Why is my Android randomly playing music?

Android devices randomly playing music when no media app is actively running can be perplexing and annoying. This issue seems to be reported across various Android phones from different manufacturers like Samsung, OnePlus, and Google Pixel devices. While the exact cause may vary, it often seems tied to background apps, notifications, connected devices, or system processes. In this guide, we’ll explore some troubleshooting steps to try and solve the annoying problem of your Android randomly deciding to start playing music.

Checking Audio Apps

One common culprit for random music playing on Android phones is recently used audio apps that may still be running in the background. For example, the community thread on the OnePlus forums points out that carefully closing all open apps can sometimes stop the unwanted playback (https://community.oneplus.com/thread/207397).

The key is to review apps that have the capability to play music in the background, even when not actively used. Streaming apps like Spotify, podcast apps, music players, and radio apps would be prime suspects. Check the recent apps list in your Android settings to see what audio apps have been used lately and consider force closing them.

Additionally, if any unknown audio sources show up, they could be the cause of random music. Close out and uninstall any suspicious apps/players.Stick to reputable, trusted apps from the Play Store to avoid malware that plays audio.

Updating Apps

Sometimes random music playback can be caused by bugs in audio apps after recent Android or app updates. Trying updating music, media, and audio apps across your device to the latest stable versions available. Updated apps tend to fix software bugs and glitches that may contribute to unintended audio playback. For example, some users have reported breakages with Android Auto music apps after updating to Android 14, with playback starting and stopping unexpectedly (https://9to5google.com/2023/11/14/android-auto-music-apps-android-14/). Staying on top of app updates can help resolve these types of issues. Some key apps to check for updates include Spotify, YouTube Music, Google Play Music, Amazon Music, SoundCloud, Apple Music (for Android), or any other media or audio apps you use.

Clearing App Cache

One potential solution is to clear the cache and/or data for any audio apps or media players on your device. Over time, these apps can build up cache files or become configured in a way that causes erratic behavior like randomly playing music. According to one source, “Tap on the button that says Clear Cache to clear the cache files for your music app. clear cache. That should fix the Android music pauses…” (Source)

To clear an app’s cache and/or data, go to Settings > Apps. Select the audio app in question, such as Spotify or your device’s default music player. Look for options to Clear Cache and/or Clear Data. Tapping these will reset the app’s cache/data which often resolves odd behavior issues. Keep in mind clearing an app’s data will sign you out and remove any offline content, but is sometimes necessary to fully reset problematic settings.

Trying this quick troubleshooting step for any audio apps on your Android device can help isolate if one particular app is the culprit behind the random music playback. If the issue persists even after clearing cache/data across your various audio apps, you’ll need to investigate other potential causes.

Disabling Media Scanner

The Android Media Scanner is a system service that scans files on your device and adds metadata about them to the Android MediaStore databases. This allows other apps like music players to easily find your audio files.

Sometimes the Media Scanner can get stuck indexing files or misidentify random audio clips as music files, causing them to start playing randomly.

To disable the Media Scanner:

  • Go to Settings > Apps
  • Search for “Media Storage”
  • Select Media Storage app > Force Stop
  • This will temporarily disable media scanning until the phone is restarted

Disabling Media Storage is a temporary fix – if the problem recurs after restarting your device, you likely have a deeper system issue causing files to be misidentified as audio.

Additional troubleshooting steps like updating media apps, clearing app cache and data, or factory resetting may be required. Check the sources below for more help:

[1] OnePlus Forums – Strange issue on my phone

[2] Malwarebytes Forums – Random music playing issue

Checking Notifications

One common culprit for random music playback on Android phones is notification sounds that trigger audio playback. Apps like Spotify, YouTube Music, Pandora, and other streaming services often have notification permissions enabled that can trigger music playback when certain alerts come through.

To check for notification triggers, go to Settings > Apps & Notifications > Notifications. Review the list of apps and check for any music/audio apps that have notification access enabled. Tap into each app and disable Allow Notifications to prevent alerts from triggering unwanted playback.

As noted in the Reddit thread, you can also disable notifications for specific apps by going to Settings > Apps > selecting the music app > Notifications > toggle off Allow Notifications.

Disabling notifications for streaming and music apps is often an easy fix to stop random unwanted music from playing on your Android device when alerts come in. If the issue persists after disabling notifications, move on to checking other potential triggers.

Checking Google Assistant

One possible cause for Android randomly playing music is if Google Assistant is accidentally getting triggered. This could happen if your phone detects certain words or ambient noises that sound like the “Ok Google” wake phrase. The Google Assistant can then pull up media controls and start music playback randomly.

To check if this is happening, carefully monitor when the unwanted music starts playing. Try turning off Google Assistant voice activation temporarily under Settings > Apps & Notifications > Advanced > Default Apps > Assist & Voice input. If the random music stops occurring, you’ve likely isolated the cause to accidental Google Assistant wake ups.

You can also adjust Google Assistant sensitivity levels at Settings > Google > Account services > Search, Assistant & Voice > Voice > Voice Match. Turning these sensitivity controls down may help prevent errant music playback triggers.

As noted in the r/googlehome subreddit, accidental music triggers from casting devices and stopping playback by voice can also erroneously queue up media.

Checking Connected Devices

One possible cause of random music playing is an issue with a connected Bluetooth device sending audio to your phone without you realizing it. Here are some things you can try in this situation:

First, open your phone’s Bluetooth settings and make sure all currently paired devices are ones you recognize and actively want connected. If you see any unfamiliar devices, unpair them by tapping the settings icon next to the device name and selecting “Unpair”.

Next, check if any of your paired Bluetooth devices like wireless headphones or car systems are the culprit behind the unwanted audio. Temporarily disconnect these devices one by one to see if the random music stops playing when a particular device is disconnected. If the music stops after disconnecting a specific Bluetooth device, then that device could be automatically playing music stored on its internal memory.

According to this Reddit thread, Bluetooth earbuds can sometimes autoplay stored tracks when connected to your phone. Try uninstalling and reinstalling the app for your Bluetooth device to ensure latest software and proper device functionality.

As a last resort, factory reset the misbehaving Bluetooth accessory per its instruction manual to erase any problematic media files or settings causing the unwanted audio playback through your phone speakers.

Factory Reset

As a final step to resolve random music playing on your Android device, you may need to perform a factory reset. This should only be done as a last resort if none of the previous troubleshooting steps have resolved the issue.

According to the Reddit thread, a factory reset means you’ll have to download and set up all your apps again. So while it’s an effective way to eliminate any problematic files causing the random music, it can be inconvenient.

Before resetting, be sure to backup important data. Then go to your device Settings > General management > Reset > Factory data reset. This will wipe your device and restore factory settings, which should stop any random music issues.

Only use a full factory reset if nothing else has worked. For most users, one of the troubleshooting tips above should successfully address random or strange music playing from your Android device.


If your Android device is suddenly playing random music for no reason, there are a few issues that could be causing it and troubleshooting steps to try:

First, check your audio and media apps and try updating them or clearing the app caches. This can help if it’s been caused by a glitch in an app.

You’ll also want to disable the Media Scanner service in developer options, which can sometimes get stuck and begin playing music unexpectedly.

Check notification and connected Bluetooth device settings too, as these can sometimes inadvertently start playing media.

As a last resort, doing an Android factory reset will almost certainly resolve any random music issues, but try the easier software fixes first.

In the vast majority of cases, this shouldn’t require getting a replacement device. It’s typically caused by an app glitch, software settings, or temporary operating system issues – all resolvable through a little troubleshooting and patience.

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