How to Recover a Deleted Playlist on Apple Music on iPhone

To recover a deleted Apple Music playlist, you’ll need to restore your device to a previous backup, recover the playlist from another device it may be synced to, or simply remake the playlist.

Having playlists on music streaming platforms like Apple Music is a great way to curate the perfect listening experience for your certain mood or feeling at the time. But what happens if a playlist has been deleted and you want to get it back?

Thankfully, it isn’t lost forever. This guide is going to take a closer look at how you can attempt to recover a deleted playlist on Apple Music.

Key Takeaways

  • You can get an Apple Music playlist back by restoring your iPhone to a previous backup where the playlist was still on the device.
  • If you don’t have a backup or don’t want to revert to a past backup and lose new data, you can see if the playlist has been synced on any other device and retrieve it from there.
  • As a last resort, you can attempt to remake the playlist. If you’re having trouble remembering some of the songs, you can look at your previously played or searched for song, or check out your Apple Music Replay to see if it helps rekindle your memory.

Reasons a Playlist May have Disappeared

While deleting a playlist is likely the most common reason why it’s gone, there are other potential causes for the playlist missing

Reason 1: Expired Apple Music Subscription

First of all, your Apple Music subscription expiring could be the cause.

When you are no longer subscribed, you lose access to Apple Music, and thus your playlist. The fix here is to simply resubscribe.

However, you likely want to do so quickly to minimize the chances of your playlist being lost forever. As for how long it takes Apple to fully remove your songs/playlists after an expired subscription, there are mixed responses.

Some people have said they lost all playlists and their song library after only a few weeks, while others have claimed to be able to get them back after months.

As a result, to be sure you don’t lose your playlist, make sure to not let your subscription expire (unless you no longer want to use Apple Music, of course), or resubscribe very quickly.

Reason 2: Issue Within the App

Another potential cause of the playlist being lost is an issue with the app, such as errors or the playlist being hidden from your library. A strange bug within your device could also be to blame.

A good option to try and get rid of the weird bug or glitch is to restart your iPhone. You can do this by pressing and holding either volume button and the side power button at the same time until the Power Off slider appears.

Then, simply slide it to the right to turn off your device. After it’s been off for around 30 seconds or so, press and hold the side power button until the Apple logo appears to turn the device back on.

You could also perform a device update if you have one available to see if this is able to repair the issue. This is done by going to Settings > General > Software Update and then clicking Download and Install if you have an update to do.

Solution 1: Restore Playlist from a Previous iCloud Backup

If your playlist has truly been deleted and isn’t simply gone due to a glitch or expired subscription, the first option you have to recover a deleted playlist is to restore an iCloud backup. This needs to be from a time when the playlist was still on your phone.

Keep in mind that this will delete anything new added to the phone since the last backup, so be careful when restoring from a backup that’s a little older.

In order to restore from a backup, you need to reset your device by going to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone and press Erase All Content and Settings.

When setting up the device after the reset, follow the steps until you reach the Transfers Your Apps & Data screen. On the screen, press From iCloud Backup and choose the backup that you want to restore from.

Solution 2: Recover Playlist from Other Device

Another way to potentially get the playlist back is by searching for it on another device. It’s worth checking the other devices you have previously connected with your iPhone just to see if the playlist or information about the songs on it can be found elsewhere.

Even if you haven’t fully synced your music library with another device, it’s still a good idea to do a quick search and see what you can find.

Solution 3: Remake the Playlist

If neither of these options work for you, you’ll need to try and remake the playlist to the best of your abilities. This certainly isn’t ideal, but if a backup or other device doesn’t have the playlist, your chances of finding it are slim.

If you can’t remember all of the songs that were on the playlist, you could look at your recently played or searched songs to see if that jogs your memory.

Also, looking at your Apple Music Replay will help you see the music you have listened to the most over the recent months.

Even if you don’t get it perfectly, you may get to discover some new music that you love that you may not have gotten the chance to experience if you didn’t have to make a new playlist.

To prevent this from happening in the future, you can consider keeping a running list somewhere that features all the songs, or even making sure to export the playlists elsewhere so they’re not 100% lost if you accidentally remove them from your iPhone again.

Final Thoughts

Losing or accidentally deleting a playlist on Apple Music can be very frustrating, especially if you put in hours and hours building it. Thankfully, however, it may not be lost forever. I hope this guide helped you learn a few things you can do to try and bring it back.

What sort of music do you like to have on your Apple Music playlists? Let me know in a comment below.

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