How to Shuffle Songs on the iPhone

Shuffle songs on iPhone

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If you're not sure exactly what song or album you're in the mood for, the iPhone's built-in Music app can surprise and delight you by shuffling your songs.

Shuffle randomly plays songs from your music library in no particular order and lets you skip or replay songs. It's a great way to keep your music fresh and rediscover songs you haven't heard recently.

The Music app has changed a lot in the last few years. Apple Music and a new interface were introduced in iOS 8.4. There were further changes in iOS 10 — read on to learn how to use the shuffle feature in iOS 10 and up.

How to Shuffle All Music on the iPhone

To get the greatest variety, shuffle all the songs in your Music library. Just follow these easy steps:

  1. Open the Music app.
  2. Tap Library.
  3. Tap Songs.
  4. Tap Shuffle (or, on some older versions, Shuffle All).

Your path through your music library is randomly chosen and you're off on a shuffling adventure. Use the forward arrow to skip to the next song or the back arrow to return to the last one. 

To turn off song shuffling, tap the playback bar so that you view the full album art. Swipe up and tap the ​Shuffle button so it's not highlighted.

View and Edit Your Upcoming Shuffle Queue

When you're shuffling songs, what's coming next doesn't have to be a mystery. In iOS 10 and up, the Music app lists upcoming songs and lets you change their order and remove songs you don't want to hear. Here's how:

  1. When you're already listening to songs on shuffle, tap the playback bar at the bottom of the app to view the full-size album art and playback controls.
  2. Swipe up to reveal the Up Next menu. This shows you the list of upcoming songs.
  3. To change the order, tap and hold the three-line menu at the right of the song. Drag and drop the song to a new location in the list.
  4. To remove a song from the list, swipe from right to left across the song to reveal the Remove button. Tap Remove. (Don't worry, this only removes the song from this list. It doesn't delete the song from your library.)

How Shuffle Music Within an Album on iPhone

Want to shake up a familiar album? Try shuffling just the songs within that album. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. On the Library screen in the Music app, tap Albums.
  2. When you've found the album you want to shuffle, tap it to enter the full album view.
  3. From the album screen, tap Shuffle(or Shuffle All) button just below the album art and above the track list.

How to Shuffle Music in An iPhone Playlist

Even though the point of creating a playlist is to put songs in a certain order, you may still want to mix up that order sometimes. Shuffling a playlist is almost identical to shuffling an album:

  1. Tap the Library button in the bottom navigation.
  2. Tap Playlist (if this is missing from your app, tap Edit in the top right corner, tap Playlists, and then tap Done).
  3. Find the playlist you want to shuffle and tap it.
  4. Tap the Shuffle (or Shuffle All) button just below the playlist art and above the track list.

How to Shuffle All Albums by the Same Artist on Your iPhone

You may also want to shuffle all songs by a particular artist, rather than just one of their albums. To shuffle all songs by a single artist:

  1. Tap the Library button.
  2. Tap Artists.
  3. Find the artist whose songs you want to shuffle and tap the artist's name.
  4. Tap ​Shuffle (or Shuffle All) at the top of the screen.

This feature was hidden in iOS 8.4. If you're still running that OS, you should upgrade to a new version ASAP to get key new features and bug fixes.

How to Shuffle Music Within Genres on iPhone

Believe it to not, iOS 8.4 took away the ability to shuffle songs within a genre of music. Apple didn't explain why it thought that was a good idea, but it seems to have changed its mind: Shuffling within ​a genre is back in iOS 10 and up. To shuffle within a genre:

  1. Tap Library.
  2. Tap Genre (if this isn't on your Library screen, tap Edit, tap Genre, and then tap Done).
  3. Tap the genre you want to shuffle.
  4. Tap ​Shuffle (or Shuffle All) at the top of the screen.