How to Shuffle Music on the iPhone

Shuffling Songs in iOS 10

shuffle songs on iOS 10

If you're not sure exactly what song or album you're in the mood for, consider using the Shuffle feature in the iPhone's built-in Music app.

Shuffle randomly selects songs in your music library to play in no particular order, and allows you to skip or replay songs. It's a great way to be surprised by your own music. 

Since the introduction of iOS 8.4 and Apple Music, the way you shuffle music on the iPhone, and where the buttons are located, has changed a number of times. This may have left you confused about how to shuffle. Don't worry! Read on to learn about all your options for shuffling music on an iPhone running iOS 10.

Shuffle All Songs

To shuffle all the songs in your Music app library, which will give you the greatest variety and a roughly random order of songs, follow these easy steps:

  1. Open the Music app
  2. Tap Library
  3. Tap Songs
  4. Tap Shuffle All.

You can also turn on shuffle when you're already listening to a song. To do that:

  1. Go into Apple Music to the playback screen (with the large album art, as shown in the screenshot here)
  2. Swipe up a bit to reveal the Shuffle and Repeat buttons
  3. Tap Shuffle. You'll know it's enabled when it's highlighted.

With that completed, your next song will be randomly chosen and you're off on a shuffling adventure. Use the forward arrow to skip to the next song or the back arrow to return to the last one.

To turn off shuffle, just tap the Shuffle button again so it is no longer highlighted.

Shuffle Within an Album

shuffle albums on iOS 10

Want to shake up a familiar album? You can shuffle within a single album, rather than your entire music library. If you want to do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Music app
  2. Tap Library
  3. Tap Albums
  4. Scroll through your albums list until you find the one you want or search for it. Tap the album you want to shuffle
  5. Once you're on the album screen, tap the Shuffle All button just below the album art and above the track list.

Shuffle in a Playlist

shuffle playlist on iOS 10

Even though the point of creating a playlist is to put a set of songs in a specific order, sometimes you may want to mix up that order and hear your playlist in a new way. If you do, shuffling a playlist is almost identical to shuffling an album:

  1. Once you're in Music, tap Library
  2. Tap Playlists (if you don't have this option on your Library page, tap Edit in the top right corner, tap the Playlist option, and then tap Done)
  3. Tap the playlist you want to shuffle
  4. Tap Shuffle All.

Shuffle All Songs by One Artist

shuffle artist on iOS 10

In the mood for a deep exploration of one artist's output? Shuffling all songs by that artist is a great way to do it. To shuffle all songs by a single artist follow these steps:

  1. Tap Library
  2. Tap Artists
  3. Find the artist whose songs you want to shuffle either by searching for them or browsing the list and tapping their name
  4. On the screen that lists all of the albums you have by that artist, tap Shuffle All.

Shuffle Within Genres

shuffle genres on iOS 10

When iOS 8.4 debuted, you couldn't shuffle all songs in a genre. That was a pretty weird, pretty frustrating decision on Apple's part. Luckily, it saw the error of its ways and now, in iOS 10, you can shuffle music within genres again:

  1. Tap Library
  2. Tap Genre (if it doesn't appear on this screen, tap Edit, then tap Genre, and tap Done. Genre appears on the main screen now)
  3. Tap the genre you want to shuffle
  4. Tap Shuffle All.

Shake to Shuffle

shake to shuffle on iphone
dimage credit: Hong Li/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images

One of the many music-related features Apple removed when it introduced Apple Music to the Music app was Shake to Shuffle. This was a cool feature that allowed you to shuffle you music simply by shaking your iPhone back and forth (it used the iPhone's accelerometer to detect when you were shaking it). Unlike some other shuffle features, Apple has not brought this back to the iPhone. It's probably gone for good.

Some other Apple devices, like the iPod nano, do still offer it. Learn more about Shake to Shuffle here.