Apple recently released iOS 17.2 beta, which introduces a new Focus Mode feature that allows users to disable Apple Music’s Listening History tracking. This is useful for times when you don’t want your music listening activity to influence Apple Music’s recommendations or be recorded in your profile.
In this guide, I’ll walk you through how to create a custom Focus Mode in iOS 17.2 that turns off Apple Music Listening History, so you can listen privately without impacting your recommendations.
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Before getting started, you’ll need:
- An iPhone running the iOS 17.2 beta. This can be downloaded from Apple’s developer portal if you’re a registered developer.
- The latest version of Apple Music installed from the App Store.
- A subscription to Apple Music, either individual or family. The Listening History feature is only available for subscribers.
Step 1: Download the iOS 17.2 Beta
If you haven’t already, you’ll need to download and install the iOS 17.2 beta on your compatible iPhone. This gives you access to the newest iOS features before the public release.
To get the beta, you’ll need to enroll your device in Apple’s Beta Software Program. The full instructions are beyond the scope of this guide, but essentially you’ll need to:
- Visit beta.apple.com on the device and sign in with your Apple ID.
- Accept the Apple Beta Software Program Agreement.
- Download and install the beta configuration profile.
- Check for software updates to download and install iOS 17.2 beta.
The process takes a few minutes and will get you ready to try out the new features.
Step 2: Open Focus Settings
Once iOS 17.2 beta is installed, we can create our custom Focus Mode. Open the Settings app and go to Focus.
The Focus screen shows existing Focus Modes like Do Not Disturb and Sleep. We’ll make a new one for Apple Music.
Step 3: Create New Focus
Tap the + icon in the top right corner of the Focus screen. This opens the options to create a brand new Focus Mode preset.
You can choose a preset like Personal, Work, or Sleep, but we’ll use Custom to make one specifically for Apple Music.
Step 4: Name and Customize the Focus
On the New Focus screen, give your Focus a name like Apple Music Focus.
You can also give it an emoji icon and color to make it visually identifiable from other Focus Modes.
Tap Next when you’re done customizing.
Step 5: Add Filter for Music
On the next screen, tap Customize Focus to add filters for what content is affected.
Scroll down and tap Add Filter. This will let you choose apps and features to restrict.
Find and tap the Music filter from the list. This targets the Apple Music app.
Step 6: Turn Off Listening History
With the Music filter added, you’ll see options for customizing it.
Find the toggle for Use Listening History and turn it off. This prevents Apple Music listening activity from being saved while the Focus is enabled.
Tap Add in the top right to add this filter and settings to your Focus Mode.
Step 7: Activate the Focus Mode
You’ve now created a custom Focus Mode that stops Apple Music Listening History when enabled!
To turn it on, swipe down from the top right of your iPhone’s screen to open Control Center.
Long press on the Focus icon, then select the Focus you just created from the menu.
Your Focus Mode will activate, and Apple Music listening history will be paused. Play music normally, and it won’t be tracked.
That covers how to create a custom Focus Mode in iOS 17.2 beta that stops Apple Music from recording your listening history. This gives you more privacy and control over your activity data.
The new Focus Mode filters open lots of possibilities for customizing what apps and features are active. Be sure to experiment to find workflows that fit your needs.
Let me know if you have any other questions! I’m happy to help explain further or walk through the steps again.
Summary of Steps
Here’s a quick summary of the steps to activate Apple Music Listening History Focus Mode:
- Download iOS 17.2 beta
- Go to Settings > Focus
- Tap + to create new Focus
- Name Focus and customize
- Add Music filter
- Turn off Listening History
- Activate Focus Mode
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will this delete my existing Apple Music listening history?
A: No, creating this Focus Mode does not retroactively erase your listening activity data. It only pauses further tracking when the Focus is enabled going forward.
Q: Can I add other filters besides Music?
A: Absolutely. The Focus customization allows you to add filters for Messages, Mail, Safari, and many other apps. Mix and match to create your ideal modes.
Q: Does this work on Mac too?
A: At the moment, no. The Focus Mode customization is limited to iOS devices. But Apple may expand the feature to Mac in a future software update.
Q: What happens if I disable the Focus Mode later?
A: Listening history tracking will resume normally once you turn the Focus Mode off. No data is lost, it just pauses while enabled.
Here is a quick summary table of the steps:
|1||Download iOS 17.2 beta|
|2||Go to Settings > Focus|
|3||Tap + to create new Focus|
|4||Name Focus and customize|
|5||Add Music filter|
|6||Turn off Listening History|
|7||Activate Focus Mode|