How to Use Shake to Shuffle on iPhone and iPod

Man listening to iPod
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From multitouch screens to voice input with Siri to Face ID facial recognition, the iPhone has always offered cool new ways to control our devices. One cool feature that not a lot of people know about is Shake to Shuffle. 

Shake to Shuffle uses the iPhone's accelerometer, a sensor that allows the phone to know when and how it is being moved by the user, to shuffle the songs you're listening to and get a new, randomized playback order. Read on to learn all about the feature and how to use it.

There Is No Shake to Shuffle on iOS 8.4 and Up

Sorry to start things on a down note, but if you're running iOS 8.4 or higher on your iPhone or iPod touch, you can't use Shake to Shuffle. Every iOS device has accelerometers, but these versions of the iOS no longer support using them to shuffle music. No one really knows why, but Apple removed Shake to Shuffle starting in iOS 8.4 and it hasn't come back. Given that there have been three major versions of the iOS released since then, it's probably safe to assume Shake to Shuffle is never coming back. So, you can shake your phone all you like, but it's not going to shuffle your songs.

Using Shake to Shuffle

If you're running an older version of the iOS, Shake to Shuffle is still an option for you. To use Shake to Shuffle, you need to be listening to a song on your iPhone or iPod touch (the feature only works when a song is playing, not if you're just looking at your music library).

When you're ready for a new song, just grip your device tightly (don't shake it out of your hand and across the room!) and just give it a couple of firm shakes, like shaking water off your hands. Both side-to-side and up and down shakes work fine. As long as the phone senses movement, the feature kicks in.

With a sufficient shake, you'll hear an alert plays from the phone's speakers or through the headphones to acknowledge the shuffle and, after a very short delay, a new song begins playing.

How to Disable Shake to Shuffle on iPhone or iPod touch

Shake to Shuffle is turned on by default in iOS 3-8. If you want to disable it, or if it's disabled and you want to turn it back on, follow these simple steps:

  1. Tap the Settings app to open it.

  2. Tap iPod (on iOS 3 and 4) or Music (on iOS 5 through 8).

  3. Find the Shake to Shuffle slider. To disable the feature, move it to off/white. Make sure the slider is moved to on/green to enable the feature.

Another Option: Shake to Undo

Shuffling songs isn't the only thing shaking your iPhone can do. The iOS also offers a shake-to-undo feature. For instance, if you type something and decide you want to erase it, simply shaking your iPhone will delete it. It's almost like shaking your head when you change your mind. This feature is available on all modern versions of the iOS, including iOS 8.4 and up. 

Control whether this feature is enabled or disabled by following these steps:

  1. Tap Settings.

  2. Tap Accessibility.

  3. In the Interaction section, tap Shake to Undo.

  4. Move the slider to on/green or off/white.

Using Shake to Shuffle on iPod nano

Shake to Shuffle is also an option for iPod nano users. It's available on the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th generation iPod nano models (not sure what model you have? Find out here). To enable or disable the feature on your nano, follow these steps:

  1. From the home screen, select Settings.

  2. In Settings, select Playback (on the 4th and 5th gen. models) or Music (on the 6th and 7th gen. models).

  3. On the 4th and 5th gen. models, use the center button of the clickwheel to select Playback and then turn Shake to Shuffle on and off. On the 6th and 7th gen. models, move the slider to on or off. 

If you've turned the feature on, just give your nano a good shake while it's playing music and a new, random song will begin playing.