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How to stop Apple Music from automatically playing

Disabling autoplay on Apple Music is only the first of many steps.

Published onJanuary 20, 2024

Apple Music is a powerful platform for enjoying your favorite tunes, but the automatic playback feature can catch you off guard sometimes. The functionality is enabled by default on all Apple devices and allows playlists, albums, songs, and related music to continue playing even when your selected song or playlist ends.

Also, individuals using Apple Music with CarPlay have to deal with the app playing music automatically once connected to their vehicles. Some experience similar problems with their iPads, AirPods, headphones, or iPhones at times when they’d rather have no music.

Whether you’re tired of songs starting without your consent or you simply want more control over your music experience, we’ve got you covered. In this guide, we’ll show you how to stop Apple Music from automatically playing and put you back in charge of your listening experience.

How to stop Apple Music from automatically playing

By modifying certain settings or disabling features on your iPad, iPhone, mac, or other Apple devices, you can stop Apple Music from automatically playing. We’ve covered some of them below.

Turn off autoplay in Apple Music

If you have an active Apple Music plan, disabling autoplay stops playback of any song you’re currently listening to. Follow these steps on how to stop Apple Music from automatically playing on your iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open the Apple Music application and expand the current song being played.
  2. Tap the icon with three dots and three lines from the bottom right of the screen.
  3. Click on the Autoplay (infinity) icon to turn off autoplay. The icon will change from white to transparent.

The mac application doesn’t allow you to disable Apple Music autoplay directly. However, you can replicate the effect by clearing your Playing Next list. Here’s how:

  1. Launch Apple Music on your mac.
  2. Click the icon with three dots and lines in the top right of your Apple Music.
  3. Click the Clear button to remove all upcoming songs from your Playing Next list. This will stop autoplay.

Disable Handoff

The Handoff feature lets you initiate a task on one device and resume it on another from the exact point you left off. For example, you can start composing an email on Mail with your iPhone and complete it on your mac.

Handoff also applies to the Apple Music app. Disabling it in your iPhone or iPad settings will prevent Apple Music from automatically resuming play on other devices linked to the same Apple ID.

Here’s how to stop Apple Music from automatically playing by disabling Handoff:

  1. Launch the iOS Settings app.
  2. Go to General and select AirPlay & Handoff from the list.
  3. Tap the switch beside Handoff to toggle it off.

Turn off the CarPlay feature

Turning off CarPlay will prevent your car from automatically playing music from your nearby iPhone or iPad. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings on your iOS device.
  2. Tap General and select CarPlay.
  3. Find your car on the list and select Forget This Car.

Disable Apple Music to use data

Preventing Apple Music from using cellular data limits playback to Wi-Fi or downloaded files. Follow these steps to disable access to cellular data on all iPhones and certain iPads with cellular data plans:

  1. Open the Settings app and select Music from the list.
  2. Under the option, Allow Music to Access, flip the switch beside Mobile Data to turn it off.

Change AirPods settings

Modifying your AirPods settings can prevent Apple Music from playing at undesired times. For example, you can prevent your AirPods from automatically resuming playback when they detect they’re in your ears. To change this setting on your iPhone and iPad:

  1. Navigate to Settings and tap Bluetooth.
  2. Find your AirPods under My Devices.
  3. Tap the i (information) button next to your headphones.
  4. Find the Automatic Ear Detection option and turn it off.

You can also turn off Automatic Ear Detection when using AirPods on your mac. Follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Apple icon in the top left toolbar.
  2. Select System Settings from the dropdown menu.
  3. Locate your AirPods in the toolbar on the left.
  4. Find Automatic Ear Detection and turn it off.

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