Why is my Apple Music changing songs on its own?

Quick Answer

There are a few common reasons why Apple Music may be changing songs on its own:

  • Auto-Play is enabled – With Auto-Play on, Apple Music will automatically start playing similar songs when your current song ends.
  • Shuffle mode is enabled – If Shuffle mode is turned on, Apple Music will randomly jump between songs rather than playing them in order.
  • You have a radio station playing – Apple Music radio stations will automatically change songs based on the station genre or artist.
  • A problem with the app or device – An issue with the Apple Music app, iOS, or your device could cause music to randomly skip around.

To prevent Apple Music from automatically changing songs, you can disable Auto-Play in the settings, turn off Shuffle mode, stop any radio stations from playing, and update your devices and apps. If the issue persists there may be a larger technical issue at play.

What Causes Apple Music to Change Songs Automatically?

There are several different settings and scenarios that can lead to Apple Music automatically changing songs against your will:


Auto-Play is an Apple Music feature that will automatically start playing similar music when your current song, playlist, or album finishes. The purpose is to provide a seamless listening experience without any breaks between songs.

However, many users find this disruptive when they want to listen to an album or playlist straight through without any unexpected song changes. If you notice Apple Music jumping to different songs before the current one has finished, Auto-Play is likely enabled.

Shuffle Mode

When the Shuffle button is highlighted with a blue color, Shuffle mode is turned on in Apple Music. This will make songs play in random order rather than the default sequential order.

Shuffle can cause Apple Music to unexpectedly skip around between different songs, albums, artists, and playlists without rhyme or reason. If you don’t want this unpredictable behavior, make sure Shuffle mode is disabled.

Radio Stations

Apple Music offers various personalized radio stations based on genres, artists, songs, and your listening history. When you have a radio station playing, Apple Music will automatically queue up songs it thinks you’ll like based on the station type.

This means that if you start a radio station the app will jump between songs automatically by design. If you only want to hear songs you directly select yourself, radio stations will cause unwanted song changes.

Technical Issues

In some cases, randomly changing songs can actually signal an underlying technical problem rather than an enabled setting. Issues with the Apple Music app, iOS software, iPhone, connectivity, or audio output devices can all potentially lead to music playback getting disrupted.

For example, if you notice songs frequently changing before their current time is up, it may point to an app glitch or outdated version causing problems. Or intermittent connectivity issues could prevent songs from fully buffering and smoothly playing through.

Diagnosing whether an actual technical issue is the culprit typically requires some troubleshooting of your device and environment. If it’s happening across different Wi-Fi networks and devices for instance, that indicates a problem beyond just a single phone or pairing.

How to Stop Apple Music from Automatically Changing Songs

If you want Apple Music to stop unexpectedly jumping between songs, here are tips to disable the settings causing it and rule out any technical issues:

Turn Off Auto-Play

Disabling Auto-Play prevents Apple Music from automatically queuing up related songs when your music finishes playing. To turn it off:

  1. Open the Apple Music app Settings
  2. Tap on Playback
  3. Toggle off Auto-Play by swiping the button to the left so it turns white

Disable Shuffle Mode

To stop shuffled song playback, toggle off Shuffle mode so the icon is no longer highlighted in blue. Do this by:

  1. Going to the Now Playing screen in Apple Music
  2. Tapping the Shuffle icon so it’s no longer filled in blue

This will disable shuffled playback so songs go back to sequential order.

Don’t Play Radio Stations

If you don’t want Apple Music randomly selecting songs, don’t play any radio stations based on genres, artists, or your tastes. Select specific songs, albums, or playlists instead to avoid radio behavior.

Update Apps and iOS

Make sure to keep your iPhone, iPad, or other devices updated to the latest iOS/iPadOS version to rule out any bugs causing playback issues in Apple Music or media apps. Also update the Apple Music app itself to the current version via the App Store.

Check Connectivity

Problems like low Wi-Fi signals, incorrect Bluetooth pairing, debris in ports, and outdated cables can disrupt music playback. Ensure your device has a strong, stable connection to the internet and any connected audio devices.

Test on Different Devices

See if the unwanted song skipping happens when using Apple Music on other phones, tablets, or computers. If it only occurs on one device, it likely indicates an isolated software or hardware issue, rather than a problem with your Apple Music account itself.

Contact Apple Support

If you still can’t resolve random Apple Music song changes after trying the above self-fixes, reach out to Apple support online or by phone. They can further troubleshoot and determine if you need a repair or service for the device exhibiting problems.

Apple Music Playback Troubleshooting Guide

Use this table as a troubleshooting guide to fix common Apple Music playback problems like unwanted song changes:

Issue Potential Causes Fixes
Songs randomly changing Auto-Play enabled, Shuffle mode on, Radio station playing Disable Auto-Play and Shuffle, Don’t play radio
Song skips, doesn’t play fully Connectivity problems, outdated OS/app, audio glitches Check Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, update iOS and Apple Music app
Playback control problems Apple Music acting up, iOS bugs Force close and restart Apple Music app
Music distorted or paused Issue with audio output device Check speakers, headphones, and cables

Best Practices to Avoid Apple Music Playback Issues

Follow these tips to help prevent problems with Apple Music randomly changing songs and improve general playback reliability:

  • Keep your iPhone, iPad, Mac, etc. updated with the latest OS version.
  • Install Apple Music app updates as soon as they become available.
  • Use a strong Wi-Fi or cellular data connection for streaming.
  • Disable battery saver modes which can disrupt streaming.
  • Close unused apps occupying device RAM.
  • Test different audio sources and cables if hearing distortion.
  • Restart your device and router if connectivity seems unstable.
  • Turn Auto-Play and Shuffle mode off if you don’t want unexpected song changes.

Proactively following best practices like these can minimize technical issues that disrupt music playback on Apple Music. However, problems can still arise occasionally even when being careful. Be ready to troubleshoot using the above guide if Apple Music starts unexpectedly changing songs on you despite your best efforts.


Apple Music randomly shuffling to unrequested songs can certainly be annoying and confusing. But in most cases it simply indicates a playback setting like Auto-Play or Shuffle is enabled, and can be easily disabled. For any deeper technical issues, there are also steps you can take like updating software, checking connectivity, and contacting Apple support if needed.

Knowing the possible reasons why Apple Music jumps between songs gives you the power to pinpoint the cause. By methodically going through playback settings and troubleshooting your device, you should be able to resolve any unwanted music changes that pop up and get seamless listening back on track.

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