Using the Up Next Feature in iTunes

Hear your music in the order you prefer with Up Next

MacBook with iTunes on the screen


Apple introduced the Up Next feature in iTunes 11 as a replacement for iTunes DJ. Up Next displays a list of songs that are set to be played, well, next. Users can add songs manually to the Up Next list, but the Music app also adds songs based on the album, artist, genre, and other attributes of music you listen to.

On a computer, the Up Next menu is the icon showing three lines at the right of the display area at the top of iTunes. On an iPhone or another iOS device, flick up from the bottom the currently playing song screen to view the songs in the Up Next list.

Information in this article applies to mobile devices running iOS 12 or Android 9 and Macs or Windows computers with iTunes 12.

Adding Songs to Up Next on an iPhone

The Up Next queue is located in the Music app of an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Android device. To add songs to the Up Next list:

Play Next, swipe up, Up Next list
  1. Open the Music app on your iOS device or the Apple Music app on your Android device and start playing a song.

  2. Locate a song or album you want to listen to after the song that is playing. Press down firmly on the song title to open a screen with options.

  3. Tap Play Next or Play Later to add the song to the Up Next list. Repeat with other songs, albums, or playlists you want to add.

  4. Tap the play bar at the bottom of the screen for the currently playing song to bring up the Now Playing screen.

  5. Scroll up on the Now Playing screen to reveal the Up Next list.

Editing the Up Next List on an iPhone

The songs and albums in the Up Next list play in the order you see them, unless you make a change.

  • To reorder the list, place your finger on the multi-line handle next to any song and drag it to the position in the list where you want it.
  • If you want to remove a song or album, swipe from right to left on it and tap Remove.

There is no Clear All button for the Up Next queue. If you haven't added songs manually, selecting the last track from the current album, playlist, artist or genre resets the list because nothing follows it.

If you have added songs manually, things get more complicated. Find an album or playlist that isn't currently in the Up Next queue. Firmly press the last song in the album or playlist. Tap Clear Up Next to empty the list.

Adding Songs to Up Next in iTunes on a Computer

Up Next is more user friendly in iTunes on a Mac or Windows computer. The Up Next icon is at the top of the screen. Click or tap it to view the current Up Next list. The History tab displays one previous list, and the Lyrics tab shows lyrics when they are available.

Up Next Playlist in iTunes

There are several ways to add a song, album, or playlist to Up Next.

  • Find it in your music library, right-click on it and choose Play Next or Play Later.
Play Next/Play Later options in iTunes
  • Click or press on a song or album and drag it to the Up Next icon at the top of the iTunes window. Drop the song there. Click the Up Next icon to confirm that the song you dragged and dropped has been added. Repeat this drag and drop process with as many songs as you want.
  • For a slightly more efficient way to add a song to Up Next, hold down the Option key on a Mac or the Shift key on Windows and hover the mouse over the song you want to add. An icon appears to the left of the song. Click it to add the song to Up Next. This technique only works for individual songs.

Editing the Up Next Queue in iTunes on a Computer

After you add songs to Up Next, you're not stuck listening to them in the order you added them. You have options for editing their playback order.

  • Reorder the songs in Up Next by clicking on a song you want to move and dragging it to the position you want it. Drop it there to update the playback order.
  • To delete a song from Up Next, either hover your mouse over the song and click the minus sign to the left of it or select the song and press the Delete key on the keyboard.
  • To completely clear the Up Next list and start fresh, click the Up Next icon and then click Clear at the bottom of the list.

When you choose a new album or playlist, you'll see an option to keep your Up Next queue or to clear it.

Clear Songs button in iTunes dialog