Fix iPhone Playlists Not Showing Up in iTunes: 4 Top Ways

iPhone playlists not showing up in iTunes on your new computer or Mac? iTunes playlist disappeared 2020? Follow this guide for some methods to find iPhone songs/music in iTunes library.


By Dylan / Updated on March 5, 2024

Share this: instagram reddit

When I create a playlist on my iPhone, it does not show in iTunes. Playlists I create in iTunes and transfer to my iPhone show up in both iTunes and my iPhone, but new songs I add to those playlists via my iPhone do not show when I connect my iPhone to iTunes.

- Question from Apple Community

iTunes is considered one of the best tool for syncing files, especially music/songs, you can easily import/export playlist from iPhone to iTunes, but it's not as perfect as it seems. Sometimes, when you want to listen to your favorite music on your computer, you will find that iPhone playlist not showing up in iTunes.

itunes logo

Why are iPhone playlists not showing in iTunes?

There ares some reasons why your playlists on iPhone not showing in iTunes.

Your iTunes or iOS is not updated, there may be some glitches with older versions of iOS or iTunes that cause the sync to fail.
● You may be using a different or wrong Apple ID and your Apple ID is not synced with your iTunes.
Unstable internet connections may cause iPhone music not to show up in the iTunes library on your computer.
Unknown iCloud music issue. Some people reported that sometimes iCloud have a issue making the syncing problem. For instance, there may also be a related issue-Apple Music Playlist to disappear.
● Playlists not syncing to iPhone 2021 also may be because your Apple Music subscription is not activated and purchases are hidden.

Next, based on the causes above, we will give you a step-by-step guide on how to fix this problem, please keep reading.

How to fix iPhone playlists not showing up in iTunes

Before you start taking the steps below to resolve this issue, you need to:

Check your Apple ID password and make sure you're signed in to the same account.

Refresh your internet connection to make sure the connection is stable.

Review and unhide purchases you may have accidentally hidden and go to Settings to check if the Subscription on your iPhone has expired.

1. Update iTunes and iOS to the latest version

An update can be an upgrade or fix some bugs that might fix the playlist from iPhone not showing up in iTunes problem. Therefore you can update your iOS and iTunes to access your music tracks on the devices you own.

For iPhone: Go to Settings > General > Software Update > click on Select the Download and Install option to view if there is available update.

ios software update

For iTunes on Mac or Windows PC: You can visit the official iTunes website and check for available updates. If your iTunes is out of date, download and install it on your computer.

2. Enable and update iCloud Music Library

One of the things that can make your songs playlists accessible on your device is iCloud. You can enable iCloud Music Library on iPhone and iTunes to sync streaming music tracks on your device to help you deal with iPhone playlists not appearing in iTunes.

Note: iCloud only has 5 GB of free storage. Please make sure you have enough iCloud storage space, otherwise you will encounter troubles like iPhone backup failed.

On iPhone: Go to Settings > Music > under Library column, active iCloud Music Library > select Merge in the popup.

enable icloud music library iphone

In iTunes on Mac or Windows PC: Run the latest iTunes on your computer, click on Edit > select Preferences > under General Preferences, tick on the option just beside the iCloud Music Library > then click OK.

turn on icloud music library

Note: If you're a Windows user, the Edit option is just below the play button, if you're a Mac user, you'll find this Edit option in the menu bar at the top of the screen.

After enabling iCloud Music Library on your iTunes, you can also update it to get iPhone playlists. Updating iCloud Music Library will refresh the entire music library on your iPhone to help you restore the disappeared playlists in iTunes. Follow the steps below. 

Steps: Head to iTunes on PC or Mac > open File > Library > tap Update iCloud Music Library.

update icloud music library

3. Turn on Show Apple Music

Occasionally, after updating iOS, Show Apple Music may turn off automatically. To make iPhone Playlists show in iTunes, you can check it and turn on.

Steps: Go to Settings > tap Music > set the toggle of Show Apple Music to green. If it is already on, you can turn it off and turn on again. Then you can try to find iPhone playlists in iTunes to check if the playlists created on iPhone shows up.

iphone icloud music library

4. Try other tools to sync iPhone Playlists songs on your computer

Tired of dealing with the iTunes playlist not syncing issue due to various unexpected iPhone or iTunes errors? You can try other tools to sync or transfer iPhone music, songs and videos from iPhone to computer. Here, we recommend FoneTool to you. With this tool, you can easily play your favorite songs on your computer.

What can FoneTool bring you?

★ It can scan all your music on your iPhone and help you transfer both purchased and non-purchased music selectively.
★ FoneTool provides a variety of transfer ways to help you achieve free transfer between iPhone and computer at super-fast speed.
★ It works well on all iPhone models from iPhone 4 to the latest iPhone 15 series as well as iPad, iPod and Windows PC 11/10/8/7.
★ It provides an intuitive and simple interface, allowing you to handle transfer tasks effortlessly.

Free download FoneTool and give it a try.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Connect your iPhone to computer with USB cable, open FoneTool and go to Phone Transfer > Choose iPhone to PC > Click Get Started to continue.

transfer to computer

Step 2. Click the + icon, tap the Music icon to browse songs on your iPhone, preview and select the music you want to export, then click OK.

choose songs

Step 3. Choose a storage path to save your music > Click Start Transfer to complete the task. Then, the music on your iPhone will be imported to your computer.



Hope you can fix the iPhone playlists not showing up in iTunes issue with the above methods. You can let FoneTool help you transfer disappeared music playlists in iTunes to your computer. It also allows you to backup your iPhone to computer to avoid unexpected data loss.