If you have a large music library or an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with limited storage capacity, you may not want to sync every song in your iTunes library to your iOS mobile device. If you store and use other kinds of content besides music, such as apps, videos, and e-books, you may want to customize syncing. When you want to manually manage music and transfer only certain songs to your device, uncheck songs in your iTunes library or use the iTunes Sync screen.
If you are a member of Apple Music or have an iTunes Match subscription, iCloud Music Library is turned on. You can't manually manage music.
These instructions apply to iTunes 12 and later.
Sync Only Checked Songs
To sync only checked songs in your iTunes library on your computer, you need to first make a setting change:
Open iTunes on your computer and connect your iOS device.
Select the device icon that's located at the top of the sidebar.
In the Options section, select the Sync only checked songs and videos check box.
Select Done to save the setting.
In the Library section of the sidebar, select Songs to display a listing of all the songs in your iTunes library on your computer.
If you don't see the Library section, use the back arrow at the top of the sidebar to locate it.
Place a checkmark next to the name of any song you want to transfer to your iOS mobile device. Remove the checkmark next to the names of songs you don't want to sync to your iOS device.
To select contiguous items, click the item at the beginning of the group you want to uncheck, hold Shift, then click the item at the end. All the songs in between will get checkmarks. To select non-contiguous items, hold down Command on a Mac or Control on a PC and click each item you want to check or uncheck.
Return to the Summary page for your device and select Sync to update the music.
Use the Sync Music Screen
Another way to make certain only the specific songs sync is to configure your choices in the Sync Music screen.
Open iTunes and connect your iOS device to your computer.
Click the device icon in the iTunes left sidebar.
From the Settings section for the device, select Music to open the Sync Music screen.
Select the Sync Music check box.
Choose Selected playlists, artists, albums, and genres.
Place a checkmark next to any item you want to sync with your iOS device. You can sync playlists, artists, genres, or albums.
Click Apply to make the changes and transfer your selections.
To manage multiple devices, only sync certain playlists to each device.