How to Stop Auto-Playing Music in Car Bluetooth from iPhone

Jul 29, 2017 - 33 Comments

Stop autoplaying music from iPhone over Bluetooth in Car

Many newer cars have Bluetooth stereo systems that sync wirelessly with an iPhone. One common and prominent feature of this experience is that music will automatically start playing from the iPhone through the Bluetooth speakers when you get into the car, sometimes autoplaying from a local music library or sometimes from a streamed music service.

If you don’t want your music to start playing automatically from iPhone over a Bluetooth car stereo every time you get into the car, read on to learn how you can try to stop it.

Be aware there is currently no perfect solution to this. The good news is you can use a few workarounds for stopping auto-playing music over Bluetooth from iPhone to a car stereo. The bad news is there is no single setting on the iPhone to stop auto-playing music over Bluetooth, and so you’ll have to use some variation of a workaround described below.

7 Ways to Stop Music Autoplaying in Car from iPhone

We’re going to share a variety of tips for silencing and stopping music autoplaying from an iPhone over Bluetooth. In no particular order:

Option 0: Turn Car Stereo Volume Down to Zero

One fairly lame solution is to simply turn the car stereo down all the way to nothing before you turn off the engine, that way the music will still automatically play but you won’t hear it as it autoplays over the car stereo from iPhone over Bluetooth.

Yea, turning the car audio to zero is an admittedly lame solution, but if the options below don’t work for you then you can give it a try to see if that works for you.

Option 1: Check Car Stereo Settings for Auto-Play and Turn It Off

Some car stereos may have a sound or audio setting somewhere that allows you to turn off the auto-play music feature from the car stereo side of things. Each car stereo is different and so you’ll have to explore the options yourself to see if such a setting exists on your Bluetooth equipped car.

Look in the car stereo Bluetooth settings, audio settings, sound settings, stereo settings, or any other settings in the car dashboard that may associate with Bluetooth auto-play audio, autoplaying music, or something similar – good luck!

Option 2: Quit the Music Playing App on the iPhone

If the music auto-playing is coming from a music app on the iPhone, you can try force quitting it every time you get into the car.

Quitting apps on iPhone is easy, just double-tap the Home button and then swipe up on the app that is playing music.

This works well with third party apps like Spotify or Pandora, but is not always reliable with silencing the built-in Music app for whatever reason.

Option 3: Disable Cellular Usage of Music App to Stop Autoplay

If the music app that is auto-playing is streaming over a cellular connection, you can disable that apps ability to use cellular data to prevent it from streaming any music and thus disable auto-play of music from that app.

Go to the “Settings” app and then to “Cellular” and scroll down until you find the app(s) in question that are auto-playing music in the car from your iPhone. Turn the switch to the “OFF” position to stop them from using cellular data.

Stop cellular data of Music app to stop streaming

This works to stop music auto-play streaming from Apple Music and the Music app. But keep in mind this also prevents the app in question from using any cellular data or streaming at all. Thus it may not be workable for all users.

You can also target Music app cellular functionality through Settings > Music > Cellular Data and turning that off, and turning Downloads off too if you find songs are constantly downloading and streaming on the iPhone.

Option 4: Delete the Song or Music from the iPhone

The iPhone will auto-play music over Bluetooth to the car stereo from a local Music library in alphabetical order. So if you’re tired of hearing the same song auto-play over and over again, you can delete the top most song in alphabetical order. Of course this just means the next song will auto-play instead, unless you delete that one too.

Go here to learn how to delete music in iOS 11 and iOS 10 by song or album. Alternatively you can go all the way and remove all music from the iPhone too.

Note that if you delete all music from the iPhone you may still have to delete an individual song from the iPhone Music library so that it stops downloading and streaming itself.

Personally, I deleted all music from the Music app library on my iPhone by deleting all purchased albums and found that to be the most reliable solution for stopping auto-play music on a car stereo from the Music app. Obviously this isn’t a reasonable solution if you want to have any music in your iPhone library, but it is effective.

Option 5: Delete the Music App from the iPhone

If you don’t use the music app anyway, you can just delete it and uninstall the app from your iPhone in a few seconds. Yes, you can even delete the stock default apps like “Music”.

To remove the default Music app, just tap and hold on the Music icon, then tap the (X) button and confirm you want to delete the app from the device.

Delete music app in iOS

Of course you can also delete any other music app or streaming music app if you find that to be auto-playing music too.

Option 6: Tell Siri to “Stop Music”

Another option is to summon Siri in the car and tell Siri to stop playing music. This requires you interacting with Siri every time you start the car.

Siri icon

The downside to this approach is that some auto-playing songs may take a minute or few to download and start auto-playing and streaming, so you can’t just tell Siri right away to stop. You have to wait until the music is playing to tell Siri to stop playing music.

Do you know of another way to stop music auto-playing from iPhone to a car stereo over Bluetooth? Let us know, share your tips, strategies, and tricks to stop autoplay music in the comments below!

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone, Tips & Tricks


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  1. KB Bronson says:

    Autoplay music over blueotooth is such a terrible idea it feels like a bug but it has been there for years. Hard to believe this is a ‘feature’ based on the shear nuisance level, who thought it was a good idea to start autoplaying music without user approval or interaction?

    Even more stupid is that the autoplay music starts even if you’re ON THE PHONE OVER BLUETOOTH.

    I have been in so many weird and awkward situations because of this both in my car and other cars. Sometimes the stereo starts BLASTING too which is even more ridiculous.

    What bonehead came up with this idea?

    iOS should have a simple setting to turn off or on autoplay. It should default to being off. I don’t know anyone who likes this feature.

    • Michael says:

      My experience is totally different that yours. Why should it be any different than your car radio? If you left it on when your turned off the engine, it’s starts playing when you turn the engine on next time, doesn’t it? I don’t read you complaining about that. If you are on the phone and linked through bluetooth to the car system and music plays over your call that is the software in your car, not iOS. And your claim of spontaneous blasting volume? Not buying that one either.

      I get that you don’t like the auto play aspect, but your comment just seems riddled with inaccuracies and things that don’t make sense.

      • Frank says:

        That’s ‘nearly’ a fair comment Michael, however, it’s far easier to press a single button on a permanent, stationary, unlocked device such as a car stereo than it is on a mobile phone. Mobile phones can be in pockets, backpacks/briefcases (riding the backseat), running another app, screen-locked, etc… ALL rather inconvenient to turn-off. The difference is not minutes apart but it is substantial. To some, its nearly a matter of sanity. Imagine having a colicky newborn who finally goes to sleep while you fasten them in the child carseat…You start the car…BAM!!! Pandora decides to continue playing and worse yet suggests you listen to George Michael’s “Wake me up, before you go-go…” That’s enough for me to want to throw the phone through the butt-crack of the engineer responsible for that feature.

        All kidding aside, it is rather reasonable to have an option next to each paired device on the iphone to allow the owner to deactivate autoplay.

      • Doug says:

        I too HATE the autoplay setting. I use Google Maps on my phone on a daily basis. Just because I have it linked to my car so I can hear the directions over my radio instead of my phone’s inept speakers, does NOT mean I always want to listen to the music I have on my phone.

        Autoplaying of music just because you have a bluetooth device connected is a HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE idea. I HATE HATE HATE IT

        My bluetooth headset… I want to be able to answer and end calls from pressing the call button on my damn headset so I can leave my phone in my pocket or desk, counter, et el… But I can’t. I have to end the call on my phone or else I get blasted with extremely loud ZZ Top…

        It’s further annoying as it restarts the playilst last played. I listed to classic rock when I run, bike, and workout. I’m not about to pay Apple Music for streaming or Pandora or Spotify for commercial free music… My music on my phone is free and it’s what I like to listen to when I work out. It doesn’t mean I want to constantly hear it which this “autoplay” feature LOVES to try and make me do.

        Like just now…. I have my bluetooth headset paired to my MBP and my iPhone. I was on a Facebook video call from my MBP with my wife in the Philippines just now and when I ended the call my phone started blaring ZZ Top at full damn volume…

        F*** YOU, APPLE!

      • Disgruntled Dude says:

        The problem with your example is my radio does not turn start playing when it is turned off. But my iPhone will start playing music even when the app is turned off. (My 5-year-old iPhone 4 didn’t do this.)

        The camera doesn’t just start taking pictures. The phone doesn’t start auto-dialing. The calculator doesn’t start doing math. How is this different?

  2. Kenneth F. Santomauro says:

    remote start the car before you get in , iTunes won’t start then . the iPhone has to be in range to start . worked for me .

  3. Threbus says:

    Most car stereos have a Source option to switch between AM, FM, satellite, music players and Bluetooth. If the stereo starts playing music from your phone, just hit the Source button to switch to your desired input.

    If you’re plugging your phone into a USB port on the car to charge it, make sure that you’re not plugging it into the port meant for a music player. Doing that will automatically start your music playing. Use a port in the console or one that’s for power only. (If you plug a GPS into the “connected” port, it’ll think you’re connecting it to a computer and will go into update ready mode – plug those into power-only ports as well.)

    • Doug says:

      The idea defeats the purpose of using Navigation from your phone like myself and so many others do.

      The simple answer in ALL of this is for Apple to just turn OFF or at least give an option to turn off Autoplay. WHY IS THAT NOT A MFing OPTION?!?!?!

  4. Angelo Dicerni says:

    Option 7. Turn off the iPhone. About as useful as option 4 & 5. 😂

  5. Ross Guyer says:

    While all of the solutions have been tried, I ONLY have the songs on my iPhone that I want to listen to. By going into iTunes and moving say Christmas songs back up to the cloud and only bringing down what you want to hear. Sounds like a plan except my phone will immediately begin playing songs from iCloud!! The first is always a Christmas CD. I have checked, rechecked and double checked that these songs are ONLY in the Ckoud. Moreover, I don’t have Apple Music with the Streaming. And I agree, turning off cellular specifically for the iPhone may work. But whoever said the iPhone 6 with the latest OS if the music app does automatically start, is dead wrong as far as where they are coming from. And this condition has existed for years even with my iPhone 4. Another annoyance is using a MacBook Pro located 5 feet from me by using wireless mouse, keyboard, and external monitor . Yet Seri will here something from the TV and come to life. However, I can’t use Seri unless the Mac is right in front of me. Not unless I wear wireless headphones but I already use those for my phone. Instead I purchased Alexa and instruct her to shut Seri up! LOL

  6. David says:

    I made a 30 minute silent audio track that I named so it would be at the top alphabetically… works great!

  7. Tom says:

    Swipe upwards for control panel and pause the music

  8. Steven says:

    Another option that has worked for me; go to the Settings app on your phone and turn off Bluetooth. Your iPhone is then not “discoverable” until you turn it on again.

  9. Cris says:

    I listen to audible books and just when I put the car in reverse and the car screen shows the backup camera my book starts playing and my wife has to listen to my book until I back out of the driveway and put into Drive where my music controls show up again and I can pause it. And if the volume is down the book plays and I miss parts and have to backtrack. Very lame of IOS to not allow me to prevent this. Also lame is the title of your article. Should be 7 ways to TRY to prevent auto play. Sucked me right in.

  10. Eric says:

    Apple, just fix the issue in a patch by allowing the user to turn this off. Seems stupid any other way.

  11. Joshua margolin says:

    A much bigger problem is that on many bluetooth device apple music auromatically starts in suffle or repeat

  12. Walt LeFevers says:

    The solution that works for me in both my vehicles is to select the ‘source’ on Carplay and choose CD (with no CD inserted’) or on my other car the Aux as the source, I do this before I exit the car or whenever I do not want Music

  13. adam says:

    I just pause the music from the control panel.

  14. Nunya says:

    TL;DR version: there is no solution.

    But, I guess they had to fill in a bunch of text to put around the adds.

    I’m surprised the author didn’t add option 7: don’t start your car. Cut holes in the floor and push it like the Flinstones.

  15. b9bot says:

    None of this is really an answer because there is no setting to be able to turn this off.

  16. Matt says:

    It is such a pain…. and yeah, everywhere I read with solutions has such Non-solutions. Delete all of your music, that’ll prevent it, unless you stream music. If you do that, you’ll have to delete that app…. Not a solution. My issue is that I have an app that plays it’s own content. I play it through Bluetooth. As soon as I select Bluetooth in my truck my phone starts playing music, even if I’m already playing the content from the other app, right over the top of the other content. Annoying.

    • max says:

      Until Apple makes a specific setting in iOS that says “Don’t auto-start music over Bluetooth” there is no good solution. A blank song works too that starts with “aaaa AAAA”

  17. Boscoux says:

    My frustration is the auto play starts playing randomly AFTER I’ve started a playlist or album on Spotify, interrupting whatever I’m listening to. Very frustrating.

    Going to try the ‘turn off cellular’ option for now, and if it keeps doing I will resort to just deleting the entire music app since I don’t use it anyway.

  18. Sergio says:

    Music was the reason I came to iPhone a long time ago (from iPods) and what Music has become may be the reason I leave iPhone in the near future. All of these solutions are so lame, the iPhone becomes more lame year after year. And they know what they are doing, its part of the deal they cut in licensing for Cellular carriers.

  19. Loven says:

    I’ve had the same problem…but now I got the solution to this problem!
    It worked for me!

    On your iPhone go to settings/general/restrictions and enable restrictions.
    Then allow everything but Apple Music Connect! It’s as easy as that!
    Now your phone won’t automaticly play music getting in the car!


  20. Shawna says:

    Thank you SO much. So sick of that feature.

  21. Gunner says:

    Yeah, that solution doesn’t work, Loven. There currently is no way to stop it unless your car audio system has an option to disable auto-play.

  22. Keith says:

    Apple should fix this. I want the music to be what it was when I last left the vehicle. Just as it would be if I were using the onboard radio. If I had it on great, if I had it off I want silence when I get back in.

    I have found if I am using a streaming audio app such as Amazon radio, and I swipe the app off before shutting off the ignition it will not auto start music on the next ignition cycle.

  23. Rebecca Dean says:

    Yeah I agree, Apple should fix this. It’s pretty startling every-single-time I start my car… especially when the kids are in the car sleeping.

  24. Disgruntled Dude says:

    I just upgraded from my 5-year-old iPhone 4 to the 7 to discover this little annoyance too. How is there not an obvious setting *on the phone* to change this?

    And to the gent up top who compared it to a car radio. My car radio does NOT turn itself on when it is turned off. But my iPhone *automatically* starts playing even if the app is NOT open.

    Plus Apple Maps will give me directions to places I am not going without me asking.

    Plus I can’t figure out how make the podcasts playing in chronological order, instead of reverse chronological order. How hard should that be?!

  25. John Magee says:

    Agree with all you guys except Michael who seems totally out to lunch in comparing a car radio, which you can operate while driving, and a mobile phone which you most certainly should not (and in many cases can not, e.g., when the phone is in a briefcase in the back seat).

    I finally solved the problem by going wide with it and totally deleting iTunes from my phone. I’ve replaced it with TIDAL, which has at least as many millions of songs as iTunes, which is less than half the price, and which NEVER starts itself up in my car without my prior permission to do so.

    Nicely put together article by OSX Daily. The writer hits the nail on the head when he confirms that, “The bad news is that there is no single setting on the iPhone to stop [iTunes from] auto-playing music over Bluetooth….”

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