Tired of your iPhone’s Music app automatically playing when you connect via Bluetooth or USB?

You aren’t alone. This happens in many cars of many makes and models. The minute your iPhone is connected, the Music app takes over and decides to play whatever song is first up in your library, or whatever track you listened to last. But what if you don’t like this behavior? That’s exactly what iMore reader Rob is wondering:

As soon as my iPhone 6 connects to the Bluetooth in my car, music starts playing even though my Music app is not open. I’d like it not to. Could you help please?

iOS Help

Every Thursday our Ally Kazmucha brings you iOS Help — a column where you can get your iPhone and iPad questions answered and problems solved!

Car audio is a funny thing since we pair our iPhones with so many different kinds of cars. Every manufacturer handles things like Bluetooth and USB audio a little differently. In our house for example, we have two cars that are both made by Honda, yet the Bluetooth and USB functions behave differently in both of them. While that can make troubleshooting and pin pointing the problem extra difficult, there are some general settings and tips you can try out to see if any of them solve your problem.

1. Hard quit the Music app

If your issue is occurring over Bluetooth, most of the time simply hard quitting the Music app after you use it seems to do the trick. To do so, just follow these steps:

  1. Double click your iPhone’s Home button to launch the multitasking screen.
  2. Find the Music app and flick it upwards in order to close it out.

If this still doesn’t fix the issue, continue on…

2. Turn off auto-play in your car, if possible

Some cars have options in the Settings menus in order to control what devices can auto-play and whether or not they should. It’s definitely worth digging around your car’s menus (while not driving of course) to see if you can find an option somewhere. For example, one of our cars has an option for auto-play over USB. If USB is your problem, you may very well have a disable option you can take advantage of.

3. Disable streaming over cellular

If you don’t have your music physically downloaded to your iPhone but instead choose to stream via iTunes in the Cloud, you have the option of disabling cellular streaming. This should stop the issue. Keep in mind however that if you want to use your iPhone’s Music app to stream music in your car at a later date, you’ll have to disable this option each and every time. It isn’t the most convenient option, but it fixes the problem.

If you aren’t sure how to disable cellular music streaming, just follow these steps:

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on Cellular.
  3. Turn Off the option for Music.

Keep in mind that this solution only works if you’re using iTunes in the Cloud and don’t have music physically downloaded to your Music app. If you do, the Music app can still automatically play anything that is downloaded.

What worked for you?

Unfortunately this is one of those things that we’re going to have to hope that Apple eventually offers a permanent, more suitable solution for. Until then, we encourage you to file a feedback report with Apple to let them know this is a behavior you’d like to see changed. You can do so at the following link:

In the mean time, did one of the solutions above work for you, or did something else fix the problem? Be sure to let me know in the comments, especially if you’ve found a way around this issue we didn’t mention.

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