“Connect your iPhone to iTunes, go to the Music tab and uncheck Sync Music and press Apply to resync.” – from “Randers4 on the Apple Support Forums. (This worked for me and took only a couple minutes, even with 2000 songs, to complete).
Man, iTunes is just crazy, and drives me crazy. But anyway, the reason I needed to do this: My old iPhone 4 was filled up to where I couldn’t update anything, and in this age of Spotify, I’m not listening to any of the music on my phone’s library. Now my photos and videos are taking up as much space, but my trust in iPhoto is just as weak, so I’m afraid to delete all photos at once, because I’m just sure there’ll be some in there that I have only one copy of. Ugh!
At first when I googled it said to “Uncheck” the unwanted songs and then Re-Sync. But you have to do that one by one! I’m not going to sit there and uncheck 2000 songs! Well actually I started to, and then realized the insanity and futility. Then something weird happened. I Googled some more to see if there was a way to Uncheck all the songs at once. One guy said to, within iTunes, click Edit>Select All, as if that was a way to mass uncheck all the songs. But that didn’t work. It scared me because, after I did that, and again started “re-unchecking” songs, the songs would disappear as I unchecked them. I thought, “OMG, am I deleting them from my computer or phone or both!?!?!?!?!”
Turns out, luckily, I wasn’t. For whatever reason the “Unchecked” songs, as I unchecked them were being moved to the bottom of the page, automatically. Phew! But still crazy. Now, I just went back and clicked Edit>Select All, clicked around the left side of the iTunes window, to the left of the check boxes, and the display seems returned to normal, with the Unchecked and Checked songs together in their normal order.
OK, so finally I found the simple answer on how to delete all my songs at once. It’s the 8th response down, from “Randers4” on this page in the Apple Support Forums: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3593697?start=0&tstart=0
He simply states: “Connect your iPhone to iTunes, go to the Music tab and uncheck Sync Music and press Apply to resync.”
Boom! And that was it. Did the trick. They were all deleted in seconds, and I freed up space to do my iOS update as well as app updates.
Now, as to how to go in there and selectively add back songs, perhaps things I can’t get on Spotify, or for when I’m out of connectivity range, I don’t know what the best practice is. I saw somewhere that using Playlists was the best way, you add the things you want on the phone to a certain playlist, and when you connect your phone there’s an option to only Sync certain “selected” playlists.
But I’m not worried about that now. I just wanted to free up space so that I could update. And I really appreciate Randers4 plain English, one sentence response. Why can’t Apple explain things so that a human being can understand? I mean, do you know if you go into “Help” within iTunes that there is utterly no topic on deleting songs from your phone? The craziness stupefies me.