If you subscribe to Apple Music, you must have noticed that you have an infinite playlist. Once you run out of items queued to play, the Music app on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac will launch with an algorithmically selected set of items organized collectively as the Next Items list.
What if you don’t want music to play continuously? Finding the “off” button is a bit tricky. There is no item or preference labeled Autoplay in the interface except in the next play list. Here’s how to disable Autoplay in Apple’s operating systems.
- Time to complete: 2 minutes
- Tools Needed: iOS 16, iPadOS 16 or macOS Ventura
Stop autoplay in iOS/iPadOS
- Start playing music in the Music app.
- Tap the song bar at the bottom of your iPhone or iPad.
- If you don’t see a following list labeled “Autoplay similar music” below it, tap the Play Next icon in the bottom right corner (it looks like a bulleted list). That icon will now be highlighted.
- Press Auto play button, which looks like ∞ (infinity sign). The highlight is removed and the next player list now shows no text below it and has no autoplay label.
Stop autoplay in macOS
- Start playing a song.
- Click the Play Next icon (the icon that resembles a bulleted list) in the top-right corner of the Music app. This opens a column of songs to play. Within that list, you may see an autoplay section.
- Click the ∞ symbol at the top of the column to deselect. (it’s red when selected. The icon is circled in the screenshot above.)
- The list disappears and text appears that says “No upcoming songs.”
Apple’s support guide says you can click the ∞ again to re-enable it. However, in macOS 13 Ventura, the ∞ disappears and I haven’t found a way to turn it back on without clicking another song or playlist and starting playback. Then the option reappears.
Apple also says Autoplay status should be synced between all your iCloud connected devices. I have not yet seen that in practice.
This Mac 911 article is an answer to a question from Macworld reader Bill.
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