Siri may have a problem with locally stored music — here are some tips to fix it

If you’re having trouble playing local songs on your iPhone, you’re not alone. It appears that this may be a common issue in iOS 13.


In fact, it looks like there are several common issues related to Siri and Apple Music that are closely related. Here’s what you should know about the bugs — and how to fix it.

The problem

Siri Local Music 2
The issue is that Siri isn’t properly playing locally stored music on devices, such as those downloaded via iTunes Match.

It seems like people have had trouble getting Siri to play their local songs for quite some time. The first reports of trouble with the digital assistant stretch back to 2015.

In fact, it actually appears that this is several different issues rolled into one.

At some point, Siri had trouble differentiating between Apple Music-related commands and local music commands.

Back in 2018, one person had trouble playing their local tracks after trying Apple Music for a day. That suggests signing up for Apple Music may irrevocably change a Siri setting. And there doesn’t appear to be a way to get it back.

Now, it looks like there may be a bug impacting iOS 13 that’s causing a similar issue. Just recently, an iTunes Match user reported trouble getting Siri to play content after downloading iOS 13.

How to fix it

Siri Local Music
Try adding “from my library” to your Siri music commands. It may help.

One thing you can try is to add some context for Siri. Instead of saying, “Hey Siri, play Miles Davis” trying adding “from my library” to the sentence. For example: “Hey Siri, play The Clash from my library.”

Other users have had success adding songs to an untitled playlist and saying “Hey Siri, play untitled playlist.”

Lastly, if you recently experienced this bug after signing up for Apple Music, try letting the current billing period or free trial expire. Once it does, try playing local tracks again.

If none of those work, then you may want to try some basic troubleshooting steps.

  • Restart your device — this can fix quite a few tips.
  • You may also want to toggle cellular data and Wi-Fi off and on.
  • Try signing out of your iCloud account by going to Settings —> Your Apple ID —> Sign Out. Then, sign back in.
  • It may also be worth heading over to Settings —> Siri & Search. Once there, hit the toggles next to Listen for “Hey Siri,” Press Home for Siri and Allow Siri when Locked. This will disable Siri. Once you do, turn them all back on.
  • As a last resort, you can try backing up your device and then restoring it completely.

If all else fails, then you may be out of luck. It seems like this could easily be an oversight on Apple’s part because they assume everyone will prefer Apple Music to local files.

Of course, you can try submitting feedback to Apple’s team. They may resolve the issue in a future update to iOS.

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