Why is My iPhone Playing Music Randomly? Here’s a Fix

Dec 18, 2023 - 5 Comments

Stop iPhone randomly playing music when locked

Some iPhone users may discover their iPhone is randomly playing music, sometimes from within a pocket, or a purse, from a lap, or when being held in a hand but otherwise not in use. An iPhone may begin to randomly play music even when the iPhone is locked, making this a frustrating and potentially embarrassing issue to face, especially if the iPhone starts playing music when you’re in an office, classroom, gym, library, or other environments where it is inappropriate to start playing music or a podcast.

We’re going to review the most common reason that an iPhone will randomly play music, and show you how you can fix this so that your locked iPhone will not play music or audio unintentionally.

How to Stop iPhone Randomly Playing Music When Locked from Pocket, Purse, etc

The most likely reason the iPhone is randomly playing music, or a podcast, is because you were listening to music or a podcast on the iPhone recently, and the Playing widget is open on the Lock Screen of the iPhone. Because users can play and pause music from that Lock Screen widget, it is very common for the Play button to be interacted with accidentally or inadvertently while in a pocket, causing the music or podcast to start playing, even if the iPhone is locked and tucked inside of a pocket, bag, purse, or similar situation.

  1. Unlock the iPhone and go to the Home Screen
  2. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to bring up the App Switcher
  3. Locate any/every music app or audio playing app, and swipe up on the app to quit out of that application
  4. Quit out of apps that play music to stop iPhone randomly playing music when locked

  5. Repeat with other audio/music apps as necessary
  6. Lock your iPhone as usual with the Power/Lock button, the Playing widget will no longer be visible on the Lock Screen and the iPhone will no longer play music at random from an accidental touch

This will resolve the issue where iPhone plays music at random from within a pocket, bag, or elsewhere, from an inadvertent touch or interaction with the screen.

Remember, the iPhone has a touch screen that will sense touch and act accordingly, even if that touch is not intentional. This is why it’s possible for an iPhone to start playing music even if it’s locked, whether it’s because you reached your hand in your pocket to fidget with the iPhone, to pull the iPhone out for using, to move it around in a bag or purse, or even if the iPhone is in your pocket but the screen is facing your body, that Play button can easily be triggered and activated.

iPhone playing music widget from the Lock Screen

I personally have had this happen to be so many times over the years that it would be funny if it weren’t so consistently in inopportune moments that are embarrassing, with the iPhone playing music out of my pocket at seemingly the worst possible times. Whether I’m at the gym, in a quiet setting, at a medical appointment, the DMV, a grocery store line, amongst other places, my iPhone seems to always love inadvertently playing music from an accidental touch in my pocket or hand. Because of this, I have tried to train myself to quit any active music app manually anytime I do not want this to happen, but I still often forget, and still end up in goofy situations where the world around me is suddenly listening to a few seconds of whatever I was last listening to.

It should be noted there is no way to disable the Lock Screen Music Player on iPhone completely, and the only way to prevent the music player from showing up on your iPhone Lock Screen is to quit out of whatever app you were last listening to music, audio, or podcasts with.

A similar issue exists where iPhone music will autoplay when connected to a car via Bluetooth, which also does not have any setting in iOS to prevent from happening, and where music plays even if the iPhone isn’t even being touched by anything.

You may also find that iPhone and Siri starts talking randomly out of nowhere too, but unlike the random music playing issue, that can be directly turned off by adjusting Siri settings.

Did this fix your issue with iPhone randomly playing music from a locked screen? Do you know of another solution or method of addressing this problem? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments.


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Posted by: Jamie Cuevas in iPhone, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting


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  1. OliviaJohnson says:

    Dealing with random music playback on your iPhone? Fret not! Check your Bluetooth connections, disable the Apple Music widget, and ensure no apps are misbehaving. Stay in control of your iPhone’s playlist and enjoy a seamless music experience without unexpected surprises!

  2. Kate says:

    thank you very much

  3. Maddie says:

    Sadly, this doesn’t work for me.

    I have weird random music playing from a small widget on my iPad Air, my iPhone, sometimes my M1 MacBook Air. Nothing I’ve actually listened to in a couple of years, and from having used CarPlay, not my other devices.

    I ALWAYS close my apps of any kind. I don’t use music widgets, or podcasts, etc. I still get a small pop-up window with jarring music playing when I open one of my devices.

    It’s so frustrating!

  4. I’ve had this, and can’t find a fix. Mine has started to play the podcast at about the time I would normally listen to it. I take a fifteen minute walk during my break and sometimes I change the time I do it. Around the time I would normally take it the phone will start playing the podcast.

  5. John Irving says:

    This is one of my biggest Apple pet peeves. My phone or Mac should never randomly start playing audio – ever. There should be settings to prevent this.

    I have “No Tunes” (which prevents my Mac from randomly launching iTunes (who ever thought that would be desirable? Why?) installed on my Mac but videos in browser tabs will sometimes just randomly start playing which is incredibly annoying.

    Even worse… if you happen to have multipoint headphones it’s almost a disaster. It’s as if Apple software developers never really test out these things. If you plugin your iPhone it will chirp – interrupting whatever you were listening to or watching – and there’s no way to turn off such virtually useless audio notifications. All manner of alerts (if you have say your laptop and iPhone connected) and interruptions render the whole experience infuriating. This should all be avoidable with proper system settings controls. It’s like nobody at Apple owns multipoint bluetooth headphones, or they just don’t care. If they did own or use them it would be immediately evident how annoying this is. It happens dozens of times a day, for me at least.

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