Have you ever tried to use a popular sound on TikTok only to see the frustrating “this sound isn’t available” message? This common error can be caused by copyright issues, regional blocking, or the uploader deleting it, preventing you from using that sound in your own videos.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the possible reasons you can’t access a TikTok sound and walk through different troubleshooting techniques to try to get it working again. We’ll also provide tips for finding alternative sounds when the original is gone for good.
Whether you’re just starting out or are a TikTok pro, you’ll be armed with the knowledge to diagnose and address the “sound isn’t available” problem for any future viral sounds you want to integrate into your clips. Let’s dive in!
What Causes the “This Sound Is Not Available” Error on TikTok?
The “this sound isn’t available” error message can appear for a few different reasons on TikTok:
The Sound Was Deleted or Disabled
The most common reason you’ll see this error is if the original user who uploaded the sound decided to delete it or disable it from being used in other TikToks.
Sounds can be deleted or disabled by the original uploader at any time, which means it will no longer be available for other users to add to their own TikTok videos. This is the most likely cause of the error if you know the sound was previously working.
TikTok has automatic systems in place to detect copyrighted music being used without proper licensing. If they detect a popular sound is using a song or audio that is copyrighted, they may remove the ability to add that sound to new TikToks.
Using copyrighted audio without permission is against TikTok’s policies, so sounds get removed to respect copyright law. You may see the “sound isn’t available” error if the sound you want to use was removed for copyright reasons.
In some cases, sounds may only be approved for use in certain regions or countries due to local laws and restrictions. If you are traveling or using TikTok from a different country, you may not have access to sounds that are limited to specific areas.
The sound you’re trying to use may not be available in your current location, leading to the “sound isn’t available” error message. The only fix is to switch to a region where that sound is enabled.
Other Usage Restrictions
Sounds may also be limited by age, device type, or other restrictions that make them unavailable to be added to your new TikTok. For example, some sounds are only approved for users 18 and over.
If the sound you want to use has restrictions like that, you’ll need to meet the requirements to be able to add it to your video. Otherwise, you’ll keep getting the “sound isn’t available” message.
How to the “Sound Isn’t Available” Error on TikTok
If you encounter the “this sound isn’t available” error in TikTok, here are some steps to troubleshoot and try to fix the issue:
Refresh the App
As a first step, close the TikTok app completely and reload it. Refreshing the app can clear out minor glitches that may be preventing the sound from loading correctly.
After manually closing and restarting the app, try searching for the sound again. If it’s now available, the app just needed a fresh start to load that sound properly.
Check the Sound Source
Go to the profile of the user who originally uploaded the sound and try to add it from there. Sometimes accessing the sound directly from the uploader’s profile can work when searching doesn’t.
Tap on the sound from the uploader’s profile to open it, then tap the “Use This Sound” button. If you’re able to add it this way, it means there was likely just a search indexing issue.
Log Out and Back In
Logging out of your TikTok account and then logging back in can also help reset any glitches. After logging back into your account, attempt to search for and add the sound again.
Sometimes your account credentials just need to be refreshed for TikTok to properly load the sound. Logging out and back in forces that refresh.
Restart Your Device
Issues with the TikTok app itself can sometimes be fixed by fully restarting your device. Close TikTok, power your device down completely, wait a minute, and then turn it back on.
Once your phone or tablet is powered back on, launch TikTok and try searching for the sound again. A device restart cleans out system-level software issues that may be interfering with TikTok.
Reinstall the TikTok App
If other troubleshooting steps don’t work, uninstalling and reinstalling the TikTok app itself could resolve the problem.
Delete the app from your device, then visit the app store and download the latest version of TikTok again. After installing TikTok again, attempt to search for and use the missing sound.
Reinstalling the app will clear out any corrupted data that could be preventing that sound from loading properly.
Use a VPN
As mentioned previously, regional restrictions can sometimes block you from accessing sounds in certain locations. To get around this, you can use a VPN (virtual private network).
VPNs allow you to virtually change your location and country. Connect to a VPN server located in a region where the sound is available, then try searching for the sound in TikTok again.
If the sound loads correctly when you have your VPN enabled, restrictions related to your geographic location were likely the issue.
Report the “Sound Isn’t Available” Issue to TikTok
If none of the above solutions succeed in fixing the “sound isn’t available” error, you can contact TikTok directly and ask them to look into the issue:
- Open your TikTok profile and tap the three-dot menu button in the top-right corner.
- Select Report a Problem from the menu.
- Choose the option for Sounds and music.
- Select Sound isn’t available and fill out the additional details about the problem you’re experiencing.
- Submit the report to TikTok’s support team for investigation.
The more details you can provide (username, sound link, country/region, etc.), the better chance TikTok will have of identifying and troubleshooting the specific problem.
Having the sound reviewed directly can resolve restricted access, copyright issues, or other errors sitewide that are preventing it from being available.
Why You May Keep Getting the “Sound Isn’t Available” Error
In some cases, you may go through all of the troubleshooting steps above and still keep getting the “this sound isn’t available” message in TikTok. Here are some reasons why the error may persist:
The Uploader Disabled or Deleted It
As mentioned previously, if the original user who uploaded the sound decides to remove it or restrict it, there’s nothing you can do to access it. Sounds are controlled completely by their original uploader.
If they choose to take the sound down or disable it, it will become permanently unavailable to other users. You’ll have to find a different sound to use in your TikToks.
Copyright Strikes Can’t Be Overturned
If TikTok identified the sound as using copyrighted content, that decision likely won’t be reversed. Using copyrighted material without permission goes against their policies, so reported copyright sounds stay removed.
Even if you file appeals and reports, TikTok is obligated under law to respect copyright. Sounds removed for copyright issues tend to stay unavailable indefinitely.
Regional Restrictions Are Strict
VPNs can sometimes work around regional restrictions, but not always. TikTok may be able to detect VPN usage and still block that sound for your geographic location.
If the sound is limited to certain regions for legal or policy reasons, TikTok may enforce the restrictions strongly. You may simply be out of luck accessing it in your country.
You Were Banned from Using the Sound
In rare cases, individual TikTok users can be banned from using specific sounds if they violate the rules. For example, if you use a sound repeatedly in spammy or abusive ways, TikTok may restrict your account from adding it again.
If you find a sound is unavailable even when others can use it, it’s possible your access was singled out and disabled. You would need to appeal directly to TikTok support for help with the ban.
When the Sound Is Gone for Good
If you go through all troubleshooting options and determine the desired sound is simply gone and not coming back, then it’s time to move on. Here are some tips:
- Check if the uploader has any other sounds you can use instead. Oftentimes, popular creators have multiple sounds available.
- Look through the comments for suggestions of similar sounds to use as alternatives.
- Search for sounds using relevant hashtags or keywords related to the content of the missing sound. You may be able to find something very similar.
- Use sound editing apps to recreate the sound yourself. Record your own version or mix together other sounds into your own custom audio.
- Ask the uploader directly if they plan on re-enabling the sound or uploading something similar that you can use.
- Accept that certain sounds will come and go as uploader’s delete and remove access. Be ready to adapt and find alternatives.
The vibrant TikTok sound community will continue churning out new hits on a daily basis. With some persistence, you’ll usually be able to locate another sound that can work just as well in your next viral TikTok!
Fixing the “this sound isn’t available” TikTok error can be frustrating, but usually comes down to identifying why that specific sound is restricted. Copyright issues, regional blocking, uploader decisions, and other limitations can prevent you from accessing a desired sound.
Troubleshooting steps like refreshing the app, logging out and back in, using a VPN, and contacting TikTok support directly can sometimes resolve access problems. However, in many cases, the sound is permanently gone and unlikely to become available again.
When that happens, your best move is to tap into the endless creativity of the TikTok community. Search for alternate sounds, recreate your own version, or find the next viral hit to showcase your content just as well. With the right sound hunting tactics, you can recover from the “sound isn’t available” issue happening on TikTok.