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Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

Tip: Restoring tracks removed from My Music

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.

Removed from My Music
Removed music is gone, but not forgotten

While investigating the album view in My Music, I decided to see what would happen if I removed from My Music the one track I did own from the aforementioned album.

As promised, the track–and the associated album–disappeared from my Music app entirely. Not so helpful. No matter, I figured, I’ll just go re-download the track from the Purchased list in the iTunes Store. Except it wasn’t there. When I viewed the album itself in the store, however, it told me that I had in fact purchased the track–and I was pretty sure there was no way Apple was going to make me buy it again, as that would probably cause a full-fledged revolt.

No, the answer is simpler–if sneakier–than that. The iTunes Store has long had a way to “hide” certain purchases. Great if, for example, you find yourself the proud owner of a U2 album you never wanted.

But if you don’t know about this feature, then you might think your music has disappeared into the ether. To restore those hidden tracks, you’ll need to fire up iTunes on your Mac or PC, and then access your account by clicking on your name in the title bar and choosing Account Info.

Account Info

Scroll down until you see the section labeled iTunes in the Cloud, under which you’ll see another entry for Hidden Purchases. Click the Manage link and you’ll see a full list, which includes anything you removed from My Music.

Manage Purchases

Finally, click the “Unhide” button under the selection.


That should restore the missing music to your My Music library, though in my case it also helped to then go into the iTunes Store app on my phone and redownload the track in question. (I think it would have popped up automatically if I’d given it enough time, but I was feeling impatient.)

So if you’re looking to streamline your My Music library a bit, you can do so with impunity, knowing that all your music will still be safe if you later rethink your decision.

[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at or reach him by email at His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is now available for pre-order.]

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