it’s better that you understand why this happens. In most cases, it’s a sync issue. May be the file is missing on your computer (but still listed on iTunes and you synced it) or may be the file is corrupt or modified in someway that makes it unreadable on iTunes/iPhone.

Thankfully, fixing this issue is simple (far far simpler than having to fix iMessages or Wifi issues). But the only thing is you might have to try out different things before you fix the greying out.

Greyout Songs on iPhone

1. Re-sync

One of the first things you should try is re-sync your iPhone with your iTunes copy carefully. If you try Wifi sync, may be there was some error with the network when the songs were getting synced – and this led to the greying out problem.

When you sync again, make sure you use the USB cable instead of Wi-fi.

2. Re-add iTunes Library

Problems or issues with the song files on your computer are often the main reason why songs get greyed out. If you had moved a song file/folder before sync and that has in turn not been effected in iTunes (sync still goes on), then that is going to cause greyed out songs.

To fix this, all you need to do is recheck your iTunes library and get stuff fixed up there. Refresh your iTunes libraries and playlists and make sure all songs are available. Especially the songs that are greyed out on your iPhone.

Once you’ve rechecked all things on your iTunes library, resync again. This should fix the errors.

3. Clean Sync

Another method takes a longer time but it’s a far better way to fix the problem.

  • First, backup all your songs (or if you think they’re safe in the folders, skip this step).
  • Remove all data from iTunes library and sync it with your iPhone. (All songs from your iPhone will be removed)
  • Now, add all your music folders to iTunes so it starts creating the libraries.
  • Then, reboot your iPhone and then sync it with iTunes. All the new music should be on iPhone now.
  • In most cases, this will solve your greyed out song issues.

4. Third Party Apps

Third party apps like CopyTrans (available for Mac and Windows) can help you manage music on your iPhone. In some versions of the software, you can simply drag and drop music files to your iPhone and it gets synced thoroughly, fixing the greying out problems.

Still have greyed out songs? Let us know!

  • san

    The grey songs are the ones I want to delete from my iPod Touch but not from iTunes. I do not want to sync since I don’t want all the music I have on my computer to be on iPod.
    Then sometimes, I just want to keep it off my iPod but to keep it on my PC. And this is when the song is grey and it’s boring. It doesn’t play on iPod, fine, but it makes the music list long for nothing.

    • iGeeksBlog

      Try rebuilding the iTunes library and use playlists to selectively sync songs.

  • Bklyn_sick

    i just fixed this problem on my iphone…what i did was, i connected my phone to itunes, clicked on “on this iphone” then i selected the songs that were greyed out and simply right clicked on them and click on delete, then i went back out of my iphone and clicked on “songs” and dragged one song to my iphone, and i watched that song appearing and the greyed out songs disappeared, i dont know if you get that, but thats how i just did it, hope it works for you

    • iGeeksBlog

      Thanks for sharing the tip… :)

  • Design by Adrian

    This solution is faster than reinstalling all your music or wiping your iDevice, if you have a file explorer like iFunbox or iExplorer:

    “I downloaded one of the file explorer programs (iFunbox in my case) for my PC and deleted everything out of the “Purchases” folder on the phone’s “Raw File System”. After a couple of syncs with iTunes everything was back to normal.”

    Answer by Jerril:

    • Paco

      AHHHHH, there is NO purchases folder in the Raw File System root… WTH are you talking about?

  • Dennis Farmer

    Sadly non of these steps have worked for me and neither has any of the suggested steps in the comments…. i’m now restoring my ipod cause it refuses to delete all songs now

  • Ian

    Go into settings>music on your device and turn off the ‘Show All Music’ option. Works a treat..

    • Pandora Perrie

      Great! That worked for me with the iphone attached to iMac in iTunes. Toggled the setting on my phone to ON , as mine was already set to off.

      Thank you !

      • tilly

        This worked in un-greying the songs i already had on my iphone but now it wont sync properly like ive added songs to my itunes on computer and then synced my phone only to notice the new songs haven’t synced? can anyone help?

    • ForwardEarth

      That doesn’t fix anything. It just removes the songs instead of showing them as greyed out.

  • justine

    non of it works for me

  • LL

    Using a company issued phone, recently downloaded AirWatch app for security purposes and upgraded phone. I’m unable to listen to any songs rate E. Wondering if it’s a phone setting that I’m missing or the security application not allowing me to listen to anything rated explicit. Any ideas?

  • Scott Lancaster

    Weird, I looked up this article because I was having trouble syncing my Who songs onto my iPhone, and look at the picture.