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How to Pause Apple Music Listening History on iPhone

Starting iOS 17.2, Apple has introduced a new and helpful feature that lets you pause your listening history on Apple Music. Apple Music has been my preferred music streaming app for quiet some time. It offers unparalleled music quality, especially when you connect to AirPods and Apple CarPlay units.

Apple Music suggestions are based on your listening history. However, if someone else listens to music, your listening history will be significantly impacted. Apple Music will no longer suggest songs you like, and the recommendations start becoming less relevant. 

 Why is Apple Music Listening History so Important?
Apple Music’s algorithm understands the type of music you listen to. Furthermore, it curates the music suggestions based on your listening history. It is so powerful that I usually end up adding the newly suggested music to my playlist. Conversely, the suggestions will change if your kid or someone else listens to your Apple Music. The worst part is that normalizing the listening history takes a lot of time. 

It is prevalent for kids to borrow their parent’s iPhones and use Apple Music. When this happens, the recommendations get adversely affected. Thankfully, you can pause listening to history on Apple Music instead of refusing your kids. 

How to Pause Apple Music Listening History?
Pausing listening history temporarily turns off Apple Music’s recommendation engine. It is somewhat similar to the incognito mode on the Chrome browser. Before handing over your phone, pause the listening history and unpause it when you return it.

Time needed: 2 minutes
Here’s how you can use Focus Mode to Pause Apple Music Listening History
Open Settings and select Focus mode. 
On the left top corner, you will find a “+” button. Tap and select Custom.
Name the Focus mode. I have chosen “Apple Music Guest.”
Select Customise Focus. 
In the Focus Customisation page, scroll down and select Add Filter. 
A new screen appears with App Filters preset. Tap the Apple Music Icon. 
You will find a toggle called Use Listening History. Disable it to pause Apple Music Listening history in Focus Mode. 
Complete the setup and tap the Done in the top right corner. 

Kudos! You have finally set up the new feature to pause Apple Music. When you hand over your iPhone to kids or friends, activate the Focus Mode. Ensure that it is the custom Focus Mode and not the default one. You can simply disable Focus Mode after getting your device back. 

How to Disable Apple Music History
Pausing Apple Music Listening history is a nifty trick. But what if you don’t like your buddies snooping around your playlist? Or you are paranoid that Apple Music knows more about your taste in music as compared to yourself. In such a case, you can completely turn off the Listening History. Here are steps on how to do so-

1. Open iPhone Settings and select Music.

2. Scroll down and disable Use Listening History. 

Now, you have completely deactivated Music History. In other words, you will no longer get customized recommendations, including the For You section. 

Pause vs. Disable Apple Music Listening History
I find turning off the music history is extreme. Over the years, I have discovered hundreds of indie artists and tracks that I continue to follow till now. All of this was possible only because of Apple Music’s recommendation engine. Whenever my family members borrow my iPhone, I activate the custom Focus Mode, and the Listening History is unaffected. I love it when Apple adds nifty features such as this one. Which is your favorite iOS 17 feature? Let us know in the comments below. 

The Mac Observer

How to Pause Apple Music Listening History on iPhone

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