iOS 10 Music App Only Displays Lyrics for Apple Music Songs

Apple has added lyric search and display to iTunes, and this feature was available in iOS 10 betas. You could view lyrics for your own music, if you had added lyrics to the tracks, and iTunes and the Music app would look for lyrics if you hadn’t. However, in the shipping version of iOS 10, this feature has been changed. You can only view lyrics for Apple Music tracks. If your music contains lyrics that you added in iTunes, there’s no way to view them in the Music app.

Ios music app more menu

If you play a track from Apple Music, the menu is different:

Apple music lyrics ios

Tap Lyrics to display the song’s lyrics.

It’s odd, and quite annoying, that Apple has done this. I’ve added lyrics to a lot of my music, and I can view those lyrics in iTunes. I would expect to be able to view them on iOS, which I have been able to do for many years.

Want to know more about the iOS 10 Music app? Check out these articles:

And learn What’s New in iTunes 12.5.

100 thoughts on “iOS 10 Music App Only Displays Lyrics for Apple Music Songs

  1. I don’t know if Apple becomes increasingly arrogant, or simply acts on whimsy most of the time. Whatever it is, it’s frustrating in both cases…

    • I’d say arrogant.

      Apple has completely screwed it up. It used to work, lyrics added to your songs on OSX iTunes and then syncing over to your iOS device. With iOS10 and the desktop iTunes 12.SomeVersion.0 they now only let you see the lyrics that are available in songs on Apple Music. You know, their new music renting model.

      The fact that we cannot see the lyrics we’ve added ourselves to songs is just more promotion of ‘Apple Music’. I don’t like it, but YMMV.

      • Yes you can – just delete the affected songs from your device and copy them to your device again from your iTunes library (or resync) I don’t think it has anything to do with Apple’s arrogance – at least iOS 10 didn’t brick your device, unlike some Microsoft devices (I heard some Surface devices got bricked by Windows 10 Anniversary Update).

        • I can’t stand people will defend apple for everything. It’s not a defected file, I have lyrics for every song in my library that I added myself and I cannot access the majority of them. Apple is promoting Apple Music and its full blown arrogance. Stop defending a company that doesn’t care about their consumers, only their profits

          • I think the initial question was about whether you can see your lyrics on your device or not with iOS10, rather than about defending ‘a company that doesn’t care about their consumers’. (is any other company better? I doubt it.) So, it’s not true you cannot see the lyrics you added – just re-add the affected songs again! But of course if you are determined to sulk, then knock yourself out.

  2. I don’t know if Apple becomes increasingly arrogant, or simply acts on whimsy most of the time. Whatever it is, it’s frustrating in both cases…

    • I’d say arrogant.

      Apple has completely screwed it up. It used to work, lyrics added to your songs on OSX iTunes and then syncing over to your iOS device. With iOS10 and the desktop iTunes 12.SomeVersion.0 they now only let you see the lyrics that are available in songs on Apple Music. You know, their new music renting model.

      The fact that we cannot see the lyrics we’ve added ourselves to songs is just more promotion of ‘Apple Music’. I don’t like it, but YMMV.

      • Yes you can – just delete the affected songs from your device and copy them to your device again from your iTunes library (or resync) I don’t think it has anything to do with Apple’s arrogance – at least iOS 10 didn’t brick your device, unlike some Microsoft devices (I heard some Surface devices got bricked by Windows 10 Anniversary Update).

        • I can’t stand people will defend apple for everything. It’s not a defected file, I have lyrics for every song in my library that I added myself and I cannot access the majority of them. Apple is promoting Apple Music and its full blown arrogance. Stop defending a company that doesn’t care about their consumers, only their profits

          • I think the initial question was about whether you can see your lyrics on your device or not with iOS10, rather than about defending ‘a company that doesn’t care about their consumers’. (is any other company better? I doubt it.) So, it’s not true you cannot see the lyrics you added – just re-add the affected songs again! But of course if you are determined to sulk, then knock yourself out.

  3. Not sure if you are correct on this one.

    Look at my screenshot: https://cl.ly/hS1H.

    The lyrics I add using different tools sometimes add their source. So they are not from Apple Music.

    And while running iOS 10 they are still showing up…

  4. Not sure if you are correct on this one.

    Look at my screenshot: https://cl.ly/hS1H.

    The lyrics I add using different tools sometimes add their source. So they are not from Apple Music.

    And while running iOS 10 they are still showing up…

  5. For what it’s worth, I have not found this to be true. I have some tracks in my library that aren’t available on Apple Music, to which I’ve manually added lyrics… they’re still there. Not sure what governs whether they get turned off or not.

    I have been an iTunes Match subscriber for years, but only recently turned on Apple Music. Maybe that somehow made a difference?

    • It remains weird, I also am a iTunes Match user for years and switch on Apple Music the day it was available. Meanwhile on the Family Plan.

  6. For what it’s worth, I have not found this to be true. I have some tracks in my library that aren’t available on Apple Music, to which I’ve manually added lyrics… they’re still there. Not sure what governs whether they get turned off or not.

    I have been an iTunes Match subscriber for years, but only recently turned on Apple Music. Maybe that somehow made a difference?

    • It remains weird, I also am a iTunes Match user for years and switch on Apple Music the day it was available. Meanwhile on the Family Plan.

  7. This REALLY sucks. I’ve got lyrics I’ve added manually over the years and now they I can’t see them unless I subscribe to Apple Music? As a long time user of Apple products, if this is true which it is for me, this is a horrible new “feature”.

  8. This REALLY sucks. I’ve got lyrics I’ve added manually over the years and now they I can’t see them unless I subscribe to Apple Music? As a long time user of Apple products, if this is true which it is for me, this is a horrible new “feature”.

  9. If I manipulate the text of my self-written songs in itunes, sometimes the missing lyrics are shown in “music”. But then the previous song is damaged and cannot be played on my iPad. Oh my god, Apple!!!
    By the way: I found the old layout (big cover picture in the middle of the screen) much bitter

  10. If I manipulate the text of my self-written songs in itunes, sometimes the missing lyrics are shown in “music”. But then the previous song is damaged and cannot be played on my iPad. Oh my god, Apple!!!
    By the way: I found the old layout (big cover picture in the middle of the screen) much bitter

  11. Hi

    Renew the lyrics in the song (add a space, a paragraph or more) and synchronize the device.

    It seems Apple has changed something in the meta tags.

    But how to do it with all the songs I do not know. Smart playlists are not able to see this field of lyrics

    • This worked for me, thanks so much, this was driving me crazy! Now the more annoying part is going over all my library and editing the lyrics, but I’d rather do that than lose them altogether. Thank you again!

  12. Hi

    Renew the lyrics in the song (add a space, a paragraph or more) and synchronize the device.

    It seems Apple has changed something in the meta tags.

    But how to do it with all the songs I do not know. Smart playlists are not able to see this field of lyrics

    • This worked for me, thanks so much, this was driving me crazy! Now the more annoying part is going over all my library and editing the lyrics, but I’d rather do that than lose them altogether. Thank you again!

  13. I had the same problem and solved it by deleting the albums containing ‘lyrics-ed’ songs and copying them from iTunes again (I didn’t edit the lyrics themselves.). I dunno what’s faster, editing the lyrics and then syncing or just renewing the albums with lyrics.

    • Which program you filtered ‘lyrics-ed’?

      Deleting album does not impress me as the tag “Date Added” is also important for me

      • I just remembered where I might’ve added lyrics and deleted & re-added these albums (not all tracks of my collection contain lyrics.)

        Sorry for the late reply…

  14. I had the same problem and solved it by deleting the albums containing ‘lyrics-ed’ songs and copying them from iTunes again (I didn’t edit the lyrics themselves.). I dunno what’s faster, editing the lyrics and then syncing or just renewing the albums with lyrics.

    • Which program you filtered ‘lyrics-ed’?

      Deleting album does not impress me as the tag “Date Added” is also important for me

      • I just remembered where I might’ve added lyrics and deleted & re-added these albums (not all tracks of my collection contain lyrics.)

        Sorry for the late reply…

  15. I had the same problem as well when I first installed ios 10 on my ipod….but then I just deleted all the songs from my ipod and then resynced them back and now all the lyrics are there 🙂

    • Thank you so much.
      I use music to help me learn languages (on my 5th->French)
      And all selected set of 11250 songs in 5 languages that I collected in the last couple of decades, lost their lyrics.
      As you indicated, I deleted all songs from the phone and re-add them, and that worked.
      It took a few hours, but now I’m a happy camper. When I called Apple yesterday they couldn’t help.
      Again, thank you very much for the excellent idea.

    • Thank you soo much! I panicked when I thought I lost all the lyrics I added to iTunes..so I did what you said and here I am with my lyrics againn. Thank you~

    • Thank you so much for this, I was an absolute wreck when my 6000+ songs had lost all their custom lyrics (well at least when I thought it). I hope you have an amazing day, Anish!

    • Dear Anish, a loads of thank u to u
      God bless u dear…u donno how much i was struggling to solve this….
      The solution to get lyrics for ur downloaded music is just this DELETE THE MUSIC FROM UR IPHONE/IPAD N RESYNC IT.
      I got all my lyrics bk…cheers

  16. I had the same problem as well when I first installed ios 10 on my ipod….but then I just deleted all the songs from my ipod and then resynced them back and now all the lyrics are there 🙂

    • Thank you so much.
      I use music to help me learn languages (on my 5th->French)
      And all selected set of 11250 songs in 5 languages that I collected in the last couple of decades, lost their lyrics.
      As you indicated, I deleted all songs from the phone and re-add them, and that worked.
      It took a few hours, but now I’m a happy camper. When I called Apple yesterday they couldn’t help.
      Again, thank you very much for the excellent idea.

    • Thank you soo much! I panicked when I thought I lost all the lyrics I added to iTunes..so I did what you said and here I am with my lyrics againn. Thank you~

    • Thank you so much for this, I was an absolute wreck when my 6000+ songs had lost all their custom lyrics (well at least when I thought it). I hope you have an amazing day, Anish!

    • Dear Anish, a loads of thank u to u
      God bless u dear…u donno how much i was struggling to solve this….
      The solution to get lyrics for ur downloaded music is just this DELETE THE MUSIC FROM UR IPHONE/IPAD N RESYNC IT.
      I got all my lyrics bk…cheers

  17. Yeah, deleting the songs from the iPhone and resyncing them fixed the problem for me too. Now all lyrics are on display again. Kinda sucks, though, since I have a huge library, and I’m not looking forward to reuploading it all again.

  18. Yeah, deleting the songs from the iPhone and resyncing them fixed the problem for me too. Now all lyrics are on display again. Kinda sucks, though, since I have a huge library, and I’m not looking forward to reuploading it all again.

  19. Not true, you can use a 3rd party software like Mediamonkey to copy and paste your lyrics like you would in Itunes. Then add that folder into ituens and add it to the icloud and there you go. It works just fine if apple does not have the lyrics and you have that album.

  20. Not true, you can use a 3rd party software like Mediamonkey to copy and paste your lyrics like you would in Itunes. Then add that folder into ituens and add it to the icloud and there you go. It works just fine if apple does not have the lyrics and you have that album.

  21. I’ve been able to fix this problem temporarily by also changing all of my personal lyrics BUT if I make a change in my sonds (for example, unsync a song from my phone) the custom lyrics not showing problem happens all over again but with different songs this time. Random songs still show custom lyrics while random songs do and the songs change everytime I change something in my library. SO FRUSTRATING I hope this is a bug and NOT a planned move -_____-

  22. I’ve been able to fix this problem temporarily by also changing all of my personal lyrics BUT if I make a change in my sonds (for example, unsync a song from my phone) the custom lyrics not showing problem happens all over again but with different songs this time. Random songs still show custom lyrics while random songs do and the songs change everytime I change something in my library. SO FRUSTRATING I hope this is a bug and NOT a planned move -_____-

  23. If you alter the sorting order the lyrics dont show.
    So if you have a song thats starts with the letter “a” or the word “The” and it shows in the the sorting order without them and you add them the lyrics wont show.

    Example
    Song
    The Great Gig In The Sky
    Sort By
    Great Gig In The Sky
    Artist
    Pink Floyd
    Sort By
    Pink Floyd

    the lyrics show
    if you change it to this

    Song
    The Great Gig In The Sky
    Sort By
    The Great Gig In The Sky
    Artist
    Pink Floyd
    Sort By
    Pink Floyd

    lyrics dont show anymore 🙁

  24. If you alter the sorting order the lyrics dont show.
    So if you have a song thats starts with the letter “a” or the word “The” and it shows in the the sorting order without them and you add them the lyrics wont show.

    Example
    Song
    The Great Gig In The Sky
    Sort By
    Great Gig In The Sky
    Artist
    Pink Floyd
    Sort By
    Pink Floyd

    the lyrics show
    if you change it to this

    Song
    The Great Gig In The Sky
    Sort By
    The Great Gig In The Sky
    Artist
    Pink Floyd
    Sort By
    Pink Floyd

    lyrics dont show anymore 🙁

  25. Lyrics gone on iPhone after iOS10?… resolved go to info on 1st track in your iTunes library, just put a line in beginning… just press enter on every track so lyrics drop down a line, go to next within info pane and do about 20 and sync your phone…lyrics come back…have custom lyrics ticked as well.

  26. Lyrics gone on iPhone after iOS10?… resolved go to info on 1st track in your iTunes library, just put a line in beginning… just press enter on every track so lyrics drop down a line, go to next within info pane and do about 20 and sync your phone…lyrics come back…have custom lyrics ticked as well.

  27. I think basically the last thing you do before syncing is to alter the lyrics slightly.
    So if you alter the song title or anything it wont display the lyrics till you alter them again.
    A bit of a pain really but thats apple for you LoL

  28. I think basically the last thing you do before syncing is to alter the lyrics slightly.
    So if you alter the song title or anything it wont display the lyrics till you alter them again.
    A bit of a pain really but thats apple for you LoL

  29. I tried to re-edit my lyrics and they appeared, however, they appeared hex text no matter what I did to them. I removed them and re-applied them and still the same thing. It really pisses me off that they completely scrapped the old lyrics system!!

    • Well….I suppose if none of the methods are working for you, you could try a new player altogether. There’s one player in the app store called Marvis player which showed lyrics even when the apple music player didn’t…. and it’s sort of ios 9 styled…. so you could check it out

    • Did you do it directly on your device or on iTunes library? You have to do it on iTunes library only and then re-sync or just remove the affected songs / albums from the device and then copy their edited versions to your device again.

  30. I tried to re-edit my lyrics and they appeared, however, they appeared hex text no matter what I did to them. I removed them and re-applied them and still the same thing. It really pisses me off that they completely scrapped the old lyrics system!!

    • Well….I suppose if none of the methods are working for you, you could try a new player altogether. There’s one player in the app store called Marvis player which showed lyrics even when the apple music player didn’t…. and it’s sort of ios 9 styled…. so you could check it out

    • Did you do it directly on your device or on iTunes library? You have to do it on iTunes library only and then re-sync or just remove the affected songs / albums from the device and then copy their edited versions to your device again.

  31. I don’t like what the music does… it is sucking my head…. when I use the ABC for looking songs… why you guys show name ??? not the song name!!… 1 stupid … and can not see the lyrics….. please change it…. to make our user’s feeling convenient

  32. I don’t like what the music does… it is sucking my head…. when I use the ABC for looking songs… why you guys show name ??? not the song name!!… 1 stupid … and can not see the lyrics….. please change it…. to make our user’s feeling convenient

  33. I have found some lyrics do still appear and others not. I can’t at the moment see any reason why one should but others are missing.
    I will try the trick of changing the lyrics in iTunes and re-syncing.
    Luckily I always wrote in the the comments field the word “Lyrics” so it is easy for me to identify which of my tunes have had custom lyrics added to them.
    -Paul-

  34. I have found some lyrics do still appear and others not. I can’t at the moment see any reason why one should but others are missing.
    I will try the trick of changing the lyrics in iTunes and re-syncing.
    Luckily I always wrote in the the comments field the word “Lyrics” so it is easy for me to identify which of my tunes have had custom lyrics added to them.
    -Paul-

  35. An update to my original post……

    I have just now tried the trick of changing the lyrics in iTunes, just add a space somewhere, and re-syncing. Also a song I just bought and added lyrics to is showing up correctly.
    Luckily I always wrote in the the comments field the word “Lyrics” so it is easy for me to identify which of my tunes have had custom lyrics added to them.
    -Paul-

    • Smart idea to add to the a comment. I actually have a script that makes a smart playlist of all the songs with lyrics. Of course you’d have to run it each time you add lyrics to a song to update the playlist. I found that something ends up breaking the visibility of the lyrics even after you’ve manipulated them (with a space or whatnot). That’s the most frustrating part of it all.

  36. An update to my original post……

    I have just now tried the trick of changing the lyrics in iTunes, just add a space somewhere, and re-syncing. Also a song I just bought and added lyrics to is showing up correctly.
    Luckily I always wrote in the the comments field the word “Lyrics” so it is easy for me to identify which of my tunes have had custom lyrics added to them.
    -Paul-

    • Smart idea to add to the a comment. I actually have a script that makes a smart playlist of all the songs with lyrics. Of course you’d have to run it each time you add lyrics to a song to update the playlist. I found that something ends up breaking the visibility of the lyrics even after you’ve manipulated them (with a space or whatnot). That’s the most frustrating part of it all.

  37. Because of this inability to display custom lyrics, I already not using the pre-installed Music app. What a joke after updating my iOS.

  38. Because of this inability to display custom lyrics, I already not using the pre-installed Music app. What a joke after updating my iOS.

  39. A brief update on the situation:
    The ability of displaying lyrics HAS BEEN COMPLETELY REMOVED from iOS11.2’s Music app. That’s official – I was on chat with Apple Support and they told me that. Naturally, I filed an official complaint with Apple (twice), however whether that will be successful or not, I cannot know.

    So, until Apple haven’t restored this functionality, my only suggestion is to use Cesium Music player for iOS – it uses the existing music library on your device (so you don’t need to sideload your lyric’ed tracks again) and it DOES display lyrics (just tap on the album artwork and it’ll be replaced by the lyrics – just like in the good old pre-iOS10 (?) music App.)
    (Maybe other 3rd party music players have this functionality, I only checked Cesium and it actually works).

    • Thanks for the note on CESIUM. Cesium is $3 but there is a free version of MARVIS MUSIC PLAYER free version will display lyrics (as mentioned previous). Just tap the album art as it is displayed and while music is playing full screen, and lyrics are brought to the fore ground.

      Running on my Iphone SE 32gb with the latest ios 11.2.1

      • Some update re situation:
        It turns out the complete removal of lyrics showing function from IOS 11.X was untrue, despite what the Apple Technical Support had said to me: you can still see the lyrics, but it’s now invoked in a different way: you’ll have to long-press or 3d-touch the song in question on the track list view, and then select ‘Lyrics’ from the context menu that appears.
        (I complained about the wrong info provided by Apple Tech Support, they wanted to start a fully fledged investigation, imagine that!)

        However, this new way is less convenient than the old way, because this lyrics view isn’t synced with the song actually played and it will stay even when the track changes (so you’ll have to close this view and then do the same again (long-press or 3d touch the song in question).
        So, I still find this app I suggested (Cesium) quite useful.
        And thanks for the tip re Marvis Music Player!

        • As for lyrics in MARVIS just found a second way that app does them. It has a link to launch the MUSIXMATCH app simultaneous. It’s functional and pretty cool. Live scrolling lyrics while the song plays.

          MARVIS is much superior to Apple Music app and free. But it is a tricky app as the buttons show a slight delay when pressed, and might be effected by a slow processor.

          • Well, Musixmatch is something I am not really interested in – I doubt it can find words to, for ex., Bach’s Mattaeus-Passion or Johannes-Passion (in German) or lyrics to Le Petit Prince by Riccardo Cocciante (in French) – and I need lyrics function primarily for this kind of lyrics (i.e. in those foreign languages I am not proficient enough in to understand completely what they sing.)

  40. A brief update on the situation:
    The ability of displaying lyrics HAS BEEN COMPLETELY REMOVED from iOS11.2’s Music app. That’s official – I was on chat with Apple Support and they told me that. Naturally, I filed an official complaint with Apple (twice), however whether that will be successful or not, I cannot know.

    So, until Apple haven’t restored this functionality, my only suggestion is to use Cesium Music player for iOS – it uses the existing music library on your device (so you don’t need to sideload your lyric’ed tracks again) and it DOES display lyrics (just tap on the album artwork and it’ll be replaced by the lyrics – just like in the good old pre-iOS10 (?) music App.)
    (Maybe other 3rd party music players have this functionality, I only checked Cesium and it actually works).

    • Thanks for the note on CESIUM. Cesium is $3 but there is a free version of MARVIS MUSIC PLAYER free version will display lyrics (as mentioned previous). Just tap the album art as it is displayed and while music is playing full screen, and lyrics are brought to the fore ground.

      Running on my Iphone SE 32gb with the latest ios 11.2.1

      • Some update re situation:
        It turns out the complete removal of lyrics showing function from IOS 11.X was untrue, despite what the Apple Technical Support had said to me: you can still see the lyrics, but it’s now invoked in a different way: you’ll have to long-press or 3d-touch the song in question on the track list view, and then select ‘Lyrics’ from the context menu that appears.
        (I complained about the wrong info provided by Apple Tech Support, they wanted to start a fully fledged investigation, imagine that!)

        However, this new way is less convenient than the old way, because this lyrics view isn’t synced with the song actually played and it will stay even when the track changes (so you’ll have to close this view and then do the same again (long-press or 3d touch the song in question).
        So, I still find this app I suggested (Cesium) quite useful.
        And thanks for the tip re Marvis Music Player!

        • As for lyrics in MARVIS just found a second way that app does them. It has a link to launch the MUSIXMATCH app simultaneous. It’s functional and pretty cool. Live scrolling lyrics while the song plays.

          MARVIS is much superior to Apple Music app and free. But it is a tricky app as the buttons show a slight delay when pressed, and might be effected by a slow processor.

          • Well, Musixmatch is something I am not really interested in – I doubt it can find words to, for ex., Bach’s Mattaeus-Passion or Johannes-Passion (in German) or lyrics to Le Petit Prince by Riccardo Cocciante (in French) – and I need lyrics function primarily for this kind of lyrics (i.e. in those foreign languages I am not proficient enough in to understand completely what they sing.)

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