How do I set a default music app in Android Auto?

Android Auto is Google’s smart driving assistant that helps users access their smartphone through their car’s infotainment display. It is designed to minimize distractions while driving by projecting a simple interface optimized for use in the car. The Android Auto app integrates with a vehicle’s in-dash display via an Android Auto-enabled head unit or through wireless connection on supported vehicles.

When connected, Android Auto provides easy voice-controlled access to key apps and services like Google Maps, Google Assistant, phone calls, messages, and media playback. The interface is clean, simplified and focuses on providing the most relevant information and functions while keeping drivers’ eyes on the road.

One of the most used features of Android Auto is music playback. Having quick and seamless access to your playlists and music apps allows you to enjoy your music collection safely while driving. An important aspect is setting your preferred music app as the default in Android Auto.

Default Music App in Android Auto

Android Auto allows you to access and play music from your preferred music apps on your Android phone while connected to your car’s infotainment system. By default, Android Auto will open the last used music app when accessed or will default to Google Play Music if no recent music app has been used according to this Reddit discussion. Popular music apps like Spotify, YouTube Music, Amazon Music, and others can be used seamlessly within Android Auto.

While Android Auto doesn’t have a dedicated setting to change the default music player, there are a couple ways you can influence which music app opens by default when using Android Auto.

Setting Default Music App

To set the default music app in Android Auto, follow these steps:

1. Open the Android Auto app on your phone and go to Settings.

2. Tap on “Customize launcher.”

3. Under “Media Apps,” you will see a list of compatible music apps installed on your phone that work with Android Auto. Tap on the music app you want to set as the default.

4. The selected music app will now open automatically when you ask Google Assistant to play music while connected to Android Auto. For example, if you select Spotify as the default, saying “Hey Google, play music” will open Spotify.

5. You can repeat these steps to change the default music app again at any time. Android Auto will launch the most recently selected music app.

This setting persists even after disconnecting and reconnecting your phone from your car or head unit. You should now be able to consistently launch your preferred music app using voice commands or music controls through Android Auto.

Source: Google Support

Alternative Ways to Change Default

If the standard settings don’t allow you to change the default music app, there are a couple alternative options:

Use developer settings – You can access hidden developer settings by tapping Build Number 7 times in Settings > System > About Phone. Then go to Developer Options > Default Apps > Music Player to select a new default.

Try third party apps – Apps like Auto Mate and Simple Auto Player give you more control over setting default apps in Android Auto.

Use package disabler apps – You can disable the original music player using apps like Package Disabler Pro and then your preferred app will launch by default.

Clear defaults – Go to Settings > Apps > Choose default apps > Opening links and clear defaults which sometimes resets music app defaults as well.

Overall, developer settings and third party apps give you the most control over customizing default music apps if the basic settings don’t work.

Compatible Music Apps

There are many music apps that are compatible with Android Auto and can be used as your default music player. Here are some of the most popular options:

Spotify – One of the most widely used music streaming services, Spotify offers access to over 70 million songs and 2.2 million podcasts. Spotify integrates seamlessly with Android Auto allowing you to access your playlists, albums, stations and more. Learn more at

YouTube Music – Google’s music streaming app gives you access to official songs, albums, thousands of playlists, and YouTube music videos. It works nicely with Android Auto to play music hands-free. Get YouTube Music at

Amazon Music – Amazon Music subscribers can stream tens of millions of songs using Android Auto. Features like Alexa voice commands, personalized stations, and downloadable playlists for offline listening are supported. Find out more at

Pandora – Pandora internet radio gives you effortless access to thousands of stations you can personalize based on your musical tastes. It integrates with Android Auto to provide ad-free music playback. Check it out at

SoundCloud – With over 250 million tracks from up-and-coming artists, SoundCloud can be used in Android Auto to find new music tailored to you. See more at

Tips for Managing Music

Managing your music library and playlists in Android Auto can help you access your favorite songs and albums more easily while driving. Here are some tips for optimizing your music experience:

Create playlists tailored to driving – Make playlists with upbeat, energetic songs that are ideal for the open road or mellow playlists for a relaxing ride. Having go-to playlists ready can make music selection easier.

Use voice commands – Say “Ok Google” or hold the voice command button on your steering wheel to ask Android Auto to play specific songs, albums, artists, or playlists without taking your hands off the wheel.

Favorite key playlists – Android Auto highlights playlists you favorite within the music library for quick access. Heart your top playlists to have them prioritized.

Download playlists for offline listening – If you have spotty cell service on your commute, download playlists over WiFi beforehand so you can listen offline.

Adjust media controls – Customize how you control music playback using the settings in the Android Auto app. Options include steering wheel controls, touchscreen, voice commands, etc.

Add variety with radio – If you want a break from your own music library, use the radio function in Android Auto to discover new tunes.

Link music apps – Connect apps like Spotify, YouTube Music, Pandora, etc. to Android Auto to access all your music services on the road.

Troubleshooting Problems

Android Auto users may encounter various issues when trying to play music through the system. Here are some solutions for common music problems in Android Auto:

If Android Auto is not recognizing your default music app, try going into the Android Auto app settings and make sure the app is enabled. You can also try re-selecting your preferred music app as the default in your phone’s system settings (cite: source).

If music playback is choppy or keeps stopping, check that you have a stable data connection between your phone and vehicle. Switching from WiFi to mobile data or vice versa may help. Also try reducing audio quality in the Android Auto settings to see if that improves playback. Some phones have issues with high quality audio streaming over Android Auto (cite: source).

For issues with a specific music app, check for any updates from the developer. You can also try uninstalling and reinstalling the app. Make sure the app works properly on your phone too before troubleshooting in Android Auto.

As a last resort, resetting Android Auto’s system cache may clear up miscellaneous bugs. Just note this will reset your Android Auto preferences and settings.

Recent Changes and Updates to Android Auto Music Playback

In recent Android Auto updates and the latest Android 14 release, there have been several changes impacting music app functionality and playback in vehicles. Some key updates include:

Android 14 introduced a bug that partially broke music app playback for some users when connected to Android Auto, as reported by 9to5Google. The issue prevents certain apps from automatically playing music upon vehicle connection.

Google added Media recommendations to the Android Auto home screen in Android 13, providing quick access to recommended music and podcasts from installed apps, as noted in How-To Geek. This aims to simplify music controls.

The Android Auto update in late 2022 brought design refinements like a split-screen mode for navigation and media. It also added personalized media recommendations and playback queues for switching between songs and podcasts.

Overall, updates are focused on optimizing and tailoring the Android Auto music experience, though new bugs have affected functionality for some users. Google is likely working to address playback issues introduced in Android 14.

Future Improvements

Android Auto is expected to see several updates and new music features in the future. According to the Android Auto website, upcoming versions of Android Auto aim to provide even better integration with music apps and services.

Some of the potential future music improvements include:

  • Enhanced voice commands for music playback and navigation
  • Improved recommendations and playlists based on your listening history
  • More customizable equalizer settings and audio options
  • Integration with additional music services beyond Spotify, YouTube Music etc.
  • Support for uploading your own music library to the cloud

Android Auto 10, expected to launch in 2023, will introduce an updated interface, split-screen functionality, and tighter integration with Google Assistant according to GizChina. This should allow easier voice control of music playback while navigation is running.

Overall, the future looks bright for Android Auto’s music capabilities. With Google’s focus on enhancing the in-car experience, we can expect Android Auto to continue gaining more advanced, driver-friendly music features.


In summary, there are a few different ways to change your default music app in Android Auto:

  • Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > Default apps > Music player app and select your preferred music app.
  • Long press on the Android Auto app icon, click the “i” icon, go to Default apps and change it.
  • On your Android Auto screen, go to Settings > Media player and select your preferred music app.

Some of the most popular compatible music apps include Spotify, YouTube Music, Amazon Music, Pandora, and Google Play Music. While changing the default is straightforward, you may encounter issues if the app is not optimized for Android Auto. Trying different music apps and updating to the latest version of Android Auto can help resolve problems.

With some simple tweaks to the default music player settings, you can customize your audio experience in Android Auto and seamlessly listen to your favorite music on the road.

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