How to import songs and audio in GarageBand on Mac and iOS

When you’re making music in GarageBand, you may want to pull in other types of audio. Maybe you have a song in the Music app or an MP3 file in iCloud that you want to use in your tune. This tutorial will show you how to import music and audio files into GarageBand on both Mac and iOS.

Import songs and audio to GarageBand

Import iOS songs or Music Memos in GarageBand on Mac

Open your project in GarageBand on Mac and then follow these steps to import iOS songs or Music Memos saved in iCloud:

1) Click File from the menu bar and put your cursor over iCloud.

2) Select either Import GarageBand for iOS or Import Music Memos File in the pop-out menu.

Import iOS song Music Memos GarageBand Mac

3) Browse for your item, select it, and click Open for the iOS song or Import for the Music Memos file.


  • You can’t import .mp3 files if you select Import Music Memos File. When you select this, you can import .m4a files.
  • To import .mp3 files, you can open the folder and drag the file on the GarageBand screen (explained below).

Import other types of media on Mac

Say you have a music file in a folder or Mac or the macOS Music app. To import it to GarageBand, decrease the GarageBand app window size. Now, drag the song or music file from the Finder folder or Music app onto your GarageBand editing screen.

Note: Songs you download with an Apple Music subscription are DRM protected, and you can’t use them in GarageBand, iMovie, or other such apps.

Import song from Music app to GarageBand on Mac

Additionally, with your song open in GarageBand, do the following to import music, audio from video, or similar items. The following steps may not work with recent versions of GarageBand, and in that case, please use the above drag & drop method:

1) Click the Media Browser button on the top right of the GarageBand window.

2) When the browser opens, choose either Audio or Movies at the top.

Open Media Browser GarageBand Mac

3) Expand the category you need, select a file, and drag it into your project.

Import items in GarageBand on iPhone or iPad

You can import similar types of audio files in GarageBand on your iPhone or iPad. Just follow these steps.

1) Open your song in GarageBand on iOS and tap the Loops button on the top right.

GarageBand Loops button iPhone

2) Choose Files or Music at the top to navigate to the item.

GarageBand import files iPhone

3) Hold the music file until its thumbnail lifts up, and drag it to the workspace. If you can’t import it anywhere on the screen, make sure you drag the music file at the bottom of the project, next to the + icon.

GarageBand import songs iPhone

Importing audio files and songs into GarageBand on any of your devices is easy to do. Do you have any tips like these for those new to GarageBand? If so, feel free to leave a comment below!

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