Why Is Apple Music Playing So Slow? Reasons & Fixes

Experiencing slow playback on Apple Music? You’re not alone. Various factors, like software glitches, server issues, and slow internet connections, can disrupt your listening experience. And each problem comes with its own set of challenges and solutions.

But fret not! We’ve compiled this comprehensive guide to help you pinpoint the problem and offer practical solutions to get your tunes playing smoothly again.

Why Is Apple Music Playing So Slow?

Slow playback on Apple Music can be frustrating and arise from various factors, such as software glitches, network issues, or server downtimes. In the following sections, we will delve into these common causes and provide actionable solutions to enhance your listening experience:

1. Glitch on the Apple Music App

Glitches often stem from common issues like software bugs, outdated app versions, and conflicts with other apps on your device. In this section, we will guide you through troubleshooting these glitches:

Solution 1.1: Troubleshoot Apple Music by Restarting the App on iOS

Refreshing the Apple Music app with a simple restart on your iOS device is a quick and effective way to eliminate minor glitches that can disrupt your music streaming experience.

Here’s How to Refresh Apple Music on iOS:

  • Swipe up from the bottom of the screen. Or, simply double-click the home button.
  • Locate the Apple Music app.
  • Swipe the app away to close it.
  • And relaunch the Apple Music application.
refresh the Apple Music app on iOS

If you’re facing slowness with Apple Music on macOS, simply right-click the app’s icon in your dock and choose “Quit.” Then, reopen the app from the dock or your applications folder. Android users can also improve Apple Music’s speed by restarting the app.

Solution 1.2: Restart Your iOS Device to Improve Apple Music Performance

If you’re facing persistent issues with Apple Music or other apps, restarting your iPhone will offer a more comprehensive fix by clearing temporary memory.

For iOS Users (iPhone 8 and Later):

  • Hold the Side button and one of the Volume buttons until a power-off slider appears.
  • Slide to turn off your device.
  • Hold the Side button again until the Apple logo appears.
restart your iOS device to improve Apple Music performance

On macOS, navigate to the Apple menu at the top-left corner and select “Restart.” This method also applies to Android users struggling with Apple Music apps.

Solution 1.3. Update Apple Music App

Updating the Apple Music app is a simple yet effective way to fix a range of issues, from minor glitches to significant slowdowns. Apple developers release regular updates to enhance performance, resolve bugs, and introduce new features, ensuring you enjoy an optimal music streaming experience.

Here’s How to Update Apple Music on iOS:

  • Open the App Store on your iOS device.
  • Tap on your profile icon at the top right.
  • Scroll down to find the Apple Music app.
  • If an update is available, click on “Update” next to the app.

You can update the Apple Music app through the App Store on Mac and via Google Play Store on Android for an improved and seamless experience.

Solution 1.4. Update iOS or macOS

Seems like an extreme measure, but keeping your operating system up-to-date is a straightforward yet effective way to enhance your device’s overall performance. What it does in this case is provide the latest security features and app improvements, including those for Apple Music. Let’s walk through the steps to update your iOS or macOS.

For iOS Users:

  • Tap on the “Settings” icon on your home screen.
  • Scroll down and tap on “General.
  • Choose “Software Update” to check for available updates.
  • Download and Install: If an update is available, tap “Download and Install.”
update iOS to improve Apple Music performance

For macOS Users:

  • Click on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen.
  • Select “System Preferences.”
  • Click on “Software Update.”
  • If an update is available, click “Update Now” to install it.
update macOS to improve Apple Music performance

2. Slow Internet Connection

A slow internet connection can be a significant bottleneck for streaming services like Apple Music. In this section, we’ll explore how to identify and resolve network-related issues causing the slow playback on Apple Music.

Solution 2.1. Switch to Another Network (WIFI or Data)

Switching your internet network between mobile data and Wi-Fi is a quick diagnostic tool to determine whether the issue lies with your internet connection or the Apple Music app itself. So this simple switch pinpoints the problem and significantly improves your Apple Music experience.

Solution 2.2. Reduce Audio Streaming Quality

Reducing the streaming quality can be a quick fix when you’re dealing with a slow network. Put simply, lower streaming quality means less data, which can lead to faster streaming.

For iOS Users:

  • Open the “Settings” app on your device.
  • Navigate to “Music” and then tap on “Audio Quality.”
  • Under “Mobile Data Streaming,” choose “High Efficiency” to lower the streaming quality.
adjusting audio quality settings in Apple Music for mobile data

For Wi-Fi Streaming:

  • In the same “Audio Quality” section, find “Wi-Fi Streaming.”
  • Select “High Efficiency” to limit streaming quality while on Wi-Fi.

By taking these steps, you can make your Apple Music experience smoother, even with a slow internet connection. However, be aware that this will reduce the audio quality. So, it’s good to switch back to a more reliable internet connection and revert to higher streaming quality for an optimal listening experience.

3. Apple Music Server is Down

Sometimes, the issue is caused because of Apple’s servers. Here, we’ll discuss how to confirm server-related problems and what steps you can take while waiting for a fix.

Solution 3.1. Waiting for Apple to Fix the Problem

You can check the current server status of Apple Music by visiting Apple’s System Status page. If Apple Music is experiencing issues, it will be indicated in red on this page.

In such cases, you’ll have to wait for the issue to be resolved.

Apple's System Status page

Of course, this rarely happens, and Apple usually resolves such issues promptly. You can explore other music platforms till then.

4. Other Unknown Reasons

In this section, we will include some general troubleshooting methods for those issues that do not align with the common issues mentioned above. These steps serve as a catch-all solution for less common problems causing the slow playback on Apple Music.

Solution 4.1. Disable and Enable the iCloud Music Library

Disabling and enabling the iCloud Music Library can effectively troubleshoot Apple Music playing slow. The iCloud Music Library refreshes your library and can resolve minor issues that aren’t easily apparent. And when you disable and re-enable it, you will refresh these elements and resolve the Apple Music being slow issue.

For iOS Users:

  • Open the “Settings” app on your iPhone.
  • Scroll down and choose “Music.”
  • Toggle off “Sync Library.” You’ll see a warning that this will remove all Apple Music content and downloads from your device.
  • Confirm by choosing “Turn Off.
  • To re-enable, simply toggle “Sync Library” back on.
disable iCloud Music Library on iOS for optimized Apple Music performance

For macOS Users:

  • Launch the Apple Music app on your Mac.
  • From the top menu bar, go to “Music” and then select “Preferences.”
  • Navigate to the “General” tab.
  • In the “Library” section, uncheck the box next to “Sync Library.”
  • Click “OK” to apply the changes.
  • After saving the changes, repeat the above steps and check the box to re-enable the “Sync Library.”
disable and enable iCloud Music Library on macOS

This will reset the iCloud Music Library and resolve slow playback on Apple Music.

Solution 4.2. Download Your Music for Offline Listening

Downloading your favorite tracks for offline listening can be a game-changer if the slow playback on Apple Music persists. This will allow you to enjoy your music without being affected by network issues and server downtimes.

Here’s How to Download Music for Offline Listening on Apple Music:

  • Open the Apple Music app and navigate to the song or album you wish to download.
  • Tap the “Download” icon, usually represented with an arrow pointing downward.
  • Your selected music will start downloading and be available for offline listening once the download is complete.
download music for offline listening on Apple Music to bypass streaming issues

Additional Options for Offline Listening:

If you’re looking for alternative methods, third-party tools like HitPaw Apple Music Converter and ViWizard Audio Converter allow you to download Apple Music tracks to MP3 or other formats.

Solution 4.3. Reinstall the Apple Music App

One of the best ways to resolve persistent issues is to start afresh. Reinstalling the Apple Music app can eliminate glitches and deal with data corruption affecting the listening experience.

Uninstalling the Apple Music app will remove all the app’s data from your device, including downloaded songs for offline listening. Your playlists, libraries, and music preferences will remain intact on Apple’s servers, accessible again if you reinstall the app or use a different device.

For iOS Users (iPhone 8 and Later):

  • Long-press the Apple Music icon on your home screen until it starts to wiggle.
  • Long press on the Apple Music icon or empty area on the screen to see the “-” symbol at the top-right corner of the icon.
  • A pop-up will appear asking you to confirm the uninstallation. Tap “Delete.”
  • Go to the App Store, search for Apple Music, then install the app. Sign in to your account and check if the performance has improved.
uninstall and reinstall Apple Music on iOS for a smoother experience.

For macOS Users:

  • Right-click the Apple Music icon in your dock and select “Quit.”
  • Open the Applications folder, locate the Apple Music app, and drag it to the Trash.
  • Right-click on the Trash icon and select “Empty Trash.”
  • Simply visit the App Store and search for “Apple Music.”
  • Click on the “Get” option to reinstall Apple Music. All your previous settings and libraries will be restored with the same Apple ID upon signing in.

Solution 4.4. Free Up Storage Space

Low Storage can significantly hamper the performance of all apps on the device. As far as Apple Music is concerned, this means caching and buffering songs, leading to lag and frequent interruptions. And freeing up space on your device can improve the app’s responsiveness and reduce lag or buffering issues.

For iOS Users:

Navigate to the “Settings” app on your iOS device.

Go to “General” and then select “iPhone Storage.”

Review Storage: Here, you’ll see a list of apps and their storage amount. This will give you a clear idea of which apps take up the most space.

the list of apps and their storage usage on iPhone

You can tap on any app to see more details and options for clearing its data. For instance, you can delete downloaded files, clear the cache, or uninstall the app to free up space.

For macOS Users:

  • Click on the Apple menu located at the top-left corner of your screen.
  • Select “About This Mac” from the dropdown menu.
  • Navigate to the “Storage” tab and click on “Manage.”

Review Storage: Here, you’ll see a breakdown of how storage is being used on your Mac. This includes categories like “Applications,” “Documents,” “System,” “Music,” etc.

You can click on each category for more details and options for freeing up space. This could involve deleting old files, emptying the trash, or removing apps you no longer use.

Freeing up space will allow you to optimize your device’s storage. Plus, this will not only solve the Apple Music playing slow issue but also improve the overall performance of your iOS or macOS device.

Solution 4.5. Contact Apple Support

When all else fails, reaching out to Apple Support can provide you with expert assistance for your specific issue. For this:

  • Visit the official Apple Support website.
  • Click on the “Music” icon and select “Apple Music.”
  • Choose the issue you’re facing from the list of common problems, or select “Other” to describe your unique issue.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to chat with a support agent or schedule a call.

Frequently Asked Questions About Apple Music Playing Slow

Why Is My Apple Music App Playing Songs Slowly?

There could be several reasons for slow playback on Apple Music, from software glitches to outdated app versions to slow internet connections. You can resolve these issues by restarting the app, updating it, or rebooting your device. For more details, refer to the guide above.

How Can I Improve Apple Music’s Performance?

Simple solutions are often overlooked but are the most effective ways to resolve the issue. Solutions like updating the app, restarting the device, or switching to a faster internet connection can solve the problem. Of course, there could be more serious issues, but it is best to start with the simplest troubleshooting steps when trying to resolve the issue.

Are There Any Alternatives to Apple Music?

Spotify, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music are great alternatives to Apple Music. These platforms include more than the 100 million tracks available on Apple Music. If you want a Spatial Audio experience like Apple Music on an alternative app, Tidal and Amazon Music are the best choices.

Should I Use Third-Party Apps to Speed Up Apple Music?

Although the idea of third-party apps solving slow playback seems tempting, they often compromise your device’s security. Importantly, they are not permanent solutions for this problem. It is best to troubleshoot the issue yourself.

Can Clearing All App Data Improve Apple Music’s Speed?

As we have already mentioned, clearing up app data and storage space does help in solving the slow playback issue on Apple Music. However, you must remember that clearing all app data will remove your downloaded music, too.

Should I Switch to a VPN to Improve Apple Music Streaming?

Using a VPN will slow down your internet connection and further reduce speed. This is not recommended for improving your Apple Music’s performance.

What Are Expert Tips for Keeping Apple Music Performance Seamless?

You can optimize your Apple Music experience for better performance by following these tips:

– Keeping the Apple Music app updated
– Stable internet connection
– Manage device storage
– Close unnecessary apps
– Quality settings
– Regular reboots
– Avoid VPNs and proxies.


Slow playback and other performance issues on Apple Music can damage your listening experience. This guide provides a multi-faceted approach and lists all the potential problems and actionable solutions to resolve the Apple Music playing slow issue. If all else fails, remember that Apple Support is just a click away.

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