Shortly after U2 released their new album, Songs of Innocence, for free on iTunes, we learned that a good number of people had never heard of U2. Others simply didn’t want the band’s “musical autobiography” anywhere near their iPhone, let alone their person. Well, there is a way to remove it from your library — though it’s not as simple as clicking delete.
Update: Apple has made it a whole lot easier to remove U2’s album: simply click this short link and click on “Remove album.”
Because U2’s album was distributed via Apple’s iCloud, the album is not stored locally on your iPhone or iPad. If there is a cloud icon with a down arrow next to each song, then the album hasn’t actually been downloaded yet. You cannot permanently remove an album stored in the cloud (ugh), however, you can hide it from displaying on your iPhone by going to Settings, clicking on Music, and toggling the “Show All Music” switch to off. Your device will only display music you have downloaded — however, there is a drawback: you won’t be able to download or stream music stored in iTunes in the cloud.
Also, as CNET notes, “Even though it’s not on your device, when the album is available for download from the cloud, it will still be played in Shuffle mode — meaning you’re stuck with the U2 album through October 13, or until Apple fixes this. A simple fix for now would be to create a custom playlist on your iOS device and exclude U2’s Songs of Innocence from it.”
Tl;dr No matter how hard you try, it’s impossible to get rid of Bono entirely.
If you mistakenly downloaded the album to your phone, you can delete it by individually swiping each song to the left. And if you downloaded it to iTunes on your personal computer, right-click the album’s title and click delete.You can stop purchases from automatically downloaded to your library by opening the iTunes preferences, click on the Store tab, and uncheck the automatic downloads box.