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Question: If I delete music albums from my iPhone will they get deleted from my iTunes library next time I sync?

I’ve deleted a large amount of music from my iPhone to free up space for photos while travelling. (Hard-press on the album in the Music app and select “Delete from Library”)


Next time I sync to my desktop PC, will all that music get deleted from my ITunes library also? That would be a disaster, as that’s my master copy of all my music. Most of it is ripped from CDs years ago so if it gets deleted I’ve lost it forever.

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Nov 19, 2017 1:24 PM in response to ajas2 In response to ajas2

In case anyone is interested, I've tried it. (I took a backup of my iTunes Library first).


What happened was totally unexpected. iTunes simply restored all the deleted tracks back to my iPhone.


For me, that behaviour was fine. The only reason I deleted tracks in the first place was to create some temporary space. So putting the tracks back afterwards was a low-impact outcome. However, this seems to be a bug. It can't be right that you deliberately delete tracks from your iPhone library, and the next time you plug into iTunes they get put back again.

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Nov 19, 2017 1:24 PM in response to ajas2 In response to ajas2

In case anyone is interested, I've tried it. (I took a backup of my iTunes Library first).


What happened was totally unexpected. iTunes simply restored all the deleted tracks back to my iPhone.


For me, that behaviour was fine. The only reason I deleted tracks in the first place was to create some temporary space. So putting the tracks back afterwards was a low-impact outcome. However, this seems to be a bug. It can't be right that you deliberately delete tracks from your iPhone library, and the next time you plug into iTunes they get put back again.

Nov 19, 2017 1:24 PM

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Nov 19, 2017 2:46 PM in response to ajas2 In response to ajas2

What happened was totally unexpected. iTunes simply restored all the deleted tracks back to my iPhone.


The iTunes library is the "master". This is expected behaviour.


If you truly want music gone from your phone, uncheck that music in your iTunes library playlist etc. and resync.


No need to delete it.

Nov 19, 2017 2:46 PM

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Nov 20, 2017 1:52 PM in response to LACAllen In response to LACAllen

I'm happy with the outcome, but the behaviour doesn't really make any sense.


Why does my iPhone have an option to delete an album, if it will be automatically restored on the next sync? If wifi sync actually worked, the deletion would always be undone the same evening. That seems at best pointless, and at worst a bug.


There are old threads from 2013 which confirm that the behaviour used to be different - that the chosen tracks would no longer be synced to the iPhone, as though I had unticked them, which is the behaviour I ideally wanted. All I wanted was for those tracks to no longer reside on my iPhone, and that's exactly what used to happen.


What got me worried was the actual text of the delete button, which says "Delete from Library". I had been happily deleting albums without realising that "Library" probably has a specific meaning, not limited to the device I'm using. So I was concerned that my Library (i.e. including the master copy) would get pared back.


No harm done in this case, other than a massive waste of time backing up a 250Gb iTunes library. But whichever way you look at it, the actual behaviour makes no sense.

Nov 20, 2017 1:52 PM

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Question: If I delete music albums from my iPhone will they get deleted from my iTunes library next time I sync?