How to Remove DRM from iTunes Music? Solved!

By James Blair Updated on 2023-12-07 / Update for Apple Music Tips

When it comes to iTunes songs, it can be divided into three types, depending on when they were purchased, namely protected iTunes music, unprotected iTunes songs, and Apple Music. Does iTunes Music have DRM? Are all iTunes songs DRM-protected? Well, before 2009, all iTunes music purchases were encrypted by DRM technology. Now, iTunes has stopped selling songs that contain FairPlay DRM protection.

In general, all DRM-ed iTunes songs are permitted to play on authorized Apple devices only. There are so many restrictions you will encounter while listening to DRM iTunes music. Why not remove protection from iTunes music? Just try one of the four solutions below to remove DRM from iTunes music, which allows you to play all your iTunes songs in place. Let's get started together.

See also: How to Remove DRM from Apple Music

remove drm from itunes music

Part 1. iTunes DRM Removal: Something You Need to Know

Q1: What Is iTunes Music FairPlay DRM Protection?

FairPlay is a digital rights management technology developed by Apple to protect multimedia files in M4P format under an encrypted AAC audio layer. DRM technology was used to protect copyrighted works sold through the iTunes Store prior to 2009. You could only play DRM-protected iTunes music on licensed devices.

Q2: Why We Need to Remove iTunes DRM?

The main purpose of removing iTunes DRM is to take full control of your legally purchased iTunes content and to maximize its widespread use. If you can get rid of DRM encryption, you have the possibility to play your favorite iTunes music on any device.

Q3: Is It Legal to Remove DRM from iTunes Music?

Of course, it is perfectly legal to use some iTunes music DRM removal to remove DRM protection from iTunes music for personal use. However, it is absolutely forbidden to do so for commercial purposes.

Q4: What Does It Mean When a Song Is DRM-protected?

That means it is encoded with a special format that can be played on authorized devices. It helps limit the access to copyrighted audio content and protect the copyright.

Q5: Are All iTunes Songs DRM-protected?

No, not all iTunes songs are DRM-protected. Since 2009, Apple has offered DRM-free music on the iTunes Store, which means that most songs available on iTunes are not subject to copyright restrictions.

Part 2. How to Remove DRM from iTunes Music with Best iTunes DRM Removal Tool

Generally speaking, the most convenient way to unlock DRM-protected iTunes music is to use an excellent iTunes DRM music removal software that can convert iTunes copyrighted M4P songs to normal audio files. AudFree iTunes DRM Audio Converter is such a professional software that has long been providing convenience for audio conversion.

With innovative DRM decryption technology, it can strip DRM from iTunes music and convert iTunes M4P to MP3, FLAC, WAV, AAC, M4A, and M4B at 30x speed with lossless audio quality and full metadata info. The feature-rich tool empowers you to save and edit iTunes music with ID3 tags, including title, album, artist, genre, etc. In addition, it can also be used to remove DRM protection from Apple Music and Audible audiobooks.

AudFree iTunes DRM Audio Converter

audfree itunes drm audio converter
  • Remove DRM protection from iTunes songs, Apple Music, and Audible
  • Convert iTunes M4P songs to MP3, FLAC, WAV, AAC for free playback
  • Convert iTunes songs at 30x speed with high quality retention
  • Keep iTunes audio with the lossless audio quality and ID3 tags

How to Unprotect iTunes Songs Using iTunes DRM Audio Converter

Step 1 Import DRM iTunes Music to AudFree Auditior
add itunes music to audfree auditior
Install and launch the AudFree iTunes Music Converter on your computer. You can click the first 'Add' button at the bottom left to load iTunes M4P songs from your iTunes library to this iTunes DRM Audio Converter. Or, just add iTunes files via drag-and-drop action. Please hover over the added items and tap the 'Edit' icon provided you tend to edit the ID3 tags
Step 2Customize Output Settings for iTunes Music
set output format for itunes music
Click the bottom-right 'Audio' icon to launch the Format Setting popup where you can define the output format as MP3 or other audio format for your iTunes music. It is also feasible to change the bit rate, sample rate, audio channel, etc. for iTunes music according to your needs.
Step 3Remove DRM from iTunes Music Losslessly
remove drm from itunes music
Just press the 'Convert' button in the bottom right corner of the remover. Then the added iTunes music will be converted to DRM-free MP3 or other unprotected audio files. Afterward, you can stream all iTunes music to any device and player for offline playback without limitation.

Part 3. iTunes DRM Removal Free via Audacity

If you're interested in a free way to remove iTunes DRM, you can't go wrong with Audacity, a powerful audio recorder with additional features. It is specifically designed to capture and record sound playing on your computer, including streaming audio from iTunes, Spotify, Tidal, and more.

With this free iTunes DRM removal software, you can rip iTunes music tracks as unprotected MP3, FLAC, or other audio tracks, bypassing the annoying copyright restrictions to play iTunes songs on any device. However, if you are a beginner, you may find the tutorial for this software a bit complicated.

How to Remove DRM Protection from iTunes Music via Audacity

Step 1. Install and launch Audacity on your computer.

Step 2. Click on 'Edit' from the top toolbar and pick 'Preferences' from the dropdown menu.

Step 3. On the new pop-up window, tap the 'Audio Settings' option from the left sidebar. Then select 'Windows WASAPI' from the 'Audio Host Box' section.

define audacity recorder preferences

Step 4. From the left panel on the Preferences window, choose 'Recording' and uncheck the 'Software playthrough of input' option.

uncheck software playthrough of input from audacity

Step 5. Go to the home screen. Then tap on the top 'Record' button and then start playing the iTunes song you want to record. Click the 'Stop' button to end the recording process and save the DRM-free iTunes track to your computer.

remove drm protection from itunes music

Part 4. How to Remove DRM from iTunes Music via iTunes Match

If your iTunes music tracks were purchased from the iTunes Store before 2009, iTunes Match is the best tool for you to unblock copyright protection. By subscribing to the iTunes Match service at $25/year. iTunes Match, different from Apple Music subscription, works to encode up to 100,000 songs in DRM-free AAC format at 256kbps and then transfer them to the iCloud library. Then you are enabled to stream or download those tracks on all devices you have.

Now, please follow the below step-by-step instructions to view how to subscribe to iTunes Match and use it to strip copyright restrictions from iTunes Music

How to Subscribe to iTunes Match

subscribe to itunes match

[On PC]

  • Open iTunes and click on the middle Store button at the top of the window.
  • Select 'iTunes Match' from the 'Features' section.
  • Fill in your billing information and click the 'Subscribe' button.

[On Mac]

  • On the Apple Music app, click on 'iTunes Store' in the sidebar.
  • Under 'Features', select 'iTunes Match'.
  • Then confirm billing information and select the 'Subscribe' button.

How to Find iTunes DRM-Protected Songs

Step 1. On the iTunes app, log in with your Apple ID and password.

Step 2. Click on the 'View' tab from the top toolbar. Then select 'Column Browser' > 'Show Column Browser' > 'Kinds' options.

show column browser on itunes

Step 3. Right-click on any iTunes song you want to check and click on 'Song Info'.

Step 4. If the 'Kind' column shows 'Protected AAC Audio Files', the song is protected by DRM. If it is something else, then the iTunes song is DRM-free.

find itunes drm protected song

How to Remove Protection from iTunes Music

Step 1. Go to the iTunes library and delete the DRM-protected iTunes songs you found earlier.

Step 2. Click the iCloud Download icon to download these iTunes songs from iCloud.

download drm free itunes songs from icloud

Step 3. Now you can get the unprotected iTunes songs and stream or download them to other devices.

Part 5. How to Get DRM-free iTunes Music for Free by Burning to CD

It is free to burn iTunes music to CD through iTunes itself. That's to say, you can remove iTunes DRM for free by burning them to a CD. There is no need to equip a special CD burner, but to prepare a blank disc. Then you can get non-DRM iTunes songs using the iTunes app as follows.

How to Remove DRM from iTunes Music Free by Burning to CDs

Step 1. Insert a blank CD or DVD into your computer.

Step 2. On the iTunes app for Mac or PC, go to the top Menu bar to choose 'File' > 'New' > 'Playlist' to create a new playlist.

create new playlists on itunes

Step 3. You can choose all M4P songs that you'd like to remove DRM from iTunes and add them to the new playlist you created.

Step 4. From the left sidebar, right-click on the playlist and choose 'Burn Playlist to Disk' from the dropdown list.

Step 5. A dialogue box will pop up, in which you can select the kind of CD/DVD you'd like to burn. Just choose the 'Audio CD' option from the 'Disc Format' section and hit on 'Burn'. Then the iTunes playlist will be burned to CD automatically.

bypass itunes drm by burning to cd

Step 6. To get the unprotected digital music tracks from the CD, you can use iTunes to rip songs from the CD you have burned. Just open iTunes and choose Edit > Preferences > General > Import Settings, and iTunes will rip songs from the audio CD.

📣Note: All iTunes songs can be burned to CD once. Besides, if you'd like to burn Apple Music's protected M4P streams to CD, you can refer to this detailed tutorial: How to Burn Apple Music to CD.

Part 6. Conclusion

It is obvious that bypassing the annoying DRM restrictions can help us play iTunes music freely. Thus, this article introduces four effective ways to remove DRM from iTunes music. If you want to get DRM-free iTunes music losslessly, AudFree DRM Audio Converter is the best choice. With it, you can download and convert DRM-ed iTunes music to normal MP3, FLAC, and WAV for unlimited playback.

James Blair

James Blair

Staff Editor

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James Blair is an experienced writer and music lover. Reviews and tips on using popular music, like Apple Music, can be found in his articles.

AudFree Auditior

30X convert Apple Music, iTunes podcasts, audiobooks and Audible books. to MP3, etc.