How to listen to music on your Apple Watch without your iPhone and more

You can use your Apple Watch to listen to music on your iPhone, or you can sync a playlist to enjoy music on your Apple Watch without your iPhone.

Play music from your iPhone: When your paired iPhone is in range, you can use your Apple Watch to control what’s playing on your iPhone. Open the Music app, scroll up, then tap your iPhone to choose it as the source. Then scroll back down and tap any of these options:

• Now Playing: Play or pause what’s currently playing on your iPhone.
• Quick Play: If you have an Apple Music membership, you can tap Quick Play, which chooses a list of songs for you.
• Beats 1: Listen to Apple’s 24/7 worldwide radio station.
• My Music: Browse your music library by Artists, Albums, or Songs, and choose what to listen to.
• Playlists: Listen to any of the playlists already on your iPhone.

Play music without your iPhone.
Play music without your iPhone.
Play music from your Apple Watch: You can also enjoy music on your Apple Watch without your iPhone when you pair with Bluetooth headphones. Open the Music app, scroll up, then tap your Apple Watch to choose it as the source. Then scroll back down and tap any of these options:

• Now Playing: Play or pause what’s currently playing on your Apple Watch.
• My Music: After you sync a playlist to your Apple Watch, you can browse your music by Albums, Artists, and Songs.
• Playlists: Use the steps below to sync a playlist to your Apple Watch.

Make a music playlist: You can keep one music playlist on your Apple Watch at a time. Audiobooks and podcasts aren’t compatible.
1. On your iPhone, go to the Music app.
2. Tap My Music > Playlists > New.
3. Give your playlist a name, then tap Add Songs.
4. Search or tap to find songs, artists, or albums to add.
5. When you find something that you want to add, tap .
6. After you add the item, tap Done. You can then search for more music to add.
7. When you’re done adding music, tap Done to save your playlist.

Edit an existing playlist:
1. Open the Music app on your iPhone and tap My Music > Playlists.
2. Tap a playlist, then tap edit.
3. To add songs, tap Add Songs and search or tap to find songs, artists, or albums. Tap to add them to the playlist. To delete songs, tap , then tap Delete.
4. After you add or remove an item, tap Done. You can then add or remove more music.
5. When you’re done editing the playlist, tap Done to save your changes.

Sync your playlist
1. Set your Apple Watch on its charger and make sure the device is charging.
2. On your iPhone, go to Settings > Bluetooth. Make sure Bluetooth is turned on.
3. From the Watch app on your iPhone, tap the My Watch tab, then tap Music > Synced Playlist.
4. Tap the playlist you want to sync to your Apple Watch. When a message next to your playlist says Sync Pending, your playlist will begin syncing from your iPhone to your Apple Watch.
5. Wait until the sync is finished before using your Apple Watch. To see the sync progress, open the Watch app on your iPhone and tap Music.
Note: You might need to download any music stored in the cloud, such as music from Apple Music or iTunes Match, to your iPhone before you can sync it with your Apple Watch.

Listen to the playlist on your Apple Watch: You can’t listen to your playlist on your Apple Watch until you pair your watch with Bluetooth headphones. After pairing, you can listen to your synced playlist:
1. From the Home screen on your Apple Watch, tap the Music app.
2. Firmly press the screen, then tap Source > Apple Watch.
3. Tap Playlists.

Remove a playlist from Apple Watch:
1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone, then tap the My Watch tab.
2. Tap Music > Synced Playlist > None.
3. To remove the playlist, set your Apple Watch on its charger and make sure it’s charging.

Your Apple Watch playlist is limited to 1 GB by default. In the Watch app on your iPhone, you can change this setting to 2 GB, 500 MB, or 100 MB. If you prefer to limit by song number, you can limit your playlist to 15, 50, 125, or 250 songs.

11 Comments

  1. that’s nice and all i guess. i stopped reading when i got to step 4. any “cool” feature that takes that long to get set up really isn’t a “feature.”

    life is too short than to have to wade through a myriad of steps just to listen to my music. how do i listen to my music?

    1. plug headphones into phone
    2. select playlist in music app
    3. hit play

    simple really.

    1. ws.
      I am out in the boondocks so even with iTunes match, I cannot always get my music. I keep a couple of old iPods handy with my main music, one in the car plugged into the stereo etc.

      You can get an iPod nano 3 gen for about 40$ these days. 8 gig of music in the car.

  2. It sounds like a “process” but it’s a piece of cake. This is fantastic if you have Bluetooth headphones paired to your watch and you want to go for a Walk/Run/Workout without strapping the phone to your arm. It’ll get even better when the Apple watch is retrofit with its own GPS tracking. Still good though.

  3. I have the Aftershokz Titanium and love them. My only problem is the cut in and out when paired with the watch. When I have them paired to the iPod, iPad or iPhone, they work like a champ.

    I dont know why the watch is giving me fits, so until it is fixed, I’ll use my iPod when I walk and work out.

  4. The limit of syncing a single playlist to the Apple Watch is crazy. Why have this limit?! It should only be a size limit which it is also. The Apple Watch series 2 is perfect for running with gps but this limitation is annoying and I’m not going to strap my iPhone 7 plus to my arm!

    I want to sync multiple small playlists.

    People say just create one playlist and put all the songs inside this but this isn’t a good solution when I want to shuffle while running and only listen to a certain type of music from multiple artists! One playlist can’t do what I want.

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