How To: Make Siri Use YouTube Music as the Default Player Instead of Apple Music

Make Siri Use YouTube Music as the Default Player Instead of Apple Music

If you're a YouTube Music fan, you know that it can be frustrating to use on an iPhone since it's not as integrated with Siri as Apple Music is. You need to ask Siri to play songs specifically on YouTube Music every time you want to listen to something new. Well, that's how it used to be since Apple now lets you set YouTube Music as the default music app for Siri.

It's part of Apple's iOS 14.5 update, which promises to be the most substantial iOS upgrade since the big 14.0 update last fall. The new change for Siri in iOS 14.5 doesn't just apply to YouTube Music — it also lets you set other audio apps as your default player, like Spotify, Deezer, and Pandora. You can even choose podcast and audiobook apps as your default, which shows how versatile this new feature can be.

Apple is currently beta testing iOS 14.5 and all its new features, including setting a default music player for Siri, so it isn't what we'd call a "finished" product yet. In fact, we were only able to get this option up and running on the public beta and not the developer version. Go figure.

Option 1: Ask Siri Without Specifying a Music App

One option for choosing YouTube Music as the default player is simply asking Siri to start playing a song, artist, or album without specifying the app. Your iPhone will then show you a list of all available audio apps to play that song from. Just tap "YouTube Music" to proceed.

If you haven't enabled the "Use with Ask Siri" switch in YouTube Music's "Siri & Search" settings yet, you'll see a prompt that says, "I'll need to access your Spotify data to do this. Is that OK?" Tap "Yes" to continue.

This list appears when telling Siri to play something for the first time after updating to iOS 14.5, but you may see it occasionally appear otherwise.

Choosing YTM to be the default (left); iOS treating YTM as default (right).

Option 2: Ask Siri to Play a Song from YouTube Music

If you don't want to tap your selection, you can just speak it instead. Just ask Siri to play a song, artist, or album from YouTube Music. If this is the first time you're asking Siri to play from YouTube Music, iOS will choose it as your default music app without confirmation that it has done so. Your confirmation is being able to play music from the app with Siri without specifying the app.

Again, if you haven't enabled YouTube Music's "Use with Ask Siri" setting in "Siri & Search," you'll need to tap "Yes" on the prompt that reads "I'll need to access your YouTube Music data to do this. Is that OK?"

Remember: This Feature Is in Beta Testing

Just a reminder, if you do check out this feature, it certainly isn't stable at the moment. You might notice that the list of audio players doesn't appear for you or that iOS reverts back to Apple Music even after specifying YouTube Music as the default. There's also no option in the Settings app under Music, Siri & Search, or YouTube Music like there is when changing your default email client or web browser. Future updates to iOS 14.5 should resolve these issues.

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Cover photo and GIFs by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks

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