By Scott T. Sterling

Update: Apple just created a shortlink for anyone who would like to delete U2’s Songs of Innocence off their iTunes library and phone. Just click here.

As most of the free world was riveted by the tsunami of information that came crashing out of yesterday’s (Sept. 9) Apple keynote address, the classic rock legends appeared with a surprise performance and the announcement that the band’s 13th studio album, Songs of Innocence, was not only available for free, but already nestled in every iTunes inbox around the world.

As critics and online pundits rushed to deliver almost instantaneous reviews and takes on the album’s merits (or lack thereof), an even even bigger and more perplexing question came from countless iTunes users everywhere: How in the hell do I listen to the damn thing? Simultaneously, another wave of users wondered: How do I get the damn thing off my phones and out of my computers.

Related: U2 Release New Album ‘Songs of Innocence’ for Free on iTunes

“All you have to do is click and you can begin listening,” iTunes honcho Tim Cook promised during the announcement, but many fans eager to hear the new U2 album found the process not quite so simple. For those still struggling with actually accessing Songs of Innocence, here’s how to get it:

1. Open iTunes.

2. Click on “Playlists”

3. Open the “Purchased” folder. Scroll down and there it is. An entire album you never purchased just sitting there like, ‘hello!’ NOTE: If you don’t see the album in your “Purchased” folder, go to U2’s page in the iTunes store. Songs of Innocence is there, and should already be purchased for you.

4. To download the album, click on the cloud icon. Congratulations, you now own your very own digital copy of U2’s Songs of Innocence. You can also access U2’s page in the iTunes store, where the album has already been purchased for you.

5. If you just want to listen to the album without downloading, press the play icon of each track instead of the cloud icon. Now you can enjoy U2’s latest without taking up valuable space on your iPhone/computer.

6. Now, you may want to delete it.

7. Thanks to the advent of the cloud, fully “deleting” music is pretty much impossible. The secret here is to simply not download the album at all. When you see Songs of Innocence in your purchased folder, DO NOT press the cloud icon.

8. This next part might be hard for some to fully embrace, but it’s a fact and it’s not going to change anytime soon. Like it or not, you will have to deal with u2’s Songs of Innocence being in your cloud forever. You can, however, hide it from appearing on your device:

Open your iTunes store. On the right hand side, locate the “Quick Links” column and click on “Purchased.” On the right hand side of that page, you’ll see two side-by-side tabs: “All” and “Not in My Library.” Click on “Not in My Library.” While in this mode, scrolling over a purchase will generate an “X” icon on the upper left hand portion of the purchase (in this case, the new U2 album). Clicking on the “X” gives you the option of hiding it. iTunes will ask you if you’re sure you want to hide this purchase. Click “Hide.” You will no longer see Songs of Innocence on your device.

Now can we talk about Apple’s Tommy Krul and that stylish New York Fashion Week-ready scarf though?


More U2 on





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