How To: Delete "Phantom" iCloud Songs on Your iPhone

Delete "Phantom" iCloud Songs on Your iPhone

How to Delete "Phantom" iCloud Songs on Your iPhone

One of the best ways to free up space on your iPhone is to use iCloud storage, and one of the best uses for iCloud is music. If you're using iCloud for music, you can choose which songs and albums to upload, and then you can download them to your device later for offline use if need be.

However, this brings up one of the biggest issues I have with iCloud when it comes to music, and that's "phantom" songs, and sometimes even duplicate ones. These are songs that I've downloaded directly from iTunes, stored in iCloud, put onto my iPhone, no longer want after a certain period of time, and are seemingly impossible to get rid of.

(1) "European Son" in my iCloud, but not downloaded. (2) Streaming "European Song" briefly, but not downloaded. (3) After clearing iCloud songs from showing, partially played "European Son" remains (aka a phantom song).

And because I can't simply swipe them away, I'm stuck with songs I no longer want on my iPhone. If you have the same issue and want to get rid of certain iCloud songs on your iPhone, I'm here to help.

Getting Rid of iCloud Music on Your iPhone

To get rid of these phantom songs, first download all of the songs you want to keep from the Music application by tapping the iCloud icon and storing them on your phone's memory.

Now go to Settings -> Music and toggle off Show All Music

Go back to the Music app and you should only the music that you downloaded.

Still See Some Phantom Songs? Then Do This...

If you see other songs that you didn't download, these are the "stubborn songs." They're still there because either you listened to them, or because of some other underlying glitch.

If that's the case, you'll have to unhide the iCloud songs, download all of the "stubborn songs," then delete them (make sure you do not listen to these songs after deleting them, or else you'll need to do this process again).

It's an annoying process that will hopefully be addressed when iOS 8 comes out to the public. We'll keep our fingers crossed, but until Apple takes action, at least there's a solid workaround.

18 Comments

Thank you so much!!! You saved me from having to reset my phone again. :)

Thank you, thank you. I was going crazy with this two extremely random songs popping up in my control center -- one by JLo and the Nutcracker Overature. :(

Never worked, when I slide to delete the darn song plays again. Its an entity.. Apple intentionally makes itunes time consuming and difficult work around.. I have downloaded latest 8.01 iphone 6+ .. As far as I know my phone works well.. Its not a glitch its an entity ..easier to remove a tattoo than an idiotic song ..

Remember, Elbatta, that you have to RE-DOWNLOAD the stubborn song.
Following the instructions above:
Turn on Show All Songs.
Go to Music and download the song.
Turn off Show All Songs.
Go to Music and delete the song.

It worked for me. Heck, iTunes wouldn't even sync music with my phone because of the one stubborn song. Works great now, though!

Thank you, Nelson!

Thank you very much! I have been reading through several different tips on this subject during the last few days and this is the first one I found that worked!

So I try to attempt the process in which you download the phantom songs onto your iphone in order to then delete them...however when I go into the Music app on my phone, after switching off "Show All Songs," the Download from iCloud icon is not next to the phantom songs, suggesting they are already downloaded on my device but it still will not let me swipe left to delete. Has anyone encountered this alternate issue?

Dan, that you have to turn ON the Show All Songs to re-download the stubborn song.

Following the instructions above:
Turn on Show All Songs.
Go to Music and download the stubborn song.
Turn off Show All Songs.
Go to Music and delete the stubborn song.

It worked for me. Heck, iTunes wouldn't even sync music with my phone because of the one stubborn song. Works great now, though!

Thank you, Nelson!

this helped me so much thank you

I noticed the songs sometimes hang around for a couple of minutes and then disappear. Thanks for info on this workaround.

Thanks to your guide, I was FINALLY able to permanently delete those annoying phantom songs that kept popping up in my shuffle. Your guide is the only one that has worked. Thank you so much!

After i had turned the setting off, i look back to my library and i still see the songs that i don't want there. All it did just take the icloud Picture off , still won't let me swipe and delete. damnit apple why couldn't you leave it the way it used to be X( help please

i have the same problem!!! i cant solve it either im trying very hard

UPDATE: I fixed it! Try redownloading and deleting then hide it. It'll stay for a while but it'll go away after some time. But then if it doesn't work keep trying again and again!

Remember, Alexzan, that you have to RE-DOWNLOAD the stubborn song to delete it.
Following the instructions above:
Turn on Show All Songs.
Go to Music and download the song.
Turn off Show All Songs.
Go to Music and delete the song.

It worked for me. Heck, iTunes wouldn't even sync music with my phone because of the one stubborn song. Works great now, though!

Thank you, Nelson!

Thank you so much for this article!!! I have been trying for months to get some songs I bought for somebody else and that U2 album off my phone. These instructions were easy to follow and that stuff is finally gone!!!

You are a God-send. I always leave my music on Shuffle, so when I bought my new iPhone, the song played out of nowhere. Hid it just fine for a while, and then it popped back up. Thought I would have to reset my entire phone. Thank you SO much!

THANK YOU. It was driving me crazy! Haha

Had to try it two times but my husband's annoying U2 songs are gone!!!! Back to 80s and showtunes for me!!!

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