Your Apple Watch makes it super easy to carry your favorite music with you during your runs or walks without the need for an internet connection (via WiFi or Cellular) on the watch.
To play music when your watch isn’t connected to the internet, you must first download it.
In this article, we explore how you can add music playlists to your Apple Watch and the steps you can take when you are unable to add in a new playlist on to your Apple Watch.
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How to add Music Playlists to your Apple Watch
The best way to add music to your Apple Watch is to use the Watch app on your iPhone.
We prefer this method instead of using the Music app on the watch; however you can also add playlists using just the watch.
- Connect your watch and iPhone to the same WiFi network, and if needed, place your watch on its charger (required for watches using watchOS 9 and below but not watchOS 9.1 and above.)
- Open the Watch app on your iPhone. Tap on the My Watch tab at the bottom. Scroll down and tap on Music from the list of apps.
- If you want recently listened to or purchased music to download onto your watch automatically, toggle on Recent Music from under Automatically Add.
- The next time you charge your watch (if required) and if it is connected to Wi-Fi, it automatically downloads the music you recently played on your iPhone.
- Do not toggle this on if your watch is low on storage for music or for older model Apple Watches with limited total storage.
- Tap on Add Music from under PLAYLISTS & ALBUMS.
- Next, tap on Playlists or choose Albums, Artists, etc..
- Choose a particular Playlist, artist, or album, etc.from your list.
- Tap on the + sign at the top.
That’s it, the music is automatically downloaded and added to your Apple Watch. You should see a message and icon that music is downloading and updating to your watch.
Download and add playlists using just the watch
- Check the Music app’s settings on your watch.
- Open Settings > Music and toggle and Add Playlist Songs.
- Scroll down to Recent Music. Toggle this on if you want to automatically add recently purchased and listened to music to your Apple Watch. If you don’t want your watch to automatically add any music, toggle this off.
- Open the Music app on your Apple Watch.
- Choose Library or if you are an Apple Music subscriber, you can also choose Search.
- Locate the playlist you want to add and swipe on it. For Apple Music subscribers, tap the playlist then choose Add to Library.
- To download the music, tap the three-dot More button, then choose Download.
Unfortunately, there are times when you may have to roll up your sleeves and do a little troubleshooting when the music playlists do not download to the Apple Watch.
Unable to Add Music Playlists to Apple Watch? Check these tips
Many users report that when trying to add their playlists to Apple Watch, they encounter a weird error message.
The message usually says, “Could Not Connect To Apple Watch Make sure your Apple Watch is nearby, turned on and not in Airplane Mode, then try again.”
Other users find that the music sync between the Apple Watch and iPhone takes a lot of time, especially when your playlist is pretty large.
Here are some basic troubleshooting tips that can be helpful when facing these issues. Before moving into these steps, please make sure that your Apple Watch has enough storage space.
If you are having storage issues with your Apple Watch, you may run into different issues when downloading your Music or Podcast for offline listening.
Restart your phone and watch
As with any basic troubleshooting, we recommend that you restart your Apple iPhone and Watch following an iOS or WatchOS update.
This is particularly true if you have started experiencing these problems following the latest software update to the devices.
Restart your phone and watch by powering it off, waiting 20-30 seconds, and then powering it back on.
Start with powering off your iPhone, then power off your watch. Wait and power up your iPhone first, followed by your watch.
Update iOS and watchOS
The majority of the time, sudden issues are usually software bugs that Apple tends to fix with the next iOS/WatchOS release cycle.
We strongly recommend that you keep your iOS and watch OS updated to the latest version so that it can take care of any bugs.
Check that your WiFi network match on the phone and watch
Make sure that your watch is connected to the same WiFi as your iPhone and that your Watch is not in airplane mode.
Or try a different Wi-Fi network
Oftentimes, the problem is the speed of the WiFi network your watch uses. This is especially a problem if you use a public network, like at an airport or library, or if the network has a lot people using it at the same time.
So try a different network if you can, or wait to download your playlists when you’re at home, where you can control how many devices are using the network at the same time.
Verify your watch has storage available for music
Your watch might have run out of room to store music on your Apple Watch. Your watch can store a maximum of 25% of its total storage for music up to a maximum of 8 GB–even if your watch has more space available.
To see how much music you currently store on your Apple Watch, open Settings > General > Storage. Or open the Watch app on your iPhone > My Watch > General > Storage. Look at Media and then scroll down to see your Music storage.
If your music storage is full, you need to first remove some music added to your watch to free up space.
- To delete downloaded music from your watch, open the Music app > Library > Downloaded, then tap Playlists or Albums. Choose an album or playlist, then swipe left on it and tap the More button (three dots) and select Remove. Then, tap Remove Downloads.
- To delete music using the Watch app, select your watch and choose the Music app. Tap the Edit button at the top. Then, tap the minus sign next to the music you wish to remove from your watch and tap Delete. Press Done to save.
- We also recommend toggling off Recent Music so it’s not automatically added to your watch.
Missing songs on your Apple Watch Playlist?
Some users report that when they add the playlist to the watch app on iPhone, only some of the songs get exported and the playlist on the Apple Watch is missing songs.
Try this sequence:
- Place your Apple Watch on its charger if needed.
- For watchOS 9 and below, your Apple Watch must be connected to power to download music. For watchOS 9.1+, your Apple Watch downloads music when it’s placed near your iPhone.
- Close all open apps on your watch by pressing the side button, then swiping left and tapping the x on each app preview.
- Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
- Choose Bluetooth. Scroll down and turn off Bluetooth.
- Open the Music app on your Apple Watch. And choose your Library.
- Tap Playlists.
- Select the Playlist where you are missing songs.
- Tap on the three-dot More button.
- Choose Download.
- If you see Download Now, tap it to begin downloading.
- Look for the message that the songs are downloading or queued.
- Turn Bluetooth back on once your songs are downloaded.
Are playlists missing from Apple Watch?
Some users find that their Apple Watch is not displaying all their favorite playlists anymore.
If you have this issue, open the Watch app on your iPhone, toggle off Recent Music, and then delete all the music that you added to your Apple Watch.
Restart your Watch and then manually add it again.
This tip usually fixes the issue of missing playlists on your Apple Watch.
Spotify playlists missing songs?
If you are using Spotify Playlists on your Apple Watch and missing songs from your playlists, your best bet is to uninstall the Spotify app and re-install it.
This usually fixes the issue, although many Spotify for Apple Watch users report that your watch has to be connected to your iPhone in order to see all the songs.
Remember that there is a 50 songs limit with the Spotify playlist for Apple Watch.
The tips above do not require you to factory reset your Apple Watch.
That being said, if you are persistently having Music related issues on your Apple Watch and we recommend you try unpairing and re-pairing the devices and restore your watch from a recent backup.
If unpairing/re-pairing didn’t work, try it again, but this time set your watch up as new and see if that helps with these issues.
Please let us know if you have any questions or if you would like to share a tip or two using the comments below.