How to fix: Grayed Out Songs on the iPhone, iPod and iTunes

When users try to connect their phone to iTunes, Phone under device section all listed songs are grayed out and can’t be selected. They can’t play these music files.
This problem mostly happened after the iOS update. This issue occurred to the following devices iPhone 4S, iTunes 11 & iTunes Match and iPhone 5s with iTunes 12.
So how to remove these ghost songs out of your device listing.
Reason for this problem?
This problem happened because of the sync issue. If you deleted some songs from your computer and you not updated on iTunes (so removed songs still listing on your iTunes library), when you try to sync music to iPhone, deleted or missed songs displays as grayed out songs.
Best Solution: Sync iPhone songs with iTunes alternative (MacX MediaTrans). It bypasses the removed songs in iTunes and directly sync all the existing music from your Mac to iPhone hassle-free. And you don’t need to take time to fix the grayed out songs error.


Fix 1:- Re-sync
Use USB cable instead of Wi-Fi. Try to re-sync again. This will fix the issue.
Fix 2:-
Refresh the iTunes library and playlist and ensure all songs are available. Then re-sync again.
Fix 3:-

  • Connect your iPhone to iTunes. Click “on this iPhone” and select grayed out songs, right click and choose delete option.
  • Then go back out of your iPhone and click “songs” drag one song to your iPhone.

Fix 4:-
On your iOS device (iPhone or iPad or iPod) go to Settings ->Music and turn off  “Show All Music” option.
Fix 5:-

  1. Enable “Manually manage music”
  2. Delete entire music library on your iPhone. Then add song back using iTunes library.

Fix 6:-

  • First back up your songs.
  • In the iTunes library, remove all data. Then try to sync it with your iPod or iPhone.
  • Now add music folder to iTunes
  • Reboot iPhone and sync it with iTunes

Other Solutions:-

  • Select all songs. Right-click and choose “check selection”.
  • Try to rebuild the iTunes library.
  • Use third-party applications like  CopyTrans. Drag and drop music file to an iPod or iPhone.
5:06 am

18 responses to How to fix: Grayed Out Songs on the iPhone, iPod and iTunes

Yeh this doesn't work….
At no point can you;
Fix 3:-
Connect your iPhone to iTunes. Click “on this iPhone” and select grayed out songs, right click and choose delete option.
You can select them after highlighting your phone but you can't delete them…

The other thing to do is from the home screen click music, scroll all the way to the very top, now in the middle of the screen it says "songs/" in red font, click that, check off "show itunes purchases". now you will never have to scroll through all the old annoying songs your ex-gf may have purchased on your account 5 years ago.

None of these suggestions work. Most of them aren't even possible. e.g. "On your device go to Setting -> Music -> "Show all music". There is no such option on an iPhone. Or, "in iTunes, click on "on this iPhone" (there is no such option) or "press delete on the greyed out songs" – its not possible to click "delete" on the greyed out songs. You also can't drag between your music library and your iPhone, because they're in the same window on iTunes.
Do you guys have a solution that actually works / is possible?

I found what worked for me. First and foremost I turned on the backup features on my phone. It was off! You do this by going to system I turned off

I found what worked perfectly for me. First, using wifi, I backed up my iCloud on my phone; Settings > iiCoud> Backup. Make sure the gree toggle but is switched to ON. If it's been off, then your iCloud turns it into an inactive distant memory. so if your prompted to back up, then do it. Best using wifi so you don't use data.
Secondly, and very importantly, turn OFF Auto Synching in iTunes on your computer (you'll find this option under Preference.
Other than that I just had deleted songs I didn't want. DELETE FROM MY MUSIC.
Now all is as normal. FINALLY.

Typos in that comment. Turn the Green toggle button to the on position. When you are prompted to back up, do with wifi. Last, delete all songs on your phone by selecting the circle with the three dots and click Delete, then "Delete from my music."

If you recently upgraded your phone, or maybe got a new computer… or, who knows, something over the years is different and now you see ghost music "on your phone" in iTunes, here's what I did that fixed it:
1) Open your iPhone in iTunes (plug it into your computer via USB).
2) Go into the Summary menu (this is the main screen for the iPhone in iTunes).
3) Check the Manage Music Manually button.
– What happened here for me is iTunes said that multiple libraries cannot sync, etc. etc.
4) Click Apply. Click Sync.
5) After it syncs, go to the On My Device area and click Music.
6) Right click on greyed out music and delete the tracks.
All done!
Hope this helps someone.

same!! everyone is like "wow that fixed it" um not it isn't. i have tried deleting them over and over and they keep coming back! i'm so annoyed!

Just tried someone's suggestion from the Apple Community, and it works perfectly.
Download iFunbox from their website, connect your iPhone to the PC, go to raw files, purchases folder and delete the contents, resynch your phone with the PC and all is fine. Period. The ghost files are gone for good.

Try this… I was at my wits end last evening trying to fix this problem of a grayed out playlist that I synced to my ipod touch 6 that I just purchased last week. I felt like Marty McFly in "Back to the Future" when he slammed the steering wheel and the Delorean started up! I sat there and tried everything that was suggested… nothing worked. So I just looked at the screen and stared.. then I thought… ok, I'm going to do a CTRL Shift and click on UNCHECK songs…. Ok, did this… then went back, did another CTRL Shift and RECHECKED all the songs…. holy moly! It worked! All of a sudden the playlist was no longer grayed out and synced to my Ipod just dandy! I'm a freakin' genius LOL !!!!!!

Cijidunne Please elaborate, I'm not getting what you did. Click on "UNCHECK" songs? Where is that command?

And what if I want to get them on my phone? I've gotten some ringtones, and wanted to put them on my phone. I dragged 30+ files from my computer to my "tones" file on my phone. 6 of them are there in black, the rest are greyed out. I've tried adding them one at a time, and many other things. The same 6 work and the rest don't. YES, these all worked on my phone just yesterday, but I had to reset my phone and lost all my tones.

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