iPhone Software

iPhone volume turning itself up? Blame Spotify

person with headphones holding an iPhone with Spotify open
Noise nuisance: stop Spotify controlling iPhone volume (Photo by Ivan Samkov on Pexels.com)

If you’re an iPhone owner with a Spotify account, you may have noticed that your iPhone volume changes of its own accord. Spotify isn’t immune to these quirks – for example, random pauses during playback. This time, however, it is likely due to Spotify’s habit of syncing any and all information across your devices.

Most of the time, this is great – you see what’s playing irrespective of device, can pause or change the song, and raise the volume. Unfortunately, volume changing on the desktop app also changes your iPhone volume. Unmute a video or open a voice message and the whole world will hear it. So, how can you prevent this from happening?

How do I stop the volume syncing?

There’s more than one way to stop this quirk, but the quickest and easiest is to untoggle the “Devices Lock Screen” switch in the Spotify app settings.

How to prevent Spotify hijacking iPhone volume controls

  1. Open Spotify on your iPhone and navigate to your settings

    Spotify home screen with settings highlighted

  2. Tap on the tab titled “Devices”

  3. Untoggle “Devices Lock Screen”

    Spotify settings with "Devices Lock Screen" toggle highlighted

That should be all it takes! This essentially severs your phone’s connection to any other device your Spotify account is playing on. Of course, this does come with a few caveats. The main thing you’ll notice is you’re no longer able to control your music from the lock screen. This means that even if you’re playing music from the phone, you’ll have to open the app to change anything other than volume. It seems like synchronisation is an all or nothing business for Spotify.

Wait a second, I still want to use the lock screen widget!

If you don’t want to sacrifice the easy song control when playing music from your iPhone, there is an easier solution. Just close Spotify on your phone when the desktop app is playing, and the connection between the two is severed. This isn’t ideal, as you have to repeat the process each time you have Spotify open. It also means you can’t use your phone as a remote control, which is often handy.

Turn off “Background App Refresh”

One other method that allows you to retain remote control is to try turning off Spotify’s “Background App Refresh”. Although this didn’t work for me, some users (in this Spotify forum) found success in doing so.

  1. Open iPhone settings and scroll down until you find Spotify
Spotify app settings in iPhone settings
  1. Untoggle “Background App Refresh
"Background App Refresh" toggle in Spotify settings

Really, there’s no good balance to strike. You either have no control of your music outside of the mobile Spotify app, or you keep control and close it every time music is playing from your desktop. As ever, the simplest option is for Spotify to release an update for iPhone and prevent volume syncing outside of the app. We can dream…

About the author

Fraser Campbell

Fraser co-created a website called justtwovideogamers.com when he was still at school, and is now an undergraduate at the University of Plymouth.

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