Skip to content

How to Stop Apple Music From Automatically Playing

Photo by Omid Armin / Unsplash

Automatically having your songs play is convenient, but there are times when you might want to turn off Apple Music autoplay. Doing so helps save battery life and allows you to focus on other tasks. However, figuring out the autoplay on Apple Music is tricky, especially since the process varies depending on your device.

If you’re stuck and need to stop Apple Music from playing, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. We’ll walk you through how to adjust your settings, set up shortcuts, and more to tackle this problem.

Why Does My Apple Music Keep Playing By Itself?

The Music app can keep playing music even if you’re not actively using it. This happens because the app can run in the background. To stop the music playing unexpectedly, you need to manually close the app.

Autoplay, on the other hand, is a feature that automatically adds similar songs to your queue and plays them after your current song ends. If you don’t like this feature, we can turn it off.

How to Turn Off Apple Music Autoplay on iPhone and iPad

Here’s the most straightforward way to stop Apple Music from opening automatically on iPhone and iPad:

Credit: MacKeeper
  1. Tap the icon with three bullet points and three lines.
  2. Then, click on the icon that looks like a figure of eight.

Your changes will happen right away.

Stop Apple Music From Using Your Cellular Data

Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or selected iPads.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Music.
  3. At the top of the screen, you’ll see Allow Music to Access. Tap on it.
  4. Find the Cellular Data option and switch it off by tapping the toggle next to it.

Change AirPods Settings

To block Apple Music when you don’t want it to play through AirPods settings:

  1. Open the Settings app on your mobile device.
  2. Press the Bluetooth icon.
  3. Locate your AirPods under My Devices and tap on the info (i) button next to them.
  4. Look for Automatic Ear Detection and toggle it off.

Use Shortcuts

You can also use Apple Shortcuts:

Credit: MacKeeper
  1. Launch the Shortcuts app and press the + icon.
  2. Search for Music and select Clear Playing Next.
  3. Tap Done to create your Shortcut.

For easy access, add a widget: swipe left on your home screen, tap Edit, then +, and search for Shortcuts. Add Clear Playing Next and tap Done.

Turn Off Handoff

The Handoff feature stops the unintended continuation of music playback on other linked Apple devices, and here’s how to switch it off:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap on General.
  3. Choose AirPlay & Handoff.
  4. Disable the switch next to Handoff.

Other Tips to Stop Unwanted Music Playback

Here are a few miscellaneous pieces of advice that aren’t directly connected but might also work:

  • Place your AirPods into their case — When you’re not using your AirPods, it’s best to keep them in their case. Even if you’re holding them or they’re tucked away in a dark pocket, it can trick them into turning on and playing music.
  • Watch your earphones — Just like AirPods, many earphones have controls that can make it seem like apps are playing music by themselves. Be mindful of accidentally pressing these controls when handling your earphones.
  • Disable Bluetooth — If the music keeps playing from a speaker, try turning off Bluetooth on your iPhone or iPad. You can also turn off Bluetooth on your speaker if you’re not using it for any other purpose.
  • Determine whether it’s Apple Music or not — Sometimes, it’s not Apple Music but another music app like Spotify causing the issue. See which app is currently playing to troubleshoot the problem correctly.

Can I Set My iPhone to Stop Music With a Timer?

Yes, to automatically stop any music playing on your device after a specific time, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Clock app and go to the Timer tab.
  2. Tap When Timer Ends, where you usually pick the ringtone for when the timer finishes.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and select Stop Playing. Then Tap on Set located in the upper right corner.
  4. Set the timer for your desired duration and hit Start.

Now, if you’re playing music or a video on your device from any app like Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, etc., it will stop any media when the timer runs out.

Just remember, if you need to use a ringtone for a timer in the future, you’ll have to go back to Timer settings and change the action back to a ringtone.

How to Make Apple Music Stop Playing Automatically on Mac

You can’t directly turn off Apple Music autoplay on your Mac. However, you can achieve a similar result by clearing your Playing Next list:

Credit: MacKeeper
  1. Click on the icon with three bullet points and lines in the top right corner.
  2. Near Playing Next, click Clear. This action will clear all upcoming songs from your list on your Mac.

Adjust the Automatic Ear Detection Feature

Automatic ear detection can cause music to start playing unexpectedly if your AirPods mistakenly think they’re in your ears. Disabling this feature prevents unintended playback:

  1. Go to the Apple icon at the top left of your screen.
  2. Choose System Preferences from the dropdown menu.
  3. In the System Preferences window, find and click on Bluetooth.
  4. Select your AirPods from the list of connected devices on the left sidebar.
  5. Look for the option Automatic Ear Detection and toggle it off.

Disable Handoff

This feature lets you transition tasks between your Mac and other Apple devices. However, if you prefer to keep your tasks separate, do this:

  1. Click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen.
  2. Select System Preferences.
  3. Choose General.
  4. Uncheck the box next to Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.

How to Stop CarPlay From Playing Automatically

When your iPhone starts blaring music in your car, it can be a frustrating experience, too. But there are ways to prevent this from happening. Here’s how to stop Apple Music from automatically playing when connected to your car:

Credit: iMore
  1. Open the Screen Time settings.
  2. Navigate to Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  3. Look for and select Allowed Apps.
  4. Turn off CarPlay from the Settings app.

You can also prevent Apple Music from using your mobile data:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on Mobile Data.
  3. Scroll down and find the name of the music app.
  4. Switch off the toggle next to the app’s name.

This way, you prevent it from streaming music when you’re not connected to Wi-Fi. Alternatively, just ask Siri to turn it off as soon as you’re in the car and the music starts. Siri will quickly respond to your request.

If you found the shortcut from earlier in the article helpful, you’ll be glad to know you can set it up yourself for your car:

  1. Launch the Shortcuts app on your iPhone.
  2. Select Automation and initiate a new personal automation.
  3. Choose Bluetooth.
  4. Select your Bluetooth device, like your car, from the list. If your device isn’t listed, make sure Bluetooth is on.
  5. Tap Done and then Next.
  6. Add an action by tapping Add Action and search for Play/Pause.
  7. Select Pause under Play/Pause.
  8. Tap Next and then Done.

Can I Stop CarPlay From Interrupting Music?

Yes, simply go to your car’s settings menu and select the audio or entertainment preference option. Within this menu, you’ll find audio settings where you can choose the Apple Music icon.

Can I Turn Off My Apple Music Background Activity?

Yes, if you want to stop Apple Music from running in the background:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap on Music.
  3. From there, scroll down to the Playback & Downloads section.
  4. Here, you’ll find an option labeled Background Activity.
  5. Switch off the toggle located next to it.

This will stop Apple Music from operating when you’re not actively using it. It helps with conserving battery life and reducing data usage. But more importantly, you’ll be giving your device more resources to allocate to other apps and processes.

Final Advice

If none of these fixes worked, try the usual troubleshooting steps to rule out other possibilities, like closing all apps running in the background, switching Wi-Fi networks or disabling Wi-Fi altogether, and restarting your iPhone.

If Apple Music still acts up after trying these steps, it’s likely a problem with the app itself. Look for updates or contact Apple Support for further assistance.