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Question: Grey dotted circle on itunes-but with a twist

So, I know there's loads of answer about the grey dotted circle but no one seems to have the problem I'm having. My issue isn't that the songs won't sync- they are on both my iPhone (7) and on MacBook. The issue is that these songs only appear as a grey dotted circle on the iPhone in iTunes when it's plugged into the computer. They won't update play count or last played, though they all still work. These songs have been exclusively songs I've purchased recently via iTunes on my phone.


I know I could go through the motions of fixing it, but I feel like there is an underlying issue here. I'm worried if I keep buying songs via my phone the same thing will happen or if I try to buy a song via my computer it won't transfer.


Any idea what's actually causing the issue?

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Mar 17, 2018 8:29 AM in response to jaj09e In response to jaj09e

jaj09e wrote:


These songs have been exclusively songs I've purchased recently via iTunes on my phone.

It wouldn’t surprise me if the ‘missing’ songs played fine for that very reason: perhaps they play from the Cloud, and not locally? (Apple TV has that as a setting, so why not other devices?)

Mar 17, 2018 8:29 AM

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Mar 17, 2018 8:04 PM in response to jaj09e In response to jaj09e

You could try the following all-purpose steps for dealing with erratic device or sync behaviour (including the troublesome greyed out tracks and/or dotted circles of stalled transfers). They assume that all of the content you want on the device is in your library ready for restoring. If it isn't see Recover your iTunes library from your iPod or iOS device first. I would also recommend you copy everything out of the camera roll if you haven't already.


  1. Backup device.
  2. Restore as a new device.
  3. Restore the backup you made earlier.


Use an encrypted backup (*) if you want to preserve passwords, Wi-Fi settings, web history and health data where appropriate. I also suggest syncing with a selection of playlists (unless you're using iCloud Music Library) rather than manually adding content as, if nothing else, the process above is easier to do if you ever have to go through it again.


(*) The downside with backup encryption is that if you forget the password when you need it again, which could be years later, you may need to invoke a workaround to turn off encryption as shown in Re: disable encrypted backups, which can only help if your device is in a state that can backup to iCloud, or runs iOS 11.



For added security you might also want to make an independent backup to iCloud and/or archive your current backup before you start.



FWIW I successfully used this method some time ago when Siri became unable to call contacts or play my music.



tt2

Mar 17, 2018 8:04 PM

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Apr 16, 2018 11:53 AM in response to IsAppleMusicAnyGoodIWonder In response to IsAppleMusicAnyGoodIWonder

Agreed! Apple is getting worse by the month. Just now, when I was logging into reply, it said this was a new device. I have had this device since 2012 and have been using the same AppleID since then. All software is updated to latest version. Six years of continuous use and NOW it seems like a new device to Apple. One stupid problem while I am logging on to solve another stupid problem. Apple doesn't have a right to this much of my time.

Apr 16, 2018 11:53 AM

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Question: Grey dotted circle on itunes-but with a twist