4 Ways to Fix Alarm Not Playing Downloaded Song on iPhone

iOS allows users to use custom alarm sounds from their library. 

However, many users are complaining about missing their alarms when custom songs are selected as the alarm tone.

Today, I’ll show you what you can do if the alarm on your iPhone is not playing your downloaded songs.

Let’s begin!

TL;DR Version

If you want to use downloaded songs as alarm sound, make sure to check the following:

  1. Ensure the Music Is Downloaded on Your iPhone
  2. Update Your iPhone to the Latest Version
  3. Add the Downloaded Song to Your Library
  4. Disable Lossless Audio

1. Download the Music on Your iPhone

The most likely reason for this issue is that the chosen song or alarm tone is not downloaded to your iPhone.

To verify and address this: 

  1. Open Apple Music on your iPhone. 
  2. Search for the song you want to use. 
  3. Click the three-dot menu adjacent to the song. 
  4. Select Download and wait until the process finishes.
Download Apple Music

Related: How to Fix You Are Not Signed in to Apple Music Error


2. Update Your iPhone to the Latest Version

Frequently, this issue is caused by a bug in iOS. 

Make sure your iPhone is up-to-date by checking for and installing any available updates to fix potential errors. 

Here’s how you can update your iPhone: 

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select General > Software Update.
  3. If an update is available, select Download and Install.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
Update iPhone

Important Notes

  • Your iPhone may restart several times during the update.
  • Before updating, ensure the battery is at least 50% charged. For uninterrupted installation, connect your iPhone to a charger.
  • Allow at least 15 minutes for the update to complete, particularly for major upgrades (e.g., from iOS 16 to iOS 17).

To ensure you don’t miss any future updates, turn on automatic updates on your iPhone: 

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to General > Software Update > Automatic Updates.
  3. Turn on Download iOS Updates and Install iOS Updates.
Auto Update

Related: How to Fix iPhone Stuck on Preparing Update


3. Add the Downloaded Song to Your Library

In addition to having the song downloaded to your iPhone, it needs to be added to your library. 

To add a song as an alarm sound to your library: 

  1. Open Apple Music
  2. Locate the song you wish to use. 
  3. Tap the three-dot menu beside the song. 
  4. Choose Add to Library
alarm not playing downloaded song

Related: How to Fix Apple Music Playlist Not Syncing on iPhone


4. Disable the ‘Lossless Audio’ Option 

Due to unclear reasons, selecting songs in lossless format for alarm tones may interfere with the Alarm app’s performance.

If you’re using lossless audio on your iPhone, follow the steps below: 

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone. 
  2. Select Music
  3. Scroll to Audio and tap on Audio Quality
  4. Toggle off Lossless Audio
alarm not playing downloaded song
  1. Next, select Dolby Atmos and disable it. 
  2. Return to the previous page and deactivate Download in Dolby Atmos
alarm not playing downloaded song

After completing the previous steps, you’ll need to re-download the song you want to use as an alarm:

  1. Open the Music app. 
  2. Search for the desired song in your library. 
  3. Tap the three-dot menu beside the song. 
  4. Choose Remove Download or Remove
  5. Locate the song again. 
  6. Tap the three-dot menu and select Download
alarm not playing downloaded song

Related: How to Reduce Data Usage by Apple Music on iPhone


FAQs

Why is my iPhone alarm not playing downloaded Music?

If your iPhone fails to play the downloaded music as an alarm tone, then you’re likely using Dolby Atmos and lossless music formats. These formats are not compatible with the alarm app so, you’ll need to re-download them in the standard format to use them as alarm tones. 

How do I set a downloaded song as my alarm?

To use a custom song as your alarm, do this: 

  1. Open the Alarm app on your iPhone. 
  2. Select an existing alarm or create a new one. 
  3. Tap on Sound, then select Pick a Song
  4. Search for and choose the song, playlist, or radio station you want to use. 

Additional Notes

  • Turn on Repeat to have the song or playlist repeat when it ends. 
  • Enable Shuffle to have a playlist play in random order. 
  • Turn on Use Custom Volume to set a custom volume for the alarm.

Why isn’t my iPhone alarm playing the song I choose?

If your Alarm app reverts to using the default sound, this suggests that the selected song is not stored on your device. Make sure to download the song first before using it as an alarm sound.

  1. Open Apple Music on your iPhone. 
  2. Locate the song you want to use. 
  3. Tap the three-dot menu adjacent to it. 
  4. Select Download and wait for the download to finish.

If this guide helped you, please share it. 

Author

  • John Sixto

    John is a staff writer at Saint and comes from a SAP ABAP development background. He has a Bachelors in IT and has been writing since 2018, with over 500 posts published. He loves to build PCs and has a deep curiosity in understanding how different components and configurations work. John spends hundreds of hours at a time, researching and testing the software and apps, before he proceeds to write about it. LinkedIn X (Twitter)

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