How to Make Genius Playlists on Your iPhone

iOS versions 10 or later no longer offer the Genius Playlist feature

Portrait of singing young woman with headphones

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The iTunes Genius feature creates playlists of songs that sound great together. Just give Genius a song to start and you'll get a collection of 25 songs that iTunes thinks compliment each other. It makes this choice based on star ratings of songs, purchase history, and other information from the millions of iTunes and Apple Music users.

There's one major problem with Genius: Your ability to enjoy Genius Playlists depends on what version of the iOS you're running on your iPhone.

Genius Playlists No Longer Available on iOS 10 and Later

There's bad news for users of iOS 10 and up Genius Playlists are no longer an option for you. Apple removed the feature from iOS 10 and hasn't restored it in subsequent versions. The company hasn't explained why it made this choice, though a lot of fans are upset about it. There's been no word on whether it will come back in a later version, either. For now, if you use iOS 10 and later, your iPhone is a little less of a genius. 

How to Make Genius Playlists in iOS 8.4 through iOS 9 

Since the debut of Apple Music in iOS 8.4, the Genius Playlist feature on iPhone has been a little hard to find. To create a Genius Playlist if you're running iOS 8.4 through iOS 9 follow these steps.

  1. Tap the Music app to launch it.

  2. Browse your music library to find the song you want to use as the basis of the Genius Playlist, and tap it.

  3. On the playback screen, tap the More icon (represented by three dots) in the bottom right corner.

  4. Tap Create Genius Playlist.

  5. Tap the down arrow in the top left corner or swipe down to close the playback screen.

  6. Tap Playlists at the top center of the screen.

  7. The first item in the list of playlists is the Genius Playlist you just created. It has the name of the song you selected in Step 2.

  8. Tap the playlist to view its contents.

  9. On the playlist screen, you have a number of options:

    • To listen to the playlist, tap any song or tap the album art at the top.
    • To add or remove songs, rename the playlist, or add a description, tap Edit.
    • To get new songs and to shuffle the order of songs in the playlist, tap the curved arrow icon next to Edit.
  10. To delete the playlist, tap the More icon and then tap Delete from My Music. In the menu that pops up from the bottom of the screen tap Delete from My Music.

Create Genius Playlists in iOS 8 and Earlier

Earlier versions of the iOS offered different ways to create Genius Playlists. If you're running iOS 8, and thus don't have Apple Music, your steps are similar to the instructions in the previous section.

If you're running iOS 7 and some earlier versions (and if so, it's time to upgrade!), try these steps.

  1. Tap the Music app to launch it. (Alternatively, you can build a Genius playlist around the song you're currently playing by tapping the Create button in the bottom middle of the screen).

  2. Tap the Playlists icon at the bottom left.

  3. Tap Genius Playlist.

  4. Browse the music on your device and select a song by tapping the Add icon (the plus sign) next to it to create a 25-song Genius playlist. Unlike on the desktop iTunes, there's no way to make a Genius playlist with more than 25 songs on the iPhone.

  5. The new playlist appears in the Playlists tab of the Music app. Tap it to view all songs in the playlist.

  6. Once you're in the playlist, you can tap Refresh to get a new set of songs based on the first one.

  7. If you love the playlist, tap Save in the top right. The Genius playlist will be saved in your playlists screen with the name of the song you built the playlist around and the Genius icon next to it.

  8. After the playlist is saved, you can tap the Edit button in the top right to refresh the playlist or tap Delete to delete it.