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Ask an expert: offline music playback on Apple Watch

No time to drop into the Apple Store and ask the Genius Bar for help with your iPhone or iPad? Maybe one of our resident experts can help!

As Apple nerds, we get asked a lot of tech support questions — and some of those questions crop up time and time again. Here’s a recent query that we think will be familiar to many of you.

“Can I save music to my Apple Watch to be played offline?”

If you have an LTE-enabled Apple Watch with its own cell plan, you can stream music anywhere with a strong enough 4G/5G signal. But for those with Wi-Fi only Watches, or patchy service, or download limits, there’s a better way: saving tracks, albums, or entire playlists directly to the device. That way, you can play your saved music back from Apple Watch without an internet connection or paired iPhone in sight.

You’ll need Apple Watch Series 3 or newer and watchOS 7 or higher for this to work.

If you use Apple Music, it’s pretty easy to do. Open the Watch app on your iPhone and choose Music. Navigate to your chosen album or playlist and hit the + button in the top right. You may need to put your Watch on charge with the iPhone nearby for it to sync the songs across, but once that process is complete you’re good to go! Simply use the Music app on the Watch to initiate playback when you’re out and about.

If you use Spotify, a recent update adds similar functionality to its app too – though it’s a bit fiddly as you have to do it from the watch itself. Find the music or podcasts you want to listen to via Spotify‘s Watch app. Tap the button and then Download to Apple Watch. You’ll see a green arrow next to any downloaded tracks – these can then be played offline with no problem!

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