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Backup iTunes Match Songs Using This iTunes Download Trick

Last updated: June 30, 2015 at 1:42 am

Here’s what happens when you subscribe to iTunes Match:

  1. Your music is uploaded to the cloud
  2. Your uploaded music cannot be downloaded

The second point is important. Because, if you have uploaded / imported songs to the cloud server, you can’t download them back on your computer or laptop.

And what’s worse? If you cancel your iTunes Match subscription – all these songs are gone forever.

This is an important fact every Apple user – that took the time to rip MP3s from CDs and DVDs – should know. Why would Apple do this anyway? What’s the point of stopping you from downloading all the songs you have on your cloud server?

What Apple does provide you is the ability to download only the purchased songs – songs you have bought through the iTunes Store. All the imported songs cannot be downloaded or saved.

So the question is: Do we really have any way to backup all the iTunes Match songs and musics? For this, we have to look for…

The Solution?

So if you want to backup and save iTunes Match songs on your computer or any external drive, we have a solution that requires the following:

  • A computer / laptop with access to high-speed Internet (depending on the collection of music you have and its size)
  • Apple iTunes player installed on your computer

You should, of course, have Apple account with you – the same login that you used to subscribe to iTunes Match (which is usually same as your iCloud’s username and password).

How to Save All The iTunes Match Songs / Musics On Your Computer

Follow these steps:

  • Start up iTunes
  • Create a new Smart Playlist with the criteria (as shown in screenshot)
  • iCloud Status is matched
  • Save this Smart Playlist as say “iTunes Match Download”
  • Browse to this Smart Playlist and select one song
  • Select all with Ctrl + A (Windows) or Cmd + A (Mac)
  • Consider the total size at the bottom of the screen in terms of whether you have this disk space or bandwidth allowance.
  • Right click on the items and choose Download

That’s it – your iTunes Match playlists / music albums / songs will begin downloading. Credit goes to Damieng for explaining this trick last year. Even this year, this simple tutorial should help you get all your iTunes Match files on your computer.

It’s important to note that the download can fail sometimes. In such cases, you have to resume the download and try it several tries. Once you have backed up everything, you can go ahead and cancel iTunes Match or switch over to Apple Music.

Note: This trick works only when you have an active iTunes Match membership that costs $24.99 per year. If the service is expired, you cannot retrieve or recover any files from the cloud.

Note: Articles written at are valid for every Apple device running iOS 8.0, iOS 8.1, iOS 8.2, iOS 8.3, iOS 8.4 / 8.4.1 firmware