U2 free album on iTunes (image 001)

Apple wrapped up yesterday’s presentation by inviting U2 to perform onstage and announce that it will be giving away the band’s latest album, titled “Songs of Innocence”, to iTunes users completely free of charge, no strings attached.

During the exclusivity window which closes October 13, iTunes user 13 or older can grab their free copy of the aging rock band’s album.

Company CEO Tim Cook called the deal “the largest album release of all time” and here’s how you can grab your free copy right now.

The album features eleven new songs from the band and charts their earliest influences from 70s rock and punk rock to early 80s electronica and soul.

It’s been recorded in New York, London, Los Angeles and Dublin and produced by Danger Mouse, along with Paul Epworth, Ryan Tedder, Declan Gaffney and Flood.

The good news is, the process of grabbing your free copy is trivial because the album is now available on iTunes and already added to your library, waiting for you to download.

How to download the U2 album on iOS devices

Step 1: Launch the Music app on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, either by tapping its icon on the Home screen or pulling down on any Home screen to use Spotlight to search for “Music”.

Step 2: Once in the Music app, hit the Albums tab at the bottom (tap More if you don’t see the Albums tab). Scroll through your alphabetically ordered albums to find the newly-added “Songs of Innocence” album.

U2 free album on iTunes (image 003)

Step 3: You can now tap a track to listen, or tap the iCloud icons to download any individual track or the whole album at once.

Some commenters seem to be having problems with download the album through the iOS Music app even though they have “Show All My Music” enabled under the Music section in the Settings app.

Luckily, there’s a smart workaround available.

Just open the iTunes app on your iOS device and go to Purchased > Music (tap the More tab if you don’t see Purchased at the bottom). Next, do a search for “U2”. You should now be able to re-download the previously “purchased ”album.

Another trick: use this iTunes link in mobile Safari on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad to access the album.

How to download the U2 album in iTunes

Step 1: Launch iTunes on your Mac or Windows PC.

Step 2: Go to the Music section, click the Albums tab and select “Songs of Innocence”.

Step 3: You can now select a track to listen or click the iCloud icon to download and save individual tracks or the whole album into the iTunes library on your computer.

U2 free album on iTunes (image 002)

Downloading the album in iTunes also gets you an accompanying digital booklet.

How to stream the U2 album on iTunes Radio

Step 1: Launch the Music app on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, either by tapping its icon on the Home screen or pulling down on any Home screen to use Spotlight to search for “Music”.

Step 2: Go to Featured Stations and select “Songs of Innocence” to listen. The album will be available for streaming on iTunes Radio starting today, September 10.

U2 free album on iTunes (image 004)

How to stream the U2 album on Beats Music

Step 1: Download the free Beats Music for iOS app in the App Store by following this iTunes link in mobile Safari on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. This will open the Beats Music description page in iTunes. Tap the Free button to download the app.

Step 2: Open Beats Music on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, either by tapping its icon on the Home screen or pulling down on any Home screen to use Spotlight and search for “Beats Music”.

Step 3: Use the search field inside the application to find “Songs of Innocence” and start streaming. The album is available to stream on Beats Music starting today, September 10.


U2 was an important partner for the opening of the iTunes Store in 2003.

The iPhone maker worked with U2 again on the iPod U2 Special Edition and creating “The Complete U2” box set together. The Cupertino firm also partners with Bono and (RED) to help fight AIDS by creating (PRODUCT)RED merchandise, having generated more than $75 million thus far for the Global Fund.

Again, this is a time-limited offer valid only during the iTunes-exclusive period from September 9 to 11:59pm PDT through October 13 in the 119 countries with the iTunes Store.

Even if you’re not a huge fan of the Irish rock band, you should still download this album because, again, it won’t be free forever.

Doing so will ensure that you own the album and you’ll be able to stream it from iCloud or re-download it to all your other devices even after the exclusivity windows has ended and the price has gone back up.

[Apple, Apple PR]

  • random

    Thanks, I needed it so badly!

  • gni

    So, I can’t find the album on my iTunes, however, on iTunes Store i see the album purchased with no option to donwload it. In iOS the same

    • The Afroman

      Yep same issue here. Even search for U2 in my library. I have all the other albums. Not this one. But on the store i already bought it.

      • Lance Baker

        You have to go into the purchased section and there should be a little cloud icon to download it.

    • Helbio Miranda

      Same here

    • Steven Greer

      For some reason it was listed on mine as various artist. Not U2

  • Mike Colacone Saal

    How to remove from iPhone. Settings > iTunes and App Store > turn off show all music.

  • Added clarification. You can also download the album through the iTunes app. Just go to Purchased > Music and search for “U2”. Also, the album can be accessed directly via this iTunes link https://itunes.apple.com/album/songs-of-innocence/id915794155?at=11l4L8

    Hope this helps.

  • Rares

    “Bono: F*** you!
    Tim: F*** U2!”

  • Edward Pacheco

    To download the album, go to Purchased and look for Various not U2.

    • Sailor_V90

      Yes that’s what I had to do too last night.

  • David

    Of course the album won’t be free forever… but I think you meant the following: ” The Album will be free for all EXISTING iTunes accounts including all NEW iTunes accounts opened every day until the 13 of October”, that means the album won’t be available for free anymore after the 13 for new iTunes accounts , if you have an existing iTunes account (like I do) this album is for you to keep as long apple exists ( even if you didn’t download it and left it in the cloud) I hope this clarifies everyone doubts!!! OCD at its best and thank you Captain Obvious 🙂

  • Amia BooMaster

    If I hadn’t read this article, I would be so confused that a random album appeared in my music library. Lol. Anyway this is cool.

  • Jason Baroni

    This album is amazing. U2 is finally back with something good after so many years!

  • James Gunaca

    iTunes Match subscribers…it just downloaded automatically (I also have “Automatic Download of Purchases” enabled as well.). Didn’t even have to go to the store.

  • mattsledge

    Calling U2 an “aging rock band” is like calling Nickelback a “real rock band”.

  • Apple sucks