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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. But there could other reasons as well. Maybe the file is missing on your computer (but still listed on iTunes and you synced it) or maybe the file is corrupt or modified in some way that makes it unreadable on iTunes/iPhone. The songs could also be DRM protected or in unsupported format. What could be the cause of the problem, try out these tried and tested solutions to get rid of the issue!

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Songs Grayed Out on the iPhone-iPod

How to Fix Grayed Out Songs on the iPhone/iPod

Thankfully, fixing this issue is simple (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.

Solution #1. Re-sync

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

When you sync again, make sure you use the USB cable instead of WiFi.

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(You may need to check out how to sync your iPhone with Windows 10 PC as well as how to sync iPhone with iCloud on Windows 10 PC.)

Solution #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 or deleted it just 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.

Solution #3. Make sure to check your iTunes Settings

Check out the setting in iTunes that might have turned on and not allowing some of the songs to play.

Simply right-click on the song(s) in question → then head over to the check (or uncheck) selection(s) which is at the bottom of the menu.

Next, you need to click on this option selection. Now, you can play your song and even add it to your playlist.

Solution #4. Check Out the Audio Format

Make sure those songs are not in unsupported formats or DRM protected.

Got to iTunes and choose the track which is greyed out. Then, you need to right- click and select Get Info.

Under the File tab, check out Kind.

If you see “Protected” next to Kind, it means the song is DRM protected or unsupported.

To get rid of this problem, you have a couple of solutions—either upgrade to iTunes Match or subscribe to Apple Music. The former allows you to store DRM (Digital Rights Management) protected music in iCloud including the ones you have purchased from iTunes or imported from CDs. With the latter, you have the access to the huge catalog of music. Since all the music of Apple Music is DRM protected, you will enjoy playing your tracks without any restriction.

Though both the services use iCloud music library, there is one major difference. While iTunes is DRM-free, you can play all of your downloaded music even after your subscription ends. But you can play your DRM protected songs only as long as you are subscribed to Apple Music.

Solution #5. Re-authorize Your Computer

Try to re-authorize your computer to see if it works in solving the issue. Albeit it sounds a bit strange, it can do the trick. iTunes might have forgotten that your music is authorized.

Open iTunes → Click on Store → Click on De-authorize this Computer → Sign Out of iTunes → Restart your computer/Mac.

Then, sign into your iTunes account → Reauthorize this computer.

Solution #6. Try Re-Downloading the Songs

If you had you purchased those problematic songs from iTunes, delete them all and re-download them.

Open iTunes → Click on iTunes Store on the top right click on Account → Purchased → head over to the songs which are greyed out and delete them. Then, re-download those songs.

On your iOS device, open Settings app → General → iPhone/iPad Storage → Music → Downloaded Music → tap on Edit at the top right corner → tap on the red button to the left of the artist and then tap on Delete button → tap on Done at the top right to confirm. Now, re-download those songs.

Solution #7. Update iTunes to the Latest Version

The old version of iTunes might be playing the villainous role. Hence, make sure to update it to the latest version.

  • On your Mac, open iTunes on your Mac → click on iTunes menu → Check for Updates → Go ahead with the instructions to install the latest version of iTunes on your device.
  • On your Windows PC, open iTunes → click on Help menu → Check for Updates → now follow the instructions to install the latest version.

Solution #8. Update Your iOS Device

Head over to Settings app → General → Software Update to see if there is update available. If yes, download and install the latest version of iOS on your device.

Solution #9. Use iTunes Alternatives to Easily Manage Your Media

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

WinX MediaTrans is considered to be one of the finest alternatives of iTunes. It allows you to manage your iPhone media with ease and is available for both Windows and Mac. You can try out the free version of the software before switching on to the premium version of the software.

Wrap up

Hopeful, these solutions have worked for you in fixing the problem. Do let us know that in the comments below. If you know any trick that can get rid of this issue quickly, share it with us in the comments below.

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Jignesh Padhiyar is the founder of iGeeksBlog.com who has a keen eye for news, rumors and all the unusual stuff that happens around iPhone and iPad.
  • 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.

  • 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?

  • justine

    non of it works for me

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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?

  • 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

  • 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.

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