Apple Music offers music lovers access to millions of songs. Unfortunately, users around the world encounter error messages including “This song is not currently available in your country or region.” The issue is due to copyright laws and licensing agreements which can vary from one country to another. Of course, songs not being available in your region can be frustrating, particularly if you’re traveling abroad and are unable to access the same songs as usual.
The good news however is that there are ways and means to get around the geographic restrictions on Apple Music. One of the methods we’ll explore in this post is using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). With a VPN, you can change your IP address to a country in which Apple Music is available. This allows you to listen to your favorite songs and playlists regardless of your physical location.
Why is Apple Music not available in my region?
If you’ve received a little pop-up message on your device stating that a particular Apple Music song isn’t available in your region, chances are that it’s due to geographic restrictions imposed by Apple. These restrictions are based on licensing agreements with music labels, artists, and copyright holders, as well as copyright laws which can vary by country.
All of this has an impact on which content can be legally offered in specific locations. If Apple Music hasn’t secured rights to distribute certain content in your current location, it’s legally obliged to restrict access to that content to comply with international copyright laws.
How does Apple Music determine my location?
Apple Music uses your IP address to determine your location. Your IP address is a unique set of numbers that identifies your device. When you attempt to access Apple Music, the service checks your IP address to verify your geographical location. If the IP address places you in a region in which Apple Music isn’t available, you’ll receive the error notification.
How to fix Apple Music not available in your region with a VPN
A VPN is a service with which you can spoof your location. Connecting to a server encrypts your data (and IP address), hiding it from view. You’re provided with a new IP address for the location of the server you’ve selected. This makes it look as if you’re accessing Apple Music from elsewhere, bypassing content restrictions.
Here’s how to use a VPN to fix Apple Music not available in your region:
- Start by signing up with a reliable VPN provider. We recommend NordVPN. However, Surfshark and ExpressVPN are two quality, great value alternatives.
- Next, download and install the VPN app on the device on which you’re trying to listen to Apple Music. This process should only take a minute or two.
- Open the VPN app (you may be prompted to log in first) and connect to a server in another country where Apple Music is available.
- Create or sign in to your Apple Music account. If you already have an Apple ID, you might need to change your country or region settings to match your VPN location.
- With the VPN connected, launch Apple Music. You should now be able to stream as normal without seeing the “not available in your region” error again.
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Alternative solutions when VPN doesn’t unblock Apple Music
If you’ve tried the steps above with a VPN but are still facing the same “Apple Music not available in your region” error, know that there are a few things you can still try:
Check your Apple ID settings
The issue may be that your Apple ID country or region doesn’t match the VPN server location that you’re connected to. Below, we take you through how to go about checking and, if necessary, changing your Apple Music country or region.
Warning: Changing your Apple ID country or region can affect access to content including purchases you’ve already made. Apps, music, movies, TV shows, books, subscriptions, and even cloud storage plans may become inaccessible if they’re specific to the original country or region of your Apple ID.
- Open Settings on your device.
- Tap on your name at the top to access your Apple ID settings.
- Select Media & Purchases (or iTunes & App Store depending on your device’s iOS version) followed by View Account.
- Look for the option that says Country/Region. Check if it matches your VPN server location. If it doesn’t, tap on it and then select Change Country or Region.
- Select the new country or region from the list that matches your VPN server location.
- Agree to the terms & conditions for the new region. You may be required to enter a new payment method and billing address that corresponds to the new country or region.
- Confirm the changes before returning to Apple Music. You should have access to the content available in the new country or region.
Clear your device’s cache and data
By refreshing the data of your app or browser, you can help it recognize the new IP address provided by the VPN.
Clearing cache and data for Apple Music on iOS
iOS doesn’t provide a direct option to clear the cache and data for the Apple Music app. However, you can try the following steps instead:
- Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage.
- Scroll down to find the Apple Music app and select it.
- Tap Offload App before confirming (this removes the app but keeps its documents and data).
- Reinstall Apple Music by searching for it in the App Store and tapping the download icon.
- Restart your device. This requires pressing and holding the side button and either volume button (or just the side button if it’s an older generation iPhone). Drag the slider to turn the device off. Press and hold the side button to turn it on again.
Reinstalling the app and restarting your device can clear temporary files and possible issues related to cached data.
Clearing browser cache on Google Chrome
If you’re accessing Apple Music via the web, clearing your browser cache can help fix issues you’re having with regard to your virtual location. Below, we’ll explain how to do this on Chrome but the process is similar on the likes of Safari, Firefox and Edge.
- Open the Chrome browser and click on the three dots in the top right corner.
- Select Clear browsing data.
- Choose the time range (“All time” is best) and check the boxes next to “Cookies and other site data” and “Cached images and files”.
- Click Clear data.
Use a different VPN server
Sometimes, a VPN server simply won’t work with Apple Music. The server might be overloaded or the IP address you’ve been assigned has been detected and blocked accordingly.
The solution is to connect to a different server in the same country or in another region where Apple Music is available. Another option to consider is a dedicated IP address. Some VPNs offer dedicated IP addresses (albeit as a paid extra), allowing you to choose a unique IP address in another country that only you can use with Apple Music. Compared to a shared IP address, this is much less likely to be identified and blacklisted by Apple Music.
Fix Apple Music: FAQs
Can I use a free VPN to access Apple Music?
Some free VPNs might work with Apple Music but you could face a number of potential issues. For example, free VPNs have limited server options, so you may struggle to access Apple Music as well as other geo-restricted websites and services. The small number of servers attract a high number of users and this can result in heavy load. Free VPNs commonly engage in bandwidth throttling to manage their networks and the slow speeds aren’t ideal for video and music streaming.
The lack of investment from free VPNs in their own infrastructure is another concern, particularly when it comes to security. The risk is that your data isn’t properly encrypted and is left vulnerable to hackers and snoopers alike. Consider also how a free VPN makes money. This may be through the use of ads (some of which may be malicious in nature) or even through the logging and selling of your browser data. Free VPNs are just not worth the risk.
Is using a VPN to access Apple Music legal?
VPNs are legal in most countries. Assuming you’re accessing Apple Music from one of these countries, you shouldn’t have any issues. The same can’t be said if you’re using a VPN in a country in which VPNs have been banned. This tends to be countries with strict internet censorship, and those which are more likely to take legal action against citizens for their online activities.
It’s for this reason that we recommend you check the legal status of VPNs in your current location before proceeding to use one. Note that bypassing geographic restrictions of Apple Music may violate its terms of service.
The Apple Media Services Terms and Conditions doesn’t reference VPNs or location spoofing. However, it does say that “certain services and content available to you in your home country may not be available to you when traveling outside of your home country.”
Can Apple Music detect and block VPNs?
Apple Music, like many streaming services, does have mechanisms in place to detect and block VPNs. It does this in order to protect licensing agreements that restrict content to certain regions. In order to enforce these restrictions, Apple Music detects IP addresses known to belong to VPN providers.
Some VPNs are better at bypassing Apple Music’s restrictions than others. The best VPNs for Apple Music constantly update their server IPs to stay one step ahead. Some even offer traffic obfuscation, which disguises VPN traffic as regular web traffic and helps avoid detection.
Will I lose access to purchases if I change the region of my Apple ID?
Yes. You can temporarily lose access to content purchased via Apple services, Apple Music included, when you change your Apple ID region. The ability to access and re-download certain content could be restricted depending on what’s available in the new region.
Based on online comments from Apple Music users, experiences vary greatly when changing Apple ID region. However, some state that they lost access to all of the music in their library. As such, we recommend you backup your Apple Music library before changing the region of your Apple ID.