How to delete songs from your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch on iOS 8

Despite the larger capacity options available, it’s not uncommon to find yourself desperate to free up space for a movie rental, photos or app. If you are on the go, it can be difficult to find areas where you can free up storage space. If you make it a habit to regularly sync your music, then you can safely delete songs on your iPhone, freeing up valuable space. The advent of iTunes Match will also help, since the subscription based service will allow you to download any song where you have wireless coverage. No longer do you have to carry all of your music. With any version of iOS, including iOS 8, the process of deleting music on the iPhone is super easy. Read on for our video on how to delete songs from iPhone. Please note that the process differs slightly between older versions of iOS.

Updated on February 10,2015.

Delete songs iPhone on iOS 7
To delete songs on your iPhone using either iOS 5 or iOS 6, simply navigate to the track in the Music app and swipe right. You’ll be prompted to click on the ‘Delete‘ button, which will remove the song(s) from your iPhone. This process remains the same for albums and even at the artist level. With a swipe and a click, I can delete my entire collection of Vanilla Ice. Not that I would do something crazy like that, but the option is there if I were to need space while on the go.

How to delete songs from iPhone on iOS 7 or iOS 8

If you are running iOS 7 or iOS 8,  it too allows you to delete songs from your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Open your Music app and navigate through either Artists, Songs or Albums to the song you would like to delete. From right to left, swipe your finger across the song you would like to delete. You should see a red box that says ‘Delete’ (shown above). Tap on it to remove the song from your iOS device. This has been tested with iTunes Match both disabled and enabled.


If you are an iTunes Match subscriber, it is recommended that you show only music that has been downloaded to your device. To do this, navigate to Settings > Music and toggle ‘Show All Music’ to off. With this setting, the Music app will no longer show music from iCloud.

Tip: Please note that at this point, iOS does not allow you to delete albums.

Deleting Songs in iOS 6
I have confirmed that the method described above does indeed work in iOS 6. The requirement is that you do not have iTunes Match enabled. Navigate to Settings > Music > iTunes Match (Off). Double click the home button, then press and hold the Music icon. Press the “-” sign to quit. Relaunch the Music app and you’ll see only the files that physically on your iPhone. Navigate to ‘Songs’. Swipe your finger from right to left to reveal the delete button. Tap on it to delete these songs from your iPhone.

How to delete songs from your iPhone is part of a continuing series of iPhone tips, tricks and basics.


  1. Ashley says

    You wouldn’t happen to know how to delete songs directly from your iPad would you? I’ve tried the “swipe” method but it’s just not bringing up the remove button. Am I doing something wrong or can I just not do it?

  2. fluff says

    thanks :)
    @ashley : i’ve tried this and it worked fine with me., i was able to delete my songs ., i just swiped the title of the song/artist/album and it appeared :)

  3. Jan says

    How do you restore the deleted music? I accidentally erased my favorite album off of my iPad, and even though I’ve synced my iPad with iTunes, the deleted song doesn’t come back!

  4. says

    My problem is the grey circle next to songs, which were interrupted downloads. They try to download, but won’t. I’d like to delete them, but the swipe right doesn’t work. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

  5. Tori says

    I have iPhone 3? I think. And the swipe method doesn’t work with my phone. Am I going to have to sync and delete from library? Or is there a shorter way…

  6. Katie says

    i have done the delete, but when i sync it come back, i don’t want it to come back after syncing. i try and delete it from itunes under my phone -> music, but i can’t delete it.

    • says

      Connect your iPhone to your Mac/PC. Within iTunes, click on your iPhone and then select the ‘Music’ tab. Here you can control what music gets synced to your iPhone. The songs are probably re-syncing.

  7. Marites says

    thank you so much! Ive been wanting to delete the old songs I downloaded before but I didnt know how. I was amaze how easy to delete it hahahaha laughing at myself after .you just swipe it towards left and the delete will appear. thanks a lot. its so easy!

  8. Vance Grey says

    At first I thought Apple customers were so stupid that someone needed to
    write a How-To for deleting files. I’m forced to use an iPhone for
    work and the UI is HORRIBLE. The simplest tasks are tedious and
    designed to force you into either the app or iTunes store. No
    user-generated content allowed.

  9. Anthony says

    There are some songs I want to delete, but they appear faded on my phone and I can’t swipe to bring up the delete button. Any ideas or solutions?

  10. Tim says

    I have a song listed twice and one won’t play, or let me delete it. Any
    suggestions? I think it was an interrupted download and when I synced
    it, it added it again. I’d like to delete the unplayable one but can’t
    with swipe. It doesn’t appear in iTunes either.

    • says

      Hey Tim, as I mentioned on Twitter, you might want to try to do a restore. I think you’re right, the interrupted download has left that file in limbo. Good luck and report back. My apologies for the late response.

  11. Kid Charlemagne says

    the swipe and delete method does NOT work in io6. apple removed the feature (much to the chagrin of its users). frustrating

  12. Rivkah Lambert Adler says

    I was very frustrated by the inability to move my music from one laptop to a new one. It’s shouldn’t be this complicated. In the end, this tip was a workaround and there should be an easier way to do it, but I’m very grateful!

  13. Debbie K says

    Hi, got an iphone, kids filled it with ‘their’ music for me….my dilema; im deleting songs in the car then when i back up the iphone on the PC it brought them all back, now i cant remember which ones i deleted!!! Question: How do delete songs off my iphone and try and remember which ones i need to delete from itunes OR can you some how ‘mark’ songs on the iphone to know which ones to delete OR can you have itunes know which songs have been sync’d and not sync again so they dont come back? i.e. Some of my kids music isnt bad but not all of it 😉

  14. Razor says

    I have iOS 4.3.3 and iPhone 3GS, so I can’t find the iTunes Match! I searched my whole iPhone, and I can’t find it!

  15. Brian Lindsay says

    The bigger question all should be asking is; WTH are you doing with Vanilla Ice on your phone to begin with?!?!?!?

  16. Kim says

    THANK YOU!!!! Everything else I have looked up has been so difficult. This is exactly what I was looking for!

  17. Ginny Northcott says


  18. Pauline Estrella says

    After deleting some music from my I Pad the icons are still there cluttering my music box. How do I get rid of them??

    • Pauline Estrella says

      I deleted the songs by holding the icon til the X came then deleted them. The files are still there but empty and cluttering! It won’t let me swipe and delete these empty files!!!

  19. BdB says

    My problem is that when I link to iTunes, it re-adds the songs I’ve deleted. Any way to the an auto sync off? Because I can’t delete the songs off the phone via iTunesi

  20. BdB says

    My problem is that when I link to iTunes, it re-adds the songs I’ve deleted. Any way to turn the auto sync off? Because I can’t delete the songs off the phone via iTunes

  21. Dede says

    SWEET! Thanks for the info! I was just about to use up all my storage because I had downloaded songs before I started using iCloud to store my music. This cleared off like 1700 songs.

  22. Chris says

    stop saying this is “easy”. it’s not easy, it’s asinine. That you had to post a “how-to” on what should be a self-explanatory task proves that this is yet another design flaw from Apple.

  23. Max says

    Does this method delete the songs completely from the internal storage of the device? Or does it just make it disappear?

  24. Tiffany says

    Just figured this out. It does work with iOS6. You cannot do a quick swipe. Go directly to your songs list (not a playlist). Find the song you want to delete. Start at the right and somewhat “hold down” then swipe left. Quick swiping plays the songs, but holding your finger with some pressure and slowly swipping should bring up the delete button. Then you can remove individual songs. You do not want to remove from playlists because that is the “sub file” of all your songs and won’t remove completely from your iphone. Can do with an artist or album as well.

  25. Maria says

    I cannot delete my music file using your directions. I am using iOS 7 and when I try it I lock up my music app. I have to close it, swipe to totally close it, and then I can go back into the app. I am also stuck “processing” two music files. Any suggestions? I am ready to throw my iPhone out the window since I got the new update!

  26. Mike says

    Cannot delete one particular song. iTunes Match in iPad 7 is switched off and every other song shows the delete button yet not this one song. Any suggestions?

  27. Jkb says

    I have tried both the swipe method and the syncing method to remove certain songs, but the swipe method doesn’t work on those songs, and the syncing doesn’t remove them, no matter how many times I try. iTunes Match is turned off. Could you please help me? Not much space for the new music I want because it’s filled with songs I don’t want…

  28. Tracyjo Jorgensen Tilch says

    I need help deleting songs we did not order from our iPad 4 and the swipe action isn’t working on these specific songs

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