Why is my music app not showing on Android Auto?

Android Auto is Google’s in-car infotainment system that allows drivers to access apps and services from their Android phone on a vehicle’s display screen. It aims to provide a safer and more seamless driving experience by limiting interactions with the phone and optimizing apps for voice commands and car controls.

One common issue that Android Auto users report is that their preferred music apps do not show up in Android Auto. When connected, Android Auto is supposed to display all media apps installed on the linked Android device. However, in some cases, certain music apps are missing from the Android Auto interface even if they are installed on the phone.

Common Causes

There are several common reasons why a music app may not be showing up in Android Auto:

Outdated App or Android Auto Version – If the app or Android Auto is not updated to the latest version, there may be compatibility issues preventing the app from appearing. Make sure both the app and Android Auto are fully updated.

App Not Optimized for Android Auto – The app needs to be designed to work with Android Auto. If it is not optimized, Android Auto may not detect it or allow it to be displayed. Check if the app says it supports Android Auto.

Connectivity Issues – Problems with the connection between the phone and car unit can prevent apps from displaying properly in Android Auto. Check that Bluetooth, WiFi, or USB connections are solid.

Restricted Apps in Android Auto Settings – Android Auto allows you to restrict certain apps from showing. Check settings to see if the app was disabled. You may need to enable it to allow the app to appear.

Updating the App and Android Auto

One of the most common reasons a music app may not be showing in Android Auto is because the app or Android Auto is not up to date. Android Auto will only display compatible apps, so it’s important to ensure you have installed the latest versions.

To update the music app, go to the Google Play Store on your Android phone and search for the app. If an update is available, you’ll see an “Update” button. Tap this to download the latest version. You can also enable auto-updates for your apps in the Play Store settings.

To update Android Auto, you’ll need to download the latest APK file and manually install it. You can find the newest Android Auto APK from trusted sites like Auto Evolution and Infotainment Guide. Follow the instructions to download and install the APK on your device. This will ensure you’re running the most recent release of Android Auto.

Once you’ve updated both the music app and Android Auto to their newest versions, reconnect your phone to your car’s infotainment system. The app should now appear within Android Auto. Keeping your apps and Android Auto up-to-date is key for compatibility and accessing all the latest features.

App Optimization Issues

One common reason a music app may not show up in Android Auto is that the app is not optimized for the platform. Developers need to follow Android Auto guidelines and implement specific optimizations for their apps to work properly on Android Auto.

For example, popular music streaming services like Spotify and Google Play Music have invested development resources into optimizing their apps for Android Auto. As a result, they work seamlessly in the vehicle infotainment system.

On the other hand, many smaller or lesser-known music apps have not yet added Android Auto support. Unless the developer updates the app with Android Auto optimizations, these apps will not show up as available options within Android Auto, even if they work fine on an Android phone itself.

Checking whether a music app lists Android Auto support and reaching out to the developer to request it are good ways to potentially resolve the issue. However, for apps that currently lack optimizations, switching to a known compatible music service may be necessary to have a fully integrated experience in the car.

Connectivity Issues

Android Auto requires a stable Bluetooth, USB, or WiFi connection between your phone and car in order to function properly. Connectivity issues are one of the most common reasons an Android Auto app may not show up or work correctly.

If you are connecting wirelessly via Bluetooth, check that Bluetooth is enabled on both your phone and car multimedia system. Ensure the two devices are paired properly. Bluetooth connections can sometimes be intermittent, so try unpairing and repairing the devices. Also try moving the phone closer to the car receiver to strengthen the Bluetooth signal.

For wired Android Auto connections via USB, inspect the USB cable to make sure it is not damaged. Try connecting the phone with a different USB cable, preferably the original one that came with your device. Some third-party cables may not transmit data properly. Also plug the USB cable directly into a port on the car rather than through an adapter. Ports directly on the car’s dashboard often provide the most reliable connection.

If using a wireless connection via WiFi, make sure WiFi is enabled on both devices and that they are connected to the same network. Move closer to the car or consider trying a more reliable wired connection instead.

Check for Android Auto updates on your phone in the Play Store. Updates sometimes address connectivity bugs. Also try resetting network settings on your phone to refresh all connections. If issues persist, contact your car dealership or manual for help troubleshooting.

For additional tips, see this guide on resolving Android Auto connectivity issues.

Android Auto App Restrictions

Android Auto allows limiting apps for safety reasons while driving. You can restrict apps from sending notifications and restrict access to apps entirely in Android Auto.

To check your app restrictions settings in Android Auto:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android device.
  2. Tap Connected Devices > Connection Preferences > Android Auto.
  3. Here you can toggle restrictions for certain apps and features like calls, messages, notifications, and keyboard input. Disable any toggles for apps you want to restrict in Android Auto.

This will prevent those apps from displaying notifications or content in Android Auto while still allowing other apps. You can also fully restrict access to certain apps in Android Auto through the app info screen for that app in your Settings. This will disable it entirely in Android Auto.

According to Android’s help page, restricting apps in Android Auto can block potentially distracting apps and content for safety while driving.

Additional Troubleshooting

If your music app still isn’t showing up in Android Auto after trying the steps above, here are some additional troubleshooting steps to try:

Force stop the app and restart it. Open your phone’s Settings app, go to Apps > Select the music app > Force Stop. Then launch the music app again and reconnect your phone to see if it now shows in Android Auto. Sometimes resetting the app can resolve issues.

Clear cache and data for the app. In your phone’s Settings go to Apps > Select the music app > Storage > Clear Cache and Clear Data. This resets the app and removes temporary files that could be causing problems.

Factory reset Android Auto. Open the Android Auto app > Tap the 3 dot menu icon > Tap Settings > Scroll down and select Factory Reset. This will reset Android Auto system data and settings which could resolve the issue. You’ll have to re-setup your connections after resetting. [1]

Contact Developer

If you have tried all of the troubleshooting and fixes but your Android music app still does not work with Android Auto, the next step is to contact the app developer and report the issue. When contacting the developer, make sure to provide key details to help them troubleshoot the problem.

Specify the version of Android and Android Auto you are using, as compatibility issues may arise between certain versions. Also include the make and model of your vehicle and head unit if applicable. Clearly describe the problem you are experiencing, when it occurs, and any error messages that may display.

Most apps have a “Contact Us” or “Report a Problem” section in the app or on their website. You can also try reaching out to the developer through social media or email if available. Provide as many specifics as possible so they can properly investigate the Android Auto integration issue.

By reporting problems directly to the developers, you are helping them identify and fix bugs so the app works better not just for you, but for all users. If enough users submit reports, it will likely prompt the developer team to prioritize a fix for Android Auto compatibility.

Alternative Music Apps

If your preferred music app isn’t working well with Android Auto, here are some recommended alternatives optimized for the platform:

Spotify (www.spotify.com): Spotify is one of the most popular and fully-featured music apps available. It offers over 80 million songs, playlists, podcasts, and more. The Android Auto version provides easy voice controls and large buttons for safe driving.

YouTube Music (music.youtube.com): YouTube Music gives you access to official songs, albums, thousands of playlists and artist radio plus YouTube’s catalog of remixes, live performances, covers and music videos that you can’t find anywhere else.

Amazon Music (www.amazon.com/musicapps): With Amazon Music you get access to over 75 million songs ad-free, thousands of stations and top playlists. The Android Auto optimization provides simple controls, voice search and customized recommendations.

Pandora (www.pandora.com/androidauto): Pandora has a massive music library and uses AI to recommend songs you’ll love. It offers unlimited skips and replays. The Android Auto version seamlessly starts playing music as soon as you start driving.

So if you find your current music app lacking on Android Auto, try one of these popular alternatives designed to provide an exceptional in-car listening experience.


Getting your music apps to show up and work properly in Android Auto can be frustrating, but there are some key troubleshooting steps to try. First, make sure you have updated both the app and Android Auto to their latest versions. Developers frequently release updates to optimize apps for Android Auto compatibility. Keeping the app and Android Auto fully updated is the best way to avoid issues.

You’ll also want to check that the app meets Android Auto’s guidelines and restrictions – certain app features may not be supported. If you still can’t get the app to appear, try uninstalling and reinstalling both the app and Android Auto, and check that your phone is properly connected via USB. Some connectivity problems can prevent full syncing.

As a last resort, you can try contacting the app developer directly to report the issues you’re experiencing. They may be able to provide customized troubleshooting steps or optimize the app further in a future release. Also consider exploring highly-rated alternative music apps that are known to work well with Android Auto.

With some patience and experimentation, you should be able to get your favorite music apps streaming properly during your drives. Just be sure to keep the app and Android Auto updated, and don’t hesitate to provide feedback to the developer if issues persist.

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