Why Is My iPhone Playing Music with No Apps Open? Fixed!

What to Know

  • If your iPhone is playing music by itself, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to ensure no music apps are playing in the background.
  • If music is still automatically playing, launch the Apple Music app, tap your profile icon, sign out, close the app, open Apple Music again, and sign back in.

If your iPhone is playing music by itself, you want it to stop as soon as possible! This problem is super annoying and disruptive, but don't worry; we know how to stop music from automatically playing on your iPhone.

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How to Stop Music from Automatically Playing on iPhone & iPad: Quick Fixes

Why did my iPhone start playing music by itself?! There are lots of reasons this could be happening. Before we get into the more involved, let's check a few simple things:

  1. First, double-check to be sure apps aren't running in the background by opening the App Switcher and closing any music-related apps.
  2. If Apple Music was open in the background, turn off Autoplay in Apple Music to stop music from automatically playing on your iPhone. 

Now that you're sure background apps have nothing to do with your iPhone playing music by itself, there are a few more easy fixes to try:

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  1. Make sure your iPhone or iPad is updated to the latest version of iOS or iPadOS.
  2. Try a hard reboot.

If these preliminary steps don't turn off the unwanted music on your iPhone, read on.

Check Sounds & Haptics Settings

It's possible your iPhone is playing music with no apps open because you have a song set as a ringtone or notification. To check if this is the case:

  1. Open the Settings app.

    open iphone settings app
  2. Tap Sounds & Haptics

    tap sounds and haptics in iphone settings
  3. Check your Ringtone and Text Tone to see if they have a song rather than a ringtone.

    check ringtone and text tone to see if they're a song
  4. If this is the issue, you can change your ringtone or text tone if the selected song is annoying you.
  5. You can also check the other categories under Ringtone and Text Tone to see if you've accidentally chosen a song for those notifications. It's unlikely you have, but it's worth looking!

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Unpair Headphones, Earbuds & Speakers

If your iPhone is playing music by itself, it could be due to a faulty device connected via Bluetooth. If this problem happens while you're using a particular Bluetooth device, disconnect the Bluetooth device and see if the problem stops. If so, try using a different speaker or set of headphones to see if the problem resolves. If so, it means that your old Bluetooth device was at fault!

disconnect bluetooth devices if music is automatically playing on iphone

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Check for Installed Shortcuts

Could a shortcut be causing your iPhone to play music with no apps open? It's unlikely, unless someone is playing an elaborate prank on you, but it's easy to check.

  1. Open the Shortcuts app.

    open the shortcuts app on iphone or ipad
  2. Tap the Shortcuts tab at the bottom of the page, then scroll down through your shortcuts to see if there's one that could be causing music to play automatically.

    tap shortcuts tab in shortcuts app
  3. If so, delete the Shortcut and wait to see if the problem has been resolved. If not, read on!

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Unsync Your Music Library & Resync

This trick for how to stop music from automatically playing on your iPhone is a bit convoluted, but has worked for many people. Essentially, it's a way to reset your Apple Music app if it's glitching. You can follow the same steps of unsyncing from iCloud, logging out of the app, rebooting your iPhone, and logging back in for any music app that's glitching in this way.


When you unsync and resync your Apple Music library, it will take a few minutes to resync your library. You will have to re-download all your music, and any custom settings you had applied may also need to be reset.

Here's what to do:

  1. Open the Settings app.

    open iphone settings app
  2. Tap Music.

    tap music in iphone settings
  3. Toggle off Sync Library.

    toggle off sync library in apple music settings
  4. Reboot your iPhone or iPad, then toggle on Sync Library again.

Hopefully, this has stopped iPhone music playing by itself. If not, read on.

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Delete the Music App & Reinstall It

Whatever music app is acting up, you can often update the app to fix the glitch. If your app is updated, delete the app, restart your iPhone or iPad, then reinstall the app

delete app and reinstall to stop musci from automatically playing on iphone

Note: If your iPhone started playing music by itself after downloading a particular playlist, delete the playlist to see if that fixes the glitch.

I hope we've stopped music from automatically playing on your iPhone by now! Be sure to check out our free Tip of the Day for more great iPhone troubleshooting tutorials.

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  • Why is my iPhone playing music by itself after following all these steps? If music is automatically playing on your iPhone after going through all the steps above, please contact Apple Support for further assistance. It may be recommended that you perform a Factory Reset on your device. This is a drastic step, so it's best to check with Apple Support before you do it, to save yourself some trouble in case there is a simpler fix, like hardware repair.
  • Why does my iPhone vibrate randomly? If your iPhone is vibrating randomly without notifications, it could be a problem with your charging cable or port, or you may need to change certain Notifications settings. 
  • Why is my Apple Music not working? Your subscription may have lapsed, your Wi-Fi or cellular connection may not be strong enough, you may need to update iOS, and more
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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays has over a dozen years of experience writing for online publications. As a Feature Writer for iPhone Life, she has authored hundreds of how-to, Apple news, and gear review articles, as well as a comprehensive Photos App guide. Leanne holds degrees in education and science and loves troubleshooting and repair. This combination makes her a perfect fit as manager of our Ask an Expert service, which helps iPhone Life Insiders with Apple hardware and software issues.
In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.