How to set the default music player on your iPhone and have Siri learn your music app preferences

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How to set the default music player on your iPhone and have Siri learn your music app preferences
Update your iPhone to iOS 14.5 and ask Siri to play music in order to select a default music player.Narisara Nami/Getty Images
  • You can set a "default" music player on your iPhone, which Siri will use when asked to play a song.
  • You'll need to update your iPhone to iOS 14.5 or newer in order to set the default music player app.
  • If you want Siri to play music from a different app, you can specify that when giving the command.
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Just asking Siri to "play music" used to always pull up Apple Music - annoying if you didn't have subscription. But with iOS 14.5 comes the ability to set a default music app of your own.

Now if you ask Siri to "play music" or play a specific song, podcast, or book, your phone will pull up a list of apps that you can select from. Whether it's Spotify, Audible, Pandora, Apple Podcasts, or another audio app, you can select which you'd like to use.

You can use this menu to select a default music player. Just note that it's not as easy as opening the Settings app - you'll need to go through Siri.

What happens when you set a default music player on iPhone

Setting a default music player doesn't give that app any special privileges or access to your data. All it means is that when you ask Siri to play music without specifying what app you want it from, Siri will use your default.

Additionally, TechCrunch reports that even after setting the new app, it doesn't become your "default" in the traditional sense. Instead, Siri will need to learn your habits over time, and eventually adjust to your preferences. That means it can recognize that you prefer to listen to music on Spotify, but prefer to listen to podcasts on Apple Podcasts, for example.

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Quick tip: To avoid any complications, you can simply tell Siri which app you want to play music from with a command. For example, when asking for a podcast, say "Hey Siri, play [name of podcast] on Apple Podcasts."

If you still want to help Siri know your music app preference, here's how to set the default music player on your iPhone.

How to set your default music app on iPhone and iPad

  1. Update your iPhone to iOS 14.5 (or your iPad to iPadOS 14.5) if you haven't already, and double-check that Siri is set up.
  2. Now call up Siri with your side button or by saying "Hey Siri" and ask it to "Play music" or "Play [the name of a song, podcast, book, etc.]."
  3. The first time you do this with the iOS 14.5 update, you'll see a list of available audio options. Tap the one you'd like to use.

    How to set the default music player on your iPhone and have Siri learn your music app preferences
    Ask Siri to play you song after updating to iOS 14.5 and wait for the app list to appear.Sophie Putka/Insider
  4. If Siri asks for permission to access your music app data, approve it.

    How to set the default music player on your iPhone and have Siri learn your music app preferences
    Give Siri permission to access your music app data.Sophie Putka/Insider
  5. Siri will begin playing your song request, or if you just asked for "music," the last thing you were listening to.

    How to set the default music player on your iPhone and have Siri learn your music app preferences
    Your song will begin playing in the app you told Siri to choose.Sophie Putka/Insider
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