Why Does Apple Music Keep Pausing? Reasons & 18 Fixes

Apple is renowned for delivering a smooth user experience, but even the best systems aren’t immune to glitches and errors. If your Apple Music keeps pausing, you’ve landed on the right guide.

This guide covers various reasons why your Apple Music might be pausing unexpectedly and offers step-by-step solutions to get your tunes playing smoothly.

Part 1. Why Does My Apple Music Keep Pausing?

Knowing the root cause of your Apple Music interruptions is half the battle won. So, before diving into the fixes, it is best to identify the usual suspects that could be putting your Apple Music on hold:

  • 🌐 Unstable Internet Connection
  • 🔄 Outdated Apple Music App
  • 🐞 Software Bugs or Glitches
  • ❌📱 Conflicts with Other Apps
  • ⚙️ Device-Specific Settings
  • ☁️🎵 iCloud Music Library Issues
  • 🔋 Low Battery Mode Enabled
  • 👂 Earbuds/Headphones Sensor Issues
  • ⏲️ Music Stop Timer Activated
  • 📶 Bluetooth Connectivity Issues
  • 🟢🟡🔴 Apple Server Downtime
  • 📉 Low Data Mode Enabled
  • 🎧 Automatic Ear Detection for AirPods
  • 🗺️ Apple Maps Interference
  • ❗🎵 Corrupted Music Files
  • 💾 Inadequate Storage Space
  • 🍏🐞 iOS System Bugs
  • 🔍 Other Unknown Factors

In the following section, we’ll discuss these issues and offer you actionable solutions to fix the Apple Music keeps pausing issue promptly.

Part 2. How to Fix Apple Music Keeps Pausing?

You can jump straight to the most relevant solution if you’ve pinpointed the likely cause of your Apple Music interruptions from the list above. If you’re still in detective mode, we recommend following our troubleshooting guide sequentially to ensure you are not doing anything irrelevant.

2.1. Check Your Internet Connection

We often overlook the basics, but a fast and stable internet connection is crucial for uninterrupted streaming on Apple Music. The platform requires a minimum speed of 256 kbps for standard quality streaming and approximately 9 Mbps for the highest possible quality.

If your Audio Quality settings are set to “Lossless” or “Hi-Res Lossless,” and your internet speed is below 1 Mbps, your Apple Music will likely pause frequently.

Test Your Speed: Use platforms like Speedtest.net to gauge your internet speed.

Switch or Adjust: If your speed is below 1 Mbps, switch to a more reliable network or adjust your audio quality settings for uninterrupted playback.

Here’s How to Reduce Audio Quality in Apple Music:

  1. Open the “Settings” app on your device.
  2. Navigate to “Music” and then tap on “Audio Quality.”
  3. Under “Mobile Data Streaming,” choose “High Efficiency” to stream at a lower quality setting.
Adjusting audio quality settings in Apple Music to fix pausing issues

Adjusting the settings lets you fix the Apple Music keeps pausing issue depending on your current network conditions.

2.2. Restart Your iPhone or iPad

A simple restart can resolve minor software glitches that may be causing your Apple Music to pause. The process is straightforward but often effective.

How to Restart iPhone X, 11, 12, 13, or Later:

  1. Initiate Shutdown: Press and hold one of the volume buttons and the side button until the power-off slider appears.
  2. Turn Off: Drag the slider and wait about 30 seconds for the device to turn off completely.
  3. Power Up: Press the side button until the Apple logo is displayed to turn your iPhone back on.

How to Restart an iPad Without a Home Button:

Just like the iPhone, press and hold one of the volume buttons and the top button. Drag the slider and wait 30 seconds for the device to turn off. To turn your iPad back on, press the top button until you see the Apple logo.

Note: The restart steps differ for restarting older iPhone and iPad models with a Home button.

2.3. Update the Apple Music App

Updating an app is more than accessing the latest features; it enhances stability and performance. So, by updating the Apple Music app, you will get new features and resolve underlying issues that may cause annoying pauses while listening to your favorite songs.

How to Update the Apple Music App:

  1. Open the “App Store” on your device.
  2. Tap on your profile icon at the top right corner.
  3. Scroll down to find the “Apple Music” app.
  4. If an update is available, tap “Update” next to the app.

2.4. Turn Off Automatic Ear Detection for AirPods

The Automatic Ear Detection feature is engineered to pause your music when an AirPod is removed from your ear and resume playing when you insert it back. While this is convenient for many, it’s not suitable for everyone. For context, the sensors might misinterpret your movements, or if there is a fitting issue — it might result in unintentional pauses.

Here’s How to Disable Automatic Ear Detection for Consistent Apple Music Listening Experience:

  1. Connect your AirPods to your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Open the “Settings” app on your device and go to “Bluetooth.”
  3. Locate your AirPods in the list and tap the information icon (i) next to it.
  4. Simply turn off the “Automatic Ear Detection” option.
turn off automatic ear detection for AirPods and fix Apple Music pausing

For Mac Users:

  1. Ensure your AirPods are connected to your Mac.
  2. Navigate to Bluetooth Preferences.
  3. Locate your AirPods in the list of devices and click the “Options” button next to them.
  4. And uncheck the box next to “Enable Automatic Ear Detection.”
Disable Automatic Ear Detection on Mac

After disabling the automatic ear detection feature, check whether the unwanted interruptions have been resolved.

2.5. Turn Off the Music Stop Timer

The Music Stop Timer is intended to halt your music after a set time to assist with sleep or help you focus. But if the timer is misconfigured or glitchy, it can cause regular pauses in your Apple Music playback.

Moreover, if you’ve set multiple timers or are using third-party apps with similar timer features, there’s a good chance it could clash with Apple Music’s timer, leading to unexpected interruptions.

How to Turn Off the Music Stop Timer on iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open the “Clock” app on your device.
  2. Navigate to the “Timer” tab at the bottom.
  3. Tap on “When Timer Ends.
  4. Scroll to the top and select “Stop Playing.”
  5. Click the “Set” option in the upper right corner to disable the timer.

How to Turn Off the Music Stop Timer on Mac:

  1. Open the “Music” app.
  2. Go to “Controls” in the menu bar.
  3. Select “Stop Timer” if it’s enabled.

2.6. Clean Your Earbuds or Headphones

Many modern earbuds come with built-in sensors that can detect when they are in your ears. And the sensors pick up when you remove or put it back to pause or resume the playback. Over time, however, dirt and debris can accumulate on these sensors and cause them to malfunction. And this could result in your Apple Music pausing unexpectedly.

So, cleaning your earbuds might resolve the Apple Music keeps pausing issue and allow for uninterrupted listening on the app. Here’s how to clean your earbuds:

  1. Disconnect your earbuds from any device.
  2. Gently wipe the exterior of the earbuds with a soft, dry cloth.
  3. Use a mixture of water and soap if the dry cloth cleaning does not help. For this, dampen a cloth in the solution and wipe the earbuds. However, ensure the cloth is not too wet.

After cleaning, wait for the earbuds to dry out completely before using them again.

2.7. Check System Status of Apple Music

Sometimes, the issue could be a result of Apple Music server unavailability. While this is not frequent, it could happen. However, it’s easy to rule this out by checking the Apple System Status to see if the service is available.

How to Check Apple Music’s System Status:

  1. Go to Apple’s System Status page.
  2. Scroll down the list of Apple services until you find Apple Music.
  3. If you see a green dot next to Apple Music, the service operates normally. A yellow or red dot means server issues.

If it is red or yellow, you can click on the dot to know more about the issue (Apple usually provides some explanation). Whatever it is, you will have to wait for Apple to resolve the issue.

Apple's System Status page

2.8. Restart Bluetooth

Restarting Bluetooth is another quick and effective way to resolve connectivity issues and glitches that may be causing your Apple Music to pause.

How to Restart Bluetooth on iPhone or iPad:

  • Open “Settings.”
  • Tap on “Bluetooth.”
  • Toggle the Bluetooth switch off.
  • Wait for a few seconds.
  • Toggle the Bluetooth switch back on.
restart Bluetooth on iPhone or iPad

If the Apple Music keeps pausing issue persists even after refreshing the Bluetooth, you might take it a step further. That is to say, unpair and then re-pair your AirPods or earbuds to resolve any lingering connectivity issues.

2.9. Force Quit and Reopen Apple Music

Force-quitting the Apple Music app can serve as a quick reset and resolve any minor glitches or hiccups that may be causing the playback interruptions.

How to Force Quit Apple Music on iPhone or iPad:

  1. Swipe up from the bottom on iPhone X and later.
  2. Swipe left or right to find the Apple Music app.
  3. Swipe the app up to close it.
Force quitting Apple Music on iPhone

Reopen the Apple Music and review whether this has been resolved.

2.10. Reinstall Apple Music

Reinstalling the Apple Music app will refresh all of its files and resolve issues that can cause the music to pause.

How to Reinstall Apple Music on iPhone or iPad:

  • Long-press the Apple Music app icon.
  • Tap “Remove App” and then “Delete App.”
Reinstalling Apple Music on iPhone to fix persistent pausing issues
  • Go to the App Store and search for “Apple Music.”
  • Click on “Get” to reinstall the app.

Note that reinstalling the Apple Music app will require you to log in again and remove all the songs you have saved for offline listening.

2.11. Turn Off Low Data Mode

Low Data Mode on iPhone restricts the amount of data used. This includes the streaming quality on Apple Music and can cause interruptions, especially if your music quality is set to Hi-Res Lossless or Lossless. However, turning the Low Data Mode off can resolve the issue and allow you to stream music tracks uninterruptedly.

How to Turn Off Low Data Mode on iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open “Settings.”
  2. Click on “Cellular” or “Mobile Data.
  3. Select “Cellular Data Options” or “Mobile Data Options.”
  4. And then toggle off the “Low Data Mode” option.
Disabling Low Data Mode on iPhone

2.12. Turn Off Low Power Mode

Low Power Mode on iPhone extends your device’s battery life. However, it limits background activity and can affect app performance drastically, including Apple Music. So, disabling it may resolve the playback interruptions.

How to Turn Off Low Power Mode on iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open “Settings.”
  2. Tap on “Battery.”
  3. Toggle off “Low Power Mode.”
Turning off Low Power Mode on iPhone or iPad

2.13. Listen to Apple Music Offline

Another workaround is to download your favorite tunes offline and listen to them even if you have poor connectivity or low bandwidth. Additionally, this method allows you to quickly rule whether the playback issues are caused by network irregularities or software glitches.

Here’s How to Download Apple Music and Make Your Favorite Tunes Offline:

  • Open the Apple Music app.
  • Search for the song or album you want to download.
  • Tap the cloud icon with a downward arrow to download the track or album.
download songs for offline listening in Apple Music

2.14. Prevent Apple Maps from Stopping Your Music

When in navigation mode, Apple Maps will pause your Apple Music to provide you with directions. But you can prevent interruptions in your Apple Music playback by turning off the “Pause Spoken Audio” feature in Apple Maps settings. The good news is that the navigation app will continue to provide directions even when your music is playing.

Here’s How to Prevent Apple Maps from Stopping Your Music:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap on “Maps.”
  3. Go to “Navigation & Guidance.”
  4. And turn off the toggle for “Pause Spoken Audio.”
disable the 'Pause Spoken Audio' feature in Apple Maps settings

2.15. Delete and Redownload Music

Corrupted downloaded music files can lead to unexpected pauses during Apple Music playback. By deleting and redownloading the tracks, you can resolve the Apple Music keeps pausing issue.

Here’s How to Delete and Redownload Your Apple Music tracks:

  1. Open the Music app on your iPhone and tap the “Library” option.
  2. Go to “Downloaded” and then select “Songs.
  3. To remove a specific song, either tap and hold on the song or click on the three-dot icon next to the song’s name.
  4. A menu will appear; select “Remove.”
  5. Choose “Remove Download” to delete the local file and free up some space, or “Delete from Library” to remove the song from your Apple Music library.
delete music in Apple Music

After deleting all the downloaded tracks, you can re-download them.

2.16. Download Apple Music to Other Formats

You can also take your offline listening experience to the next level by downloading Apple Music using third-party services like HitPaw Apple Music Converter. HitPaw lets you download the Apple Music tracks in other formats like MP3, M4A, and WAV. This means you can listen to the Apple Music tracks on other devices, even outside the iOS environment.

Here’s How to Use HitPaw Apple Music Converter:

  1. Install and Download HitPaw Apple Music Converter from the official website.
  2. Sign into your Apple Music account using your Apple ID.
  3. Use the built-in web player to search for songs or artists. A “Download” button will appear next to the album URL in the address bar. Click on it.
  4. Then, switch to the “Converting” tab to preview the songs you wish to download
  5. The default output format is MP3. However, you can change it from the format list.
  6. Finally, click the “Convert All” button to start the conversion process.
converting Apple Music to different formats

2.17. Reset All Settings on iPhone/iPad

Incorrect settings on your iPhone or iPad can lead to numerous issues, including unexpected pauses in Apple Music playback. For instance, settings related to battery optimization, audio output, and others could interfere with the app’s background activity and audio preferences, resulting in pauses in Apple Music playback.

Often, this could be a result of settings that you have recently changed or that have been altered by third-party apps. Nevertheless, resetting all settings to their default can often resolve the issue.

Here’s How to Reset All Settings on iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open “Settings” on your device.
  2. Go to “General.
  3. Scroll down and tap “Reset.”
  4. Choose “Reset All Settings.”

Note that resetting all settings will erase all your personalized settings, like Wi-Fi networks and passwords, Face ID, or Touch ID settings, and you will have to reset them again.

2.18. Update Your iOS

Running an outdated iOS version can introduce a host of issues, like bugs and glitches, that affect the performances of apps like Apple Music. Updating the iOS will minimize the risk of encountering issues that can cause your music to pause.

Here’s How to Update iOS:

  1. Open the “Settings” app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Scroll down and tap on “General.”
  3. Tap “Software Update.
  4. If an update is available, tap “Download and Install.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Equalizer setting affect Apple Music playback?

Equalizer settings modified the audio output; it does not result in pauses in Apple Music. However, it is better to reset the Equalizer to its default settings and assess whether the Apple Music pausing issue is resolved.

Should I update my earbuds or headphones to stop Apple Music from pausing?

Yes, keeping your earbuds or AirPods updated with the latest firmware makes a significant difference in performance. For context, Apple often releases updates that fix bugs or improve compatibility with the latest iOS versions, which could resolve any issues causing Apple Music to pause on your device.

Can Family Sharing Settings Affect Apple Music Playback?

When you are a part of the Family Sharing group, the Settings determined by the group’s “Organizer” could affect your Apple Music playback. This could be certain restrictions or permissions and interfere with your listening experience. Ensure to review the Family Sharing settings to rule out this cause.

Does the “Optimize Storage” Feature Affect Apple Music?

While the “Optimize Storage” feature does not cause interruptions, it automatically removes downloaded songs you haven’t recently listened to. And if the feature has deleted a lot of songs, it will give the impression of pausing (but it actually skips tracks) while listening to downloaded songs. Still, you can review or disable this feature by going to Settings > Music > Optimize Storage.

Is my VPN causing Apple Music to keep pausing?

VPNs can slow down your internet connection and cause buffering and pauses during Apple Music playbacks. You can disable the VPN temporarily and see if the issues are resolved.

Will reinstalling Apple Music delete my playlists?

No, your playlists in Apple Music are saved to your Apple ID. They will be restored when you log back in after reinstalling the app.

How do I clear the cache for Apple Music to stop it from pausing?

Apple Music does not allow you to clear the cache within the app. However, you can manually clear the app’s data by navigating to Settings > General > iPhone Storage > Apple Music.

Why does Apple Music keep pausing even after I’ve followed all the steps in the above list?

If you’ve tried all the troubleshooting steps and still face the playback pauses on Apple Music, it might be time to contact Apple Support.


This guide provides a comprehensive list of solutions to resolve the “Apple Music keeps pausing” issue. We’ve systematically arranged the most common causes and their fixes to help you resolve the error efficiently so that you do not have to waste time on irrelevant steps. Hopefully, your Apple Music playback interruptions are now resolved.

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