iTunes: How to Copy Playlists to iPhone, iPad or iPod

Apple iTunes has been redesigned, and figuring out the new interface can be a bit daunting. Copying playlists to an iPhone, iPad or iPod is a bit different depending on the version you are using. Here’s how it’s done.

iTunes 12 – Option 1

  1. Connect your device to the computer.
  2. Select the icon for your device, located at the upper-left portion of the screen.
  3. Select the “Music” option on the left pane.
  4. Ensure the “Sync Music” check-box is selected.
  5. In the “Playlists” section, check the playlists you wish to sync with your iOS device.
  6. Select “Sync” and your playlist should sync.
    iTunes sync playlist option 1

iTunes 12 – Option 2

  1. Connect your device to the computer.
  2. Ensure the “Sync Music” check-box is selected under device icon > “Music“.
  3. Select the music note icon located at the upper-left portion of the screen, then choose the¬†“Playlists” tab at the top center portion of the screen.
    iTunes 12 Playlist tab
  4. Playlists are listed in the left pane. Select¬†the playlist(s) you wish to sync, then drag them to your device listed in the “Devices” section on the left pane. They will then sync to your device.
    iTunes Drag Playlist

iTunes 11

  1. Connect your device to the computer. A button should appear for your device in the upper-right portion of the screen. Click it.
  2. Select Add To… This will make a contents menu available on the right side.
  3. Select Playlists at the top of the screen.
  4. Drag any playlist from the left side to the right side.
  5. Click Done, then select the Sync button in the lower right corner of the screen to sync your changes.

You have successfully transferred a playlist to your Apple device. If you liked the old way of doing things, you can always enable the left sidebar again.

Comments

  1. Bianca says

    Hi all i tried several times but cannot copy playlists from itunes to iphone as described above. Reason is that i dont see the “sync music” button but rather i see “itunes match is on” and i can only select “sync voice memos”. How can i just sync playlists from itunes to iphone?

    thanks bianca

  2. Rob says

    Thanks for the iTunes 12 playlist instructions. I hate this new interface without the sidebar and couldn’t figure it out but now I got it, thanks.

  3. Colleen says

    I have version 12. I clicked the notes button for my ipad. Then I went and tried to drag a playlist to the ipad icon on the side (NOT the one on the top). The thing is, I have to scroll up to get to that. The little draggy thing only goes to the top of the visible window and it won’t scroll. I am very confused by all this because I don’t have a good mental map of what is ACTUALLY on the device. On playlists it just has a few tracks but there is way more music on the device. I would expect to see PLAYLISTS there, not tracks. Please help.

  4. Jeff Warner says

    Mitch — Your solution for IT12 looks good. Will the process clean the previous playlist/songs from the phone? Which boxes are ticked in the Summary section? Thank you.

  5. Nancy says

    This is not working. I have followed the steps for version 12. When I drag the playlist to the device it doesn’t sync. Just goes right back to playlist……so frustrating!

  6. Bill says

    Hi I have tried your directions and many others but my playlist will not drag to my iphone nor can i get sync to highlight Ive tried selecting and syncing playlist selected, full library etc to no avail. I have installed and uninstalled Itunes, and resett my phone. Nothing works

    can you help Im at my wits end.:D

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