You Can’t Turn Off Apple Music on iOS

When Apple updated the Music app in iOS 8.4, the company added Apple Music. This streaming service is tightly integrated into iOS (and iTunes, on the desktop). In fact, it’s so well integrated that you can’t turn it off.

There’s a setting in Settings > Music that lets you toggle Apple Music’s visibility:

Apple music settings

But there’s nothing that turns Apple Music off entirely. You can see this by asking Siri to play some music. As long as you have an Apple Music subscription – trial or paid – and you’re signed into your account, Siri will play music from Apple Music, sometimes even when you already have music by the same artist on your iOS device.

(I’ve bolded the above since several people have asked whether this would happen if they don’t have an Apple Music subscription.)

Here’s an example. I have lots of music by the Grateful Dead on my iPhone. If I tell Siri to “Play Grateful Dead,” here’s what happens:

Siri1   Siri2

When I open the Music app, I see this:


This is an album that I do not own. Instead of playing my Grateful Dead music, Siri gets music from Apple Music. Which is not what I want.

You can try too. Hide Apple Music in the settings, and tell Siri to play music by an artist whose music is on your device. You may hear music that’s on the device, or you may hear music that’s on Apple Music. Then tell Siri to play an artist whose music is not on the device. Even though you thought that Apple Music was off, it’s not; you’ll get music streamed from Apple Music.

I find this annoying, and it’s yet another reason why I don’t use Siri. If I want to play music on my own device, Siri should be smart enough to do that. I also don’t want to use Apple Music on my iPhone, and if, by accident, the settings allowed the use of cellular data for music, I could burn up a lot of data with no warning.

So, if you use Siri to control music playback, be aware of exactly how it’s working.

Update: As a commenter points you, you can have Siri play local music by saying “Play Grateful Dead from My Music.” This should be the default, however, not the exception. If I have music by an artist on my device, it should play the local music, not something from Apple Music.