Have you ever started your car, getting ready to drive, when a song started playing out of nowhere?
More often than not, the issue is with Google Play Music starting the music automatically.
Although the problem initially perplexed many users, Google introduced a straightforward solution to it in the updates.
Read on to see how to eliminate the problem and find out other causes that trigger Google Play Music to start automatically.
We’ll also talk about other problems with Google Play Music.
How to Stop Google Play Music from Starting Automatically?
1. Check Smartwatch Controls
Sometimes, the problem isn’t the app itself, but some external hardware that triggers the app.
For example, if you own a smartwatch, the interface may accidentally navigate to the music app and start playing.
It could even happen when you’re in the shower while you’re not actively watching your phone or smartwatch.
It’s worth taking a look at your smartwatch (if you own one) to make sure it’s not causing the problem.
2. Disable Music Control Buttons
A hardware-related cause could be the lock-screen gestures.
For example, the long-press volume button or a touch screen gesture may enable the Google Play Music control.
Whenever you take the phone out of your pocket, you may accidentally long-press the button and trigger the autoplay.
The simple solution to this issue is to disable all the long-press controls on the home or volume buttons and the touchscreen gestures.
3. Check Bluetooth Devices
Occasionally, when you connect your smartphone to a Bluetooth device, Google Play Music automatically starts playback.
That’s because that Bluetooth device sends an autoplay command that Android sees as a command for play/pause.
If you have several music applications on your phone, those with a Media Button Receiver respond to that Media Button intent.
When multiple apps can react to this event, Android lets the last application receive Media Button intents.
If your Google Play Music was the last music application you used, it automatically starts music playback.
At first, users had difficulty pinning down the source of the problem, and some suggested clearing the Google Play Music cache as a workaround.
Then, Google introduced a built-in feature that stopped this annoyance.
You can find this toggle in the app’s Settings >> allow external devices to start playback.
Once you disable the setting, Google Play Music will never start automatically when you connect your phone to a Bluetooth device, such as the Bluetooth car kit or headphones.
Another solution is to go to Settings, find autoplay, and disable it.
If none of these works, clear the queue, recently played, most played, and recently added songs in Google Play Music.
Other Problems with Google Play Music
Although Google Play Music is a great music streaming and player combo, it’s not without its faults.
Generally speaking, if the problem doesn’t seem to be a big deal, it’ll go away once you reboot your device and/or install the latest version of the app.
Here are some of the common problems some users have experienced with the app.
1. Payment Problems
When you start or renew the Google Play Music subscription, you may get error messages that don’t allow you to proceed.
For example, it says your card isn’t eligible or declines the payment.
Fortunately, that’s not a serious problem, and you can solve it with some simple steps.
First, make sure you’ve entered the credit card information correctly.
Then try to remove the card and either add it again or use another one.
Another thing you could try is to clear the app’s cache.
Go to Settings >> Applications >> Google Play.
Tap force stop, find storage, and clear cache.
Then, open the app and try again.
If you still have problems, contact your bank or Google Support to help you identify and solve the problem.
2. You Can See Tracks on the Web but Not on the Phone
It’s a problem that’s related to cache and has a straightforward workaround.
If your downloaded tracks are only accessible on the web player, clear the cache on Google Play Music.
You may also need to restart your device, and then you’re all set.
This glitch could also be due to the sync service, which you can fix by re-syncing.
All you need to do is find refresh under settings.
This will re-sync Google with the cloud and import all the songs.
3. The App Doesn’t Work
This issue is one of the most frequent problems.
The app just doesn’t start streaming, and all you see is a swirling circle without loading the song.
You may also receive a “music playback error.”
The first thing you should check is your internet connection and ensure that you’re signed in properly.
Check your Wi-Fi connection whenever you’re streaming on the app and not listening to local songs.
Disconnect and reconnect to the Wi-Fi or cellular data network, disable the VPN, proxy, or Bluetooth temporarily, and make sure no one’s straining the network.
If you have an individual account, you can listen to music only on one device at a time.
Therefore, make sure nobody is trying to listen to music on another device with your account.
Plus, if you’ve changed your account’s password but forgot to update it in the app, you can’t start the app.
It could also be due to a settings problem that’s easily fixable.
Open the app and open the menu by tapping the three-line button and then select Settings.
Scroll down, find playback, and select a lower quality for the Wi-Fi or mobile network.
If you set it to only stream over Wi-Fi, you can’t get a playback if you’re not connected to the network.
Sometimes you may run into a minor issue such as failed playback despite having full bars.
You can fix these problems by turning your internet connection off and back on or restarting your phone.
Another settings-related problem is battery optimization.
It may kill the app when it’s working in the background.
For this reason, it’s better to disable battery optimization for this app.
To do this, open your device settings, hit apps, find Google Play Music, and tap on it.
Then simply uncheck battery optimization.
Another less likely reason could be that you’ve reached your device limit.
You can listen to music using your account on up to 10 devices.
You may not have ten devices connected to your account, but you may hit this limit if you have upgraded your smartphone several times.
To solve this problem, go to Settings > My Devices.
Once there, you can find all the devices connected to your Google Play Music account.
You can remove the old devices by de-authorizing access to music.
You may also run into this issue if you connect more than one Gmail account to your Google Play Music.
Make sure to choose only one account by hitting the drop-down bar on the left side of the app.
The app could also stop because you have corrupted cache locally stored on your device.
Clear the cache as we outlined above and reboot your device.
If none of the above solutions works, simply uninstall the app and reinstall it.
If the app came pre-installed with your phone, you will only be able to uninstall the updates.
Go to settings >> Apps >> All Apps.
Locate Google Play Music and uninstall it.
Then go to the Google Play Store and install it again.
It also helps when you choose Google Play Music as your default music app.
To do so, go to Settings >> Apps >> Default Apps.
Then choose Google Play Music as your default app.
Many users have reported that this method works for them.
4. You Can’t Upload Songs
Google Play Music has this great feature that allows you to upload songs from your collection.
However, sometimes you may run into problems while doing so.
If you receive an error message prompting you to log in to your Google Chrome account after you have already done so, don’t worry.
Simply log out and log back in.
To get the upload right, make sure the file is of a supported format.
Most formats, including MP3, MP4, OGG, DRM, ALAC, and WMA, are supported while others such as WAV, AIFF, and RI aren’t.
Sometimes you can’t upload the songs because the library is full.
Although it is unlikely, you may have exceeded your 50,000 songs, and you need to delete some to make room for other tracks.
Don’t forget to upload music using the same account on which you purchased the song.
You may run into this problem if you use a family sharing account.
5. You Can’t Play the Downloaded Stations
When you have your device in “play downloaded music only,” you may see that downloaded playlists and tracks play but not the downloaded stations.
The issue goes away when you stream over mobile data instead of Wi-Fi.
After the downloaded station starts playing, you can turn the Wi-Fi option back on.
The issue affected users a while ago, and a later update addressed it.
But it’s back again, so make sure to send a bug report to Google to resolve it again.
6. Log-in Problems Due to Two-Factor Authentication
If you have enabled the two-factor authentication, you may not receive the prompt you should be seeing on your phone and can’t log in to your Music Manager.
You can resolve this issue by choosing another way to get the verification code.
You could either get the code via a text message or the Google Authentication app.
Sometimes Google asks you to add your credit card information to the account.
That’s likely because they want you to verify your country, but they won’t charge you.
By doing this, you won’t need to change the method for receiving the verification code.
7. Duplicate Tracks
The cloud storage in Google Play Music is a helpful and exciting tool, but sometimes you get several copies of one song.
That’s particularly the case when you sync iTunes and Google Play Music or add your collection from different devices.
The situation is particularly annoying because the duplicate song is more likely to come up in the shuffle.
One way to get rid of the duplicate songs is to remove them manually, one by one.
That’s because Google Play Music doesn’t have a way to pinpoint duplicate files.
However, this can take forever if there are hundreds of them in your library.
Plus, there might be the same songs with different names.
Clone Files Checker is a great tool for detecting duplicate files.
You can install it on your PC and find all kinds of files, including music, videos, documents, and compressed files.
It allows you to find the duplicate files with the “Quick Fix” option and delete them with the Review and Fix feature.
You can use it with all kinds of hard drives and cloud storage, including Google Drive, and it lets you narrow down your search based on file size.
There’s another solution put forth by this Reddit user, but it requires technical knowledge of Python, the programming language.
8. Censored Songs
Although this is a rare issue, it still happens.
Sometimes when you upload songs to Google Music Manager, some of them end up getting censored.
It’s easy to fix.
Find Block Explicit Songs in Radio under Settings and uncheck it.
Then refresh the app.
Is the Google Play Music Family Account Worth It?
Google Play Music offers a family plan in which you can add up to six family members to your account.
You’ll get ad-free and unlimited streaming access to a whole lot of songs for a monthly fee.
It’s a big money saver since you can have a family plan for less than twice an individual plan.
While the individual plan costs $9.99 a month, a family subscription is only $14.99.
1. The Google Play Music Family Plan Features
Although you use a single account to listen to songs, you and your family can listen to different songs on different devices simultaneously.
Each of you can store your music collection, upload 50,000 music files for free, listen to the radio stations, and download songs to access them online.
As a bonus, you get access to YouTube Music Premium.
2. How Does It Work?
After setting up the family group, the family manager should add a preferred payment method to make purchases in the Google Play Music app or the Google Play app.
The manager can also cancel subscriptions, add or remove members, and change the payment method, among other things.
Each family member can purchase songs, but the receipt will go to the family manager.
Plus, you can enable purchase approvals so that the kids have to get the manager’s approval before making a purchase.
The family plan is available in many countries, including Chile, Brazil, Ukraine, Poland, Japan, Germany, and many more.
It works on Android, iOS, and the web.
To enable the family plan, check the play music “All Access” option in your account.
After opening the app on your device or visiting the Play Music webpage, tap on Settings.
Select “Subscribe to Google Play Unlimited” or “Start trial.”
If you’re eligible to use the family plan, you’ll see the “Family” option.
You can invite your family members by hitting the “invite” button and following the prompts.