Using the iPhone Music App

Listen to your songs in style

Using the iPhone Music App

Apple Inc.

The Music app is the built-in iOS app that is home to your music on the iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. While there are plenty of apps that offer music, the Music app is the only one that many people need.

Information in this article applies to iPhones running iOS 10 through iOS 12.

Using iPhone's Built-in Music App

Navigating the Music app can be a little confusing, but once you master it, it is easy to browse through your music library until you find the song, album, or playlist you want to listen to and tap it to play.

Locating a Song or Album

  1. Tap the Music app on the iPhone Home screen.

  2. If the app doesn't open on the Library screen, tap Library at the bottom of the screen.

  3. Select one of the categories in the list — Playlists, Artists, or Albums, among others — to see the music options you have in your music library in that category.

    The Artists section on the Library tab of Apple Music
  4. For example, tap Artists to open a list of music artists. Tap an artist's name to view songs or albums that you have on your iPhone or in iCloud. Tap an album or song by the artist.

    Making selections in the Music app on iPhone
  5. Open any of the categories on the Library screen in the same way.

The Library screen is the home screen of the Music app. You can return to it at any time by tapping Library at the bottom of the app.

Playing a Selection

  1. Locate a song you want to play and tap the name of the song. A bar at the bottom of the screen changes to the song name with a Play/Pause and Next control.

  2. Tap the song name at the bottom of the screen to open a larger information screen about the song along with traditional Play/Pause, Forward and Backward controls and a volume slider.

  3. Tap the 3-dot More icon at the bottom of the screen for a pop-up window with options.

  4. Optionally, tap one of the choices in the pop-up window. Choose Remove, Add to a Playlist, or Share Song. Indicate whether you like the song by tapping the Love or Dislike button.

    Song options in Apple Music on an iPhone

How the Controls Work

The controls available while a song is playing are familiar to most people and easy to pick up even if they aren't familiar.

Scrub Forward or Back in the Progress Bar

The progress bar under the album or song art shows how long the song has been playing and how much time it has left. Use it to move quickly forward or backward in the song, a technique called scrubbing. To move within a song, tap and hold on the circle on the progress bar and drag it in the direction you want to move in the song.

Play/Pause and Forward and Back

Use the Play/Pause button — the large one between the Forward and Back buttons — to start or stop listening to the current song. The Forward and Back buttons move to the next or previous song.

Raise or Lower Volume

The bar near the bottom of the screen controls the song's volume. You can raise or lower the volume either by dragging the slider or by using the volume buttons built into the side of the iPhone.


The button labeled Shuffle on an album or playlist information screen plays the songs in random order. Tap it to shuffle the songs on the album or playlist that you're currently listening to.

Feel Like a Radio Station?

If you're looking for something a little different, check out the radio stations on your iPhone. Tap Radio at the bottom of the Library screen and select from one of the radio stations on the screen that opens.

Radio option in Apple Music on an iPhone

About Apple Music Subscriptions

Apple offers a premium streaming music service that vastly expands the choices you have in the Music app to the tune of 50 million songs plus your entire music library. Following a free trial, student, individual, and family plans are available.

When you subscribe to Apple Music, a couple of new icons are added at the bottom of the Music App screen: For You and Browse.

  • The For You screen contains music that Apple selects based on the preferences you chose when you signed up for Apple Music.
  • Browse contains curated music in Top 100 lists, Hot Tracks, New Music and other categories.

Although streaming music requires a Wi-Fi or cellular connection to the internet, you have the option to download as many songs as you like from Apple Music to your iPhone, so you can listen when a connection isn't available.

Apple Music app on an iPhone with the For You and Browse tabs highlighted

Settings for the Music App

Open Settings on the iPhone and choose Music for access to EQ controls, volume limits, listening history, storage optimization, and automatic downloads. Also, the Music Settings screen is where you opt whether to use cellular data for music or to show Apple Music in the Music app.

Music in the Settings app on an iPhone