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Transfer Apple Music to External Hard Drive for Backup

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By Justin SabrinaUpdated on April 06, 2023

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As all Apple Music files are protected by DRM, this tutorial shows you how to get DRM free version of Apple Music so that you can copy and save the Apple Music tracks to external hard drive to get a backup and free up drive space.

If you have an Apple Music membership, you can download a variety of music files in month and share and listen to them offline. But when you cancel the Apple Music subscription, all that streaming music becomes unplayable. What if your Mac/PC/Mobile’s hard drive is full? As more and more songs are downloaded from Apple Music, your device can easily run out of storage, whether it's a mobile phone or a computer. If you can, moving these Apple Music files to your hard drive will not only back up your favorite Apple Music tracks, but also free up more space.

Get DRM Free Version of Apple Music


Part 1: Solution to Copy Apple Music to External Hard Drive for Backup

Why you can’t transfer Apple Music to an external hard drive directly?

External hard disk drives currently cost less per gigabyte than flash drives and are available in larger capacities. Some hard drives support alternative and faster interfaces than USB 2.0. It's a good idea to transfer and save Apple Music tracks to an external hard drive for backup and free up drive space. But it doesn't seem to be easy. Actually, you can only legally transfer your iTunes library to an external hard drive instead of the Apple Music library. You own all the music in your iTunes library, but Apple Music songs are rented and paid for by monthly subscription fee. Furthermore, Apple Music has added a DRM (Digital Rights Management) layer to its streaming music collection, limiting your ability to play Apple music, albums and playlists on Apple-licensed devices such as iPhones, iPads, iPod touch, Apple TV, Apple Watch, etc.

To get around the annoying DRM encryption protection, you need an effective tool called UkeySoft Apple Music Converter. After DRM removal, you can copy Apple music files to an external hard drive as a backup without restriction. In the case, you are allowed to backup and sync Apple Music songs easily. And even if you are no longer an Apple Music Subscriber, you can still keep these Apple Music songs playable.

Part 2: Tool You’ll Need to Convert Apple Music to External Hard Drive

UkeySoft Apple Music Converter helps you get DRM free version of Apple Music and convert them from M4P to MP3 format with up to 16X conversion speed and all ID3 tags, metadata kept. Of course, you can freely adjust the output format to AAC, WAV and FLAC. After getting the DRM-free audio file, you can copy them to an external hard drive at any time, either for backup purposes or to free up the device's memory space.


  • Remove DRM from DRM M4P songs.
  • Convert Apple Music tracks to MP3, AAC, FLAC or WAV.
  • Perform 16X faster speed with all ID tags and metadata saved.
  • Easily transfer Apple Music to an external hard drive.
  • Move Apple Music to Android tablets, iPod nano/shuffle, MP3 players, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Roku TV, Smart TVs for streaming.
  • No extra Hardware or Virtual Drive needed.
  • Keep Apple Music playable after unsubscribing.
  • Fully compatible with latest iTunes & Windows 10 & macOS Mojave 10.14.

Get Ready to Backup/Transfer Apple Music Tracks

A Computer running Mac OS from 10.6 to macOS Mojave 10.14 or Windows OS Windows 95 to latest Windows 10
The latest version of iTunes
UkeySoft Apple Music Converter for Windows or Mac
An external hard drive with enough space

Complete Steps to Convert Apple Music to An External Hard Drive

Step 1. Install UkeySoft Apple Music Converter

Download, install and run UkeySoft Apple Music Converter on your Mac or Widnows. At the same time, iTunes will also be opened automatically. The UkeySoft Apple Music Converter's main screen is as follows.

Run UkeySoft Apple Music DRM Removal

Note: All your iTunes media including Apple Music songs, playlists are loaded automatically, so make sure Apple Music songs, albums, playlists you want to transfer to USB have been added to iTunes Library. You don't need to download them.

Step 2. Select Apple Music Tracks to Convert

Click Music or playlist on the left side, and then select Apple Music songs you want to remove DRM from on the right side. You can also search for any song on the top right corner.

remove drm from apple music

Step 3. Configure Output Settings

At the bottom of the interface, you can choose output format, profile, output folder. UkeySoft Apple Music Converter supports converting Apple Music M4P songs to MP3, M4A, AC3, AAC, AIFF, AU, FLAC, M4R and MKA. And you can also to set the converting speed up to 20X and adjust the output quality up to 320 Kbps.

select output format

(Optional) You may also change the converted filename as you like. Choose a custom format for your output filename which may contain title, artist, album. Click "Options" on the menu bar to open "Preferences" and customize output filename format if you like.

file name format

Step 4. Start Conversion

After all the settings, click "Convert" and begin to convert Apple Music to a common audio format you have set. After conversion, you can find the DRM-free Apple Music files by clicking on "Open Output File".

Remove Apple Music DRM

Tip: During converting, iTunes plays the Apple Music tracks in the background (muted), so you'd better not using iTunes before conversion is finished.

Step 5. Save Apple Music to External Hard Drive

Once you get the DRM-free Apple Music songs, you simply connect the external hard drive to your computer via a USB cable. Then drag and drop the converted Apple Music files to your external hard drive directly.

Note: Apart from converting Apple Music, UkeySoft Apple Music Converter also supports converting iTunes purchased music, iTunes protected M4A, M4B and Audible AA, AAX audiobooks to common audio formats like MP3 and AAC. However, the free trial version of the UkeySoft Apple Music Converter only works for the first three minutes of converting each audio file. If you want to unlock the time limit, you can sign up and purchase the full version of UkeySoft.

Save Apple Music Songs to External Hard Drive
Justin Sabrina

Justin Sabrina

Justin Sabrina has over 10 years of content writing experience. She specializes in product reviews, how-to guides, tips and tricks, top lists, etc. on data encryption, multi-media conversion, screen recording and iOS unlocking. At UkeySoft, she performs in-depth research SEO copywriting and collaborates with our R & D team to offer effective software solution, most of her articles on software are helpful and easy to read, helping our reader easily solve problems through using software or apps.


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Apple Music Converter

Apple Music Converter

Convert Apple Music, iTunes M4P Songs, and Audiobook to MP3, M4A, AAC, WAV, FLAC, etc.


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