iTunes Songs Greyed Out with Dotted Circle? Working Fix!

You are trying to sync your music between iTunes and your iPhone when some iTunes songs appear greyed out with a dotted circle. The songs wouldn’t play anymore and can’t be synced. No matter what you do, the affected songs just won’t react to any commands. In this article, I am going to show you steps to follow in order to fix the grey dotted circle issue on iTunes.

Delete songs with dotted circles then sync iTunes

There could be a connection glitch between your iPhone and iTunes servers. To solve this issue, follow the steps below:

  • Open iTunes on your iPhone and back up all songs
  • Find the affected songs with grey dotted circles, tap and hold, then select Delete From Library on the pop up that appears
  • Delete all greyed-out songs
  • Press the Sync button on iTunes
  • Wait for the previously deleted songs to be restored

Once you complete this method successfully, you should see all the previously deleted songs appear on iTunes. They won’t be grey and they won’t have a dotted circle around them.

Read Also: iTunes won’t start correctly? Do this

Delete and add the songs on Windows PC

If this problem occurs while on Windows PC, follow these steps:

  • Open iTunes and select all songs with the dotted circle
  • Right click to delete all of them
  • Go to your iTunes Library (usually in the Downloads folder if you didn’t create yours manually)
  • Drag and drop your music to iTunes and wait for the files to be uploaded

Get enough memory space

Check to see whether your iPhone has enough memory  or it is out space. Although this does not often happen, just make sure this is not the reason causing the grey dotted circles.

If your iPhone does not have enough memory space, the music synced could then have grey dotted circles since there is nowhere to store them.

Clear up space by deleting unnecessary files like photos, videos, and any data that might be taking space yet you don’t need it. Here is a comprehensive guide for freeing up space on your iPhone.

Check iTunes Settings

There is a setting in iTunes that when switched on can cause these grey dotted circles on your songs.

  • Right-click on the affected file
  • On the menu, you will find “Check Selection” click on it or tick the selection.

Reauthorizing your music

It is possible for iTunes to have unauthorized your music. When it happens, then the purchased iTunes songs are greyed out with dotted circles.

You need to de-authorize your computer and re-authorize it again.

On the Store Menu of iTunes on top of iTunes window, you will see de-authorize. Click on it to de-authorize your computer.

  • Sign out of iTunes
  • Restart the computer
  • Log in to iTunes
  • Re-authorize the computer

Apart from addressing the greyed-out music, the process will solve other problems concerning iTunes that you might not have been aware of.

Read Also: What causes the invalid signature error on iTunes and how to fix

If you are wondering ‘what does the dotted circle mean next to a song in iTunes?’ or how to remove the grey dotted circle next to your songs on iTunes, then I hope this guide has helpful to you. On the other hand, if the grey dashed circle doesn’t go away or your songs still remain grey after applying these fixes, let us know.

2 thoughts on “iTunes Songs Greyed Out with Dotted Circle? Working Fix!”


    I bought several new albums from the iTunes store tonight. I was disconcerted when I saw that after syncing my iPOD, many new songs were greyed out and had a dotted circle when I looked at them in the new playlists I had created under “ON MY DEVICE.

    These songs in the playlist in my iTUNES library did not have these dotted circles; they only appeared in the playlist on my iPOD when viewed on my PC.

    I went to my iPOD itself and pulled up one of the new playlist. All the songs looked fine on my iPOD, even though they showed greyed out and with a dotted circle if I looked at them in iTUNES in the iPOD section using my PC. They all play fine. For me, it’s a non-issue.

    I have the latest software for iTUNES and my iPOD as of today – 01/02/2019.

  2. My problem is that some of these are duplicates and I don’t want them restored…. they somehow duplicated when I first synced my new phone. But the duplicates ONLY appear and play on my phone (when I play an album, I get each song twice back-to-back)
    Other selections are the only version of the song – not a duplicate… and I want them to be playable
    How do I get ride of the duplicates and restore the unduplicated (which do not appear to be on my iPhone, either, because I cannot locate them to play them)?

    Also, how did this happen and how do I prevent it from happening again?

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