How to Share GarageBand Projects For macOS/iOS (EASY)

One of the nice things about using GarageBand, whether for iOS or macOS, is the accessibility of project files between Apple users. If you aren’t part of the Apple ecosystem, exchanging files is not nearly as easy. As time goes on, it appears that it’ll get easier for Apple users to work together but harder for people who use separate operating systems.

The nature of this article, however, concerns only Apple product users because it’s almost impossible to use GarageBand on Android, PC, Linux, etc. We have a ton of options for sending files to friends, colleagues, and collaborators but these choices dwindle for non-Apple users. Anyway, let’s start with the easiest way to share files first.

To share GarageBand iOS and macOS project files
1) Open GarageBand
2) Move your project to your iCloud Drive
3) Long-press on the project > choose Share
4) Select “Project”
5) Select “Collaborate”
6) Press the Messages icon and send the project to the recipient’s iCloud address or phone number
.

It doesn’t get a lot more complicated than that, however, it does get harder if neither party has iCloud. Older operating systems like iOS 14 and macOS Catalina were able to compress project files and then send them through iMessage (and possibly even SMS, although, I can’t say for certain). It appears Apple wants you to use iCloud because it’ll be far less simple if you don’t have it. Anyway, I’ll show you every sharing tactic I know in the sections below.

By the way, I’m always on the lookout for deals in the music industry (there’s usually something if you know where to look). Right now, there are 3 deals that stick out to me

Singorama – The Complete Guide to Singing Like A Professional$269 $67 Right Now
MasterClass – Timbaland, deadmau5, Tom Morello, Questlove, Ringo Starr, Metallica, Nas, and Usher2-for-1 [Buy One Get 1 Free]
Punkademic’s [Beginner to Advanced] Music Theory Course $20.00 $9/Month
Use the coupon code: “BLACKFRIDAY22”

Table of Contents

How to Share GarageBand Projects Using iMessage (iOS)

How to Share GarageBand Projects Using Messages (macOS/iOS)
I’m using an iPhone X 64GB for this article, a 2017 MacBook Pro, and a 2021 iPad Pro.

I started with this method first because I believe it’s the easiest to use. For me, it’s intuitive to have things set up in a way where you can share the file through messages. This is the main way I communicate with people in my life, so it makes sense for me to use iMessage.

First things first though, ensure both of you have iCloud. I talked about this at length in my guide on how to send GarageBand project files via iMessage.

It’ll also help if both of you have the latest version of GarageBand installed, or at least the exact same one. The images and steps that are laid out below are pretty much identical to my other article – check it out if you want to learn some of the other things I explained in that article that aren’t here. Anyway, let’s get into it.

1) Open GarageBand and Go To Your Recents Folder

1 - How to Send GarageBand Projects By Message
4 of the 5 projects here are in iCloud Drive, whereas one is just sitting on my phone’s local drive.

Whenever you open up GarageBand, it’ll usually take you straight to the interface where you can see all of your old projects. Assuming you don’t already have the file in your iCloud Drive, you will have to move it there for this to work. I’ll show you how to do that now.

2) Move The Project to iCloud Drive (Assuming It Isn’t Already There)

2 - How to Send GarageBand Projects Through iMessage [iOS/macOS]
Long-press on the project and when this menu pops up, choose “Move.”
2 Browse - How to Send GarageBand Projects Through iMessage
Once this menu pulls up, you’ll want to select Browse so you can navigate to the iCloud Drive.

Alternatively, you could use the “GarageBand for iOS” folder to do the same thing, but I’ll show you how to do that later in this article.

2 B) - How to Send GarageBand Projects Through Messages
Select your iCloud Drive after having pressed the “Browse” button.
Copy - How to Send GarageBand Projects Through Message
Select “Copy” and then your project will officially be in your iCloud Drive.

After you’ve put it there, you just have to long-press on it like what is shown down below.

3) While Inside the iCloud Drive > Long-Press the Project > Select “Share”

Share - How to Send GarageBand Projects Through Message .jpg
Press on the “Share” button.

4) Press On “Project”

Sharing A GB Project - How to Send GarageBand Projects Through Messages
At this stage, you can choose to either send it as a ringtone or as an audio file (and in multiple formats). We want to send it as a project file though.

5) Choose “Collaborate” and Not “Send A Copy”

Collaborate - How to Send GarageBand Projects Through Messages
I would suggest choosing “Collaborate” instead of “Send A Copy.”

The reason why is that “Send A Copy” just doesn’t seem to work for me while using this tactic, however, it works fine for others which I’ll show you in a minute. I’m not sure why that’s the case, but it could be something I’m doing. Anyway, after you’ve chosen “Collaborate,” you want to select the Messages application.

6) Select the Messages Application

Choose Messages - How to Send GarageBand Projects Through Message
Click on the “Messages” icon.

It’ll bring up your messages and then you’re almost done. Ask your buddy for their iCloud address because you’re going to need that or their number now. Having both on hand will help.

7) Type In The Recipient’s iCloud Address (or Phone Number) And Send the Project

Send Messages to iCloud Email - How to Send GarageBand Projects Through Messages
Using the actual iCloud address seems to be more reliable.

Type in the address and then click on the send button as you normally would send a message.

Opening the iCloud Project - How to Send GarageBand Projects Through Messages
You’ll know it was successful because it’ll look exactly like what’s shown in the image here.

And that’s it for sending GarageBand projects through iMessage on an iPhone or iPad. While it may look just slightly different on an iPad, the principles are largely the same.

If you know how to do it for one, you know how to do it for the other. For macOS, it’s just a touch different. Let’s go through a tutorial on how to do that now.

How to Share GarageBand Projects Using iMessages (macOS)

Messages Between macOS  - How to Send GarageBand Projects Through iMessage [iOS/macOS]
I’m using the 2017 MacBook Pro, however, I would recommend this one on Amazon instead.

I would say it’s easier to send and move files around with macOS compared to iOS. It could be because I use the macOS version as my primary DAW – and it’s how I also learned GarageBand – but either way, I still think it’s better (here’s my article comparing iOS and macOS GarageBand by the way). Let’s get into it then.

1) Select File > Save As > Desktop

Save as to Your Desktop - How to Send GarageBand Projects Through Messages
Save your project to your desktop.

So the first thing you want to do is save your project to your desktop as shown in the image above. Click on “File,” then choose “Save As,” and save the project to “Desktop” or somewhere else easy to find. I always choose my desktop. Give it an easily recognizable name as well.

2) Close GarageBand then Right-Click the Project to Compress It

Compressing GarageBand Project - How to Send GarageBand Projects Through Messages
Close your GarageBand project afterward and then right-click on it to compress it.

It’s important that you close GarageBand first, otherwise, you won’t be able to compress it as is shown here. Seriously, close GarageBand otherwise it won’t work.

3) Open Your Messaging App Then Type In Recipient’s iCloud Address [or Phone Number]

Send the macOS GarageBand Project - How to Send GarageBand Projects Through Messages
Drag and drop the compressed ZIP file to your messages

Open up your messages and type in the iCloud email address or phone number.

4) Drag the Compressed Project File Into The Message and Then Send It

Sent the Message by Pressing Enter - How to Send GarageBand Projects Through Message
Press “Enter” on your keyboard to send it.

The project will send just fine. This works great for macOS users and I find it the easiest among all of the tactics, at least for macOS. Also, for whatever reason, I find sometimes the “Send” button on the SMS application will be invisible.

In these cases, use “Enter” on your keyboard. The next way to share projects is just by using an email/cloud service like Google Drive, DropBox, or OneDrive.

How to Email GarageBand Project Files (macOS/iOS)

How to Email A GarageBand Project File [2022]

Despite having already gone through how to do this in my guide on how to email GarageBand projects, I think it’s worth our time to do it once more here. If you need more detail on how to do it, go to the article or watch the YouTube video above.

Share > Mail - How to Share GarageBand Project Files
Additionally, GarageBand has the option to email the project right from the GarageBand interface, however, I like to do it manually because then you can compress it first.

macOS

1) Open GarageBand > Press File > Then Save As

2) Choose Your Desktop

3) Close GarageBand

4) Right Click on the GarageBand Project and Compress It

5) Open Your Email and Drag The File Into the Email

6) Click Send

iOS

Files-Download-How-to-Fix-Grayed-Out-Files-in-GarageBand-iOSmacOS
For iOS, it’s super important to have the Files Application downloaded. Apple made it so you know it works the way it should. It’s also in the App Store for free. No catch. I use this thing all of the time and I’m surprised I didn’t have it earlier.

What makes sharing projects through email a bit more time-consuming on iOS is the fact you have to compress the file. To be more accurate, you don’t have to compress the file, but it will reduce the size and ultimately make sending and downloading the file a bit faster.

Nevertheless, to compress the file, you have to locate it in Files rather than in GarageBand Recents, because if you open it in GarageBand Recents, you won’t be able to compress it.

That’s why it’s not a terrible idea to use Files App when you first go hunting for the project. It’s because you can compress it and share it right there, effectively saving yourself about a minute or two.

Additionally, you can’t email project files when they’re stored in iCloud Drive but not on your phone’s local drive. That’s why you may have to either download the file from iCloud or move it to your Files Application and then locate it there.

Either way, you’ll have to go to your Files app anyway because you need compression. This tutorial pre-supposes that you don’t already have the project in your Files app.

1) Open GarageBand to Your Recents Folder

2) Long-Press the Project and Select “Share” from the Menu

3) Select “Save To Files”

4) Choose “Downloads” (Or Another Folder If You Want)

5) Go to the Files Folder and Open “Downloads”

6) Long-Press the Project to Compress It

7) Long-Press It Again And Click “Share”

8) Choose the Mail Icon and Then Send It to An Email Address

How to Share GarageBand Projects to Apple Music & SoundCloud (macOS)

Song to Music/Soundcloud - How to Share GarageBand Project Files For macOS/iOS (EASY)
Sharing music to SoundCloud and Music from GarageBand is super easy.

Despite the fact GarageBand makes it so easy to send right from the interface, I prefer to actually do so manually for a couple of reasons.

One is that I like to listen to the file before I upload it, and the second is that I like to find artwork while I’m listening to the track. Either way, I don’t think this needs a dedicated tutorial because it’s mad easy. If you chose SoundCloud, you obviously need a SoundCloud first.

For Music, it’s just going to use your Music application on your computer – it won’t upload it to Apple Music which has to be done through a service like TuneCore or Distrokid (I use the latter).

1) With GarageBand Open, Click “Share” In the Top Toolbar

2) Choose “Song to Music” or “Song to SoundCloud”

3) Choose Your Song Title and Type In The Artist, Composer, Etc

How to Share to SoundCloud (iOS)

How to Share to SoundCloud (iOS) - Image
Sharing your project to SoundCloud from iOS GarageBand is slightly different (my old guide, btw), but not by that much.

If you’ve read or used any of the methods I’ve shown thus far, some of this stuff will start to look familiar. If you’re trying to upload songs to SoundCloud from GarageBand iOS, you’re in luck, because the iOS operating system has made it fairly slick.

You don’t even need to download the song from your iCloud Drive before uploading it. interestingly, SoundCloud (or maybe it’s GarageBand) will also upload the file at a relatively competitive volume.

One thing you need to know first though is your username and password because GarageBand needs SoundCloud’s permission to upload. Additionally, you’ll have to upload an image afterward because GarageBand automatically uploads an image of its icon as the song’s display picture.

1) Open GarageBand and Locate Your Project

GarageBand Recents - How to Share GarageBand Projects
For this tutorial, I chose an example of a chord progression I used recently.

2) Long-Press the Project File and Select Share (iCloud Drive or In Your Local Drive)

Share - How to Share GarageBand Projects 2
Choose Share as I’ve shown you a few times now.

3) Choose Song and Then “Uncompressed (WAV)”

Song > Uncompressed - How to Share GarageBand Projects
Choose Uncompressed (WAV)

You could actually choose any number of file formats for uploading to SoundCloud, but I prefer WAV because, to me, it always seems the most reliable and versatile while working with other platforms and operating systems. Additionally, SoundCloud says right on its site that they like WAV, AIFF, and a few others.

4) Navigate to the SoundCloud Logo and Press On It

Press on SoundCloud - How to Share GarageBand Projects
Press on the SoundCloud logo after scrolling over to the right.

Interestingly, you don’t actually have to have SoundCloud downloaded on your phone in order to use it as an option.

5) Type In Your SoundCloud Username and Password

Password - How to Share GarageBand Projects
This part can be a pain because you have to go out of your way to find your username and password if you don’t already know them.

Use the captcha to prove to the robot that you’re not a robot and then you’re almost done.

6) Choose Continue And Then “Allow Downloads” and “Allow Streaming” [If You Want]

Choose Continue - How to Share GarageBand Projects
I pretty much always allow people to download and stream my tracks. Press continue.

7) Click “Share” > Wait For It To Export

 Visit - How to Share GarageBand Projects
Click the “Share” button and then wait for it to export.

In some cases, it won’t work for reasons I can’t explain. If that does happen to you, just do it again and it’ll work just fine. Click “Visit” if you want to be able to change the display picture for the song.

Note:

You’ll need to download the application on your phone if you want to change the picture from the GarageBand logo to whatever you want.

How to AirDrop GarageBand Project Files (macOS)

Air Dropping A GarageBand Project - How to AirDrop GarageBand Project Files (macOS)
I would recommend compressing the GarageBand project file first if you want to make its transport much faster.

Every Apple user loves AirDrop, including myself, although, I would be lying if I didn’t notice its unreliability at times. For transferring projects to other GarageBand users who are close to you, AirDorp is unparalleled in its efficiency and convenience. Keep in mind that they must be close to you if you want to use AirDrop.

1) Save Your Project to Your Desktop And Then Close GarageBand

Save as to Your Desktop - How to Send GarageBand Projects Through Messages - 1
Do as I’ve shown you before and save the project to your desktop.

Remember, you have to close GarageBand right after if you want to compress it unless you want to wait there forever and have nothing happen.

2) Right-Click the Project File and Select “Compress”

6-Compress-How-to-Share-GarageBand-Projects-
Compress the file and you can reduce the file size by quite a lot.

This is always going to be a good idea whenever you have to send things across the internet.

3) Right-Click the Project File Then Choose “Share” > “AirDrop”

Click > Share - How to Share garageBand Projects on macOS
With the last update, Apple made it really easy to share projects via right-click.

4) Choose the Nearby macOS Device in the AirDrop Menu

Share - via AirDrop How to Share GarageBand Projects
Choose the device for transport. In this case, I just have my phone as an example.

Note:

While you technically can AirDrop a GarageBand macOS project with an iOS device, you won’t be able to open it once it has been transferred. You have to use GarageBand Project to iOS in the share menu instead of GarageBand, which I’ll show you how to do in a minute – it’s dead simple.

But first, let’s dive into how to AirDrop GarageBand iOS files. It’s a little different from macOS but still mad easy.

How to AirDrop GarageBand Project Files (iOS)

How to AirDrop GarageBand Project Files (iOS)
Using AirDrop to share GarageBand project files is definitely one of – if not the – easiest ways to share files with not only yourself but other users too.

It’s easy to AirDrop files either from macOS to iOS or iOS to macOS, however, you won’t be able to open the macOS GarageBand project with iOS GarageBand.

It’s worth noting that if you AirDrop a file that’s not sitting in the iCloud Drive and is sitting in the phone’s local drive instead, you won’t have to choose “Send A Copy” or “Collaborate.”

1) Open GarageBand and Find Your Project File

Open GarageBand and Select the File - How to Share GarageBand Projects
Open GarageBand and find your file.

2) Long-Press On It and Select “Share”

Long-Press and Share - How to Share the GarageBand Project
Click Share after long-pressing on the project to bring up the menu

3) Choose “Project” And Then Select AirDrop

Project - How to Share GarageBand Projects
Select “Project” if you’d like to send the project file rather than an mp3 or ringtone.

4) Select “Send A Copy” or “Collaborate” – Both Will Work

Send A Copy - How to Share A GarageBand Project File
Choose “Send A Copy” or “Collaborate”

If you recall what I said earlier, I claimed that “Collaborate” was often a better choice over “Send A Copy,” and I stand by that. However, there are some cases – like now, for instance – where “Send A Copy” will work just fine.

5) Choose AirDrop Again And Then Select the Device

Choose AirDrop - How to Share A GarageBand Project
Choose your device. Coincidentally, you can see the iPad (9) which must belong to one of my neighbours.

How to Share Project Files From One Device to Another (macOS ↔ iOS)

How to Send GarageBand Projects To Opposite Operating Systems
There are actually a number of ways you can share GarageBand projects between macOS and iOS devices. You can use AirDrop, Email, iMessage, or you can use the “Share” > “Project to GarageBand for iOS.”

Using “Share” > “Project to GarageBand for iOS” is how you bridge the gap between GarageBand macOS and iOS. This is the way I know how to convert GarageBand macOS projects to GarageBand for iOS. It may actually be the only way. as a matter of fact.

1) With Your GarageBand Project Open > Click Share Then “Project to GarageBand for iOS”

Project to GarageBand for iOS - How to Share GarageBand Project Files
Choose “Project to GarageBand for iOS” – make sure your metronome is turned off

2) Name the File

Title Example Song - How to Share GarageBand Project Files
Always remember to give it a file that differentiates it well from others.

3) Select the iCloud Drive You Want To Save To

iCloud Drive - How to Share GarageBand Project Files
Use your iCloud Drive and then click Save.

Note:

This doesn’t work for sharing GarageBand projects with other users. It only works with yourself. However, what you can do after you’ve shared the file to your iOS device, is you can then use any of the aforementioned methods to transfer the now-iOS project to another user. After you’ve turned the project into an iOS file, it can be sent to any iPad or iPhone.

How to Share GarageBand (iOS/macOS) Projects With Non-Apple Users?

Export Song to Disk (Solo'd) - How to Share GarageBand (iOS/macOS) Projects With Non-Apple Users?
I originally showed you how to do this in my super old article on collaboration.

And while the article itself is old, you can share your project file with other users in the exact same way. It’s worth stating that it is a bit time-consuming, although, not terribly so.

This is because you’ll have to turn each track region into an mp3, label everything properly, and then put everything into a well-organized folder. It works great though, and if your computer is decent, it shouldn’t take that long to do it. Anyway, I’ll show you how to do it now.

1) Open Your GarageBand Project, Label Every Track Very Well, And Then Save It

1 - How to Share GarageBand Projects
It’s important that you name each track in such a way that the other person will know what it is. For example, I would change the “Midnight” to 808 and the “Blue Drive Delay” to “Solo Guitar”

This will ensure the recipient and your collaborator will actually know what you’re talking about. Trust me, it’s a nightmare when you receive a bunch of files and you have no idea what any of them are.

2) Isolate the First Instrument

2 - Isolate the First Instrument - How to Share GB Projects
Click on the Isolate button that looks like a pair of yellow headphones.

You could probably mute all of the other tracks instead but the isolation tool is a better option.

3) Click Share > Export Song to Disk > Uncompressed (WAV) > Save It To Your Desktop

Share - Export Song to Disk - How to Share GB Projects
Again, I would recommend choosing WAVE because it’ll be more accessible for all kinds of users.

4) Go Through Each Track One by One and Export Them While Isolated

Isolate Each Track - How To Share GarageBand Projects
Now repeat the process for each instrument track.

5) Create A Folder With All Of The Isolate Tracks

Example Folder - How to Share GarageBand Project Files
Now you want to right-click on the home screen to create a new folder. Give it a name, then drag and drop all of the files into it.

6) Right Click the File to Compress It

6 - Compress - How to Share GarageBand Projects
Right-click on the new file folder with all of the tracks inside and compress it.

7) Screenshot the Way You’ve Panned the Instruments and Include It In the File Folder

Panning - How to Share GarageBand Project Files For macOS/iOS (EASY)
Another great thing to do if you’re working with someone else is to include an image that shows how everything has been panned. This will give them an idea of how to replicate the sound perfectly in their own DAW.

8) Send The Compressed Folder With An Email Service Producer – GoogleDrive, OneDrive, or WeTransfer

Send the Compressed Folder - How to Share GarageBand Project Files
Open up your email service provider, preferably a Cloud service, and then drag it in.

Typically, you’ll have to wait for it to upload because the file will be large for most services. But what if you do if your project is massive and Google Drive, OneDrive, etc, are not working?

I would recommend using WeTransfer because it’s incredibly easy to use and the free plan allows you to send 2GB projects. I’ll show you how to use it now.

How to Use WeTransfer To Share Large Files

How to Use WeTransfer To Share Large Files
WeTransfer is incredibly easy and I couldn’t recommend it enough. You can use it for both iOS and GarageBand for very large files. For instance, the Free plan (where you just need to give them your email address) means you can upload files up to 2GB.

You can use Google Drive and other email services too, but I find they can be quite slow and unreliable at times. In those cases, use WeTransfer and you won’t have a problem.

Just follow the instructions that I’ve outlined below after you’ve made an account. You probably won’t even need instructions because it’s fairly intuitive.

1) Save the Project On Your Desktop and Close GarageBand

Save as to Your Desktop - How to Send GarageBand Projects Through Messages - 1
Save your project to your desktop as you normally would.

2) Right-Click on the Project to Compress It

6-Compress-How-to-Share-GarageBand-Projects-
Compress the file again to make it faster to send.

3) Go to WeTransfer and Make A Free Account

WeTransfer-How-to-Send-GarageBand-Projects-Through-Message-
Use the Free Plan and you won’t have to pay anything. They just want your email.

With a Pro Plan, you can send huge projects of 200GB or even have 1TB of storage. WeTransfer is great and I couldn’t recommend them enough.

4) Type In The Email And Then Upload The File

Upload File - How to Share GarageBand Projects
Have your file on your desktop compressed and ready to go, that way when you upload it with WeTransfer, it’s easy to find.

5) Click Transfer And Wait For It To Send

WeTransfer-How-to-Share-GarageBand-Projects-
It usually takes 2-3 minutes to upload a fairly large file but this will depend on your internet as well.

Other Articles You May Be Interested In

Important Things to Note About Sharing GarageBand Project Files

1) You Can Share GarageBand iOS Projects to macOS In Many Ways, But Not The Other Way Around

You can share GarageBand iOS projects to macOS with many email service providers, AirDrop, iCloud, and through iMessage (which is also kind of done through iCloud), but when it comes to sharing macOS projects to iOS, you have fewer options.

2) Whether Your File Is In The iCloud Drive or the Local Drive Makes A Difference In How Files Are Shared

Using iCloud Drive between users is by far the easiest way to share projects, but I understand not everyone wants to use it. I was also hesitant about iCloud Drive when Apple first came out with it and began creating its apps in such a way that it seemed impossible not to have it.

If you don’t want to use it, compressing the files first and sending them through email is your best bet, or you could use WeTransfer which also works great.

3) iMovie And GarageBand Also Can Work Together As Sharing Devices [YouTube/Facebook]

It’s worth noting that you can also use iMovie and GarageBand together and I have an article describing how to use them for background music. The article will also show you how to share things with various services.

4) You Can Also Add More Sharing Extensions

Whenever you share things with your laptop or whatever you’re using, it’s actually possible to add more sharing extensions, ie, SoundCloud or some kind of email service. You do that by right-clicking on the file, pressing Share and choosing the option “Edit Extensions.” There’s more information on Apple’s website.

Edit Extensions - How to Share GarageBand Project Files For macOS/iOS (EASY)

Gear Mentioned

1) 2021 MacBook Pro 1TB (on Amazon)

2) 11″ iPad Pro 1TB (on Amazon)

3) iPhone X 64GB (on Amazon)