How to Stop Apple Music from Taking Over Your iPhone’s Play Button

Apple’s Music app is…okay. It’s a decent music player and Apple Music is a competent streaming service. Here’s the thing, though: I don’t use it. And it’s constantly nagging me to use it.

RELATED: What is Apple Music and How Does It Work?

Apple Music has the deepest integration with iOS of any audio app. This is nice if you’re using it, but a pain if you aren’t. Say I’m listening to a playlist on Spotify or an audiobook on Audible. If I pause it for ten minutes using my headphone’s play/pause button or Control Center, when I go back and press play again, my iPhone tries to play something from Apple Music instead. And all I have in Apple Music are movie soundtracks I bought over a decade ago and a U2 album.

No Apple, I don’t want to listen to Songs of Innocence. Nobody does.

Apple’s constant assumption that you only listen to their Music App is really annoying. I’m a big Apple fan (some might even say Apple apologist), but even I find this one a bridge too far.

RELATED: How to Remove Apple’s Built-In Apps from Your iOS Home Screen

So what’s to be done? Well, the simple answer is you have to delete the Music app. It’s been possible since iOS 9. You just hold down on the app until the little X appears and then tap it, same as you do with any app. Tap Delete and it’s gone for good.

Now your iPhone will no longer default to trying to play something from the Music app whenever you press play. Instead it will jump back into whatever audio app you were last using. As it always should have from the start.

Removing the Music app does come with two main downsides. One, you can’t listen to any music stored on your phone (obviously). If you listen to MP3 files on your phone, even occasionally, you will lose that ability if you delete the Music app. You can’t even use a third-party music app—they require Music installed to work.

Second, you’ll lose all of Siri’s music integration. While you obviously won’t be able to say, “Hey Siri, play me some Run the Jewels” without Apple Music installed. You also aren’t able to use Siri to Shazam what track is playing during the Black Panter teaser trailer (it’s Legend Has It by Run the Jewels).

To my mind, this is a pretty easy trade off. I only ever stream my music, and I only Shazam a song every couple of weeks; I press play dozens of times a day. I’m willing to use the standalone Shazam app for that.

Harry Guinness writes occasionally when he’s not busy skiing, sailing, partying, lifting weights, or otherwise dodging responsibility. His main areas of interest are himself, gin, and crazy people with interesting stories to tell. When people won’t pay him to write ill-thought-out opinion pieces, he covers photography, technology, and culture. You can follow him on Twitter.