How To: Shuffle YouTube Music Playlists in the New Playlist UI

Shuffle YouTube Music Playlists in the New Playlist UI

YouTube Music just refreshed the user interface for playlists, seemingly taking away the ability to shuffle the songs in your playlists. While the update has been rolling out for months, you might just be getting the updated look on your smartphone, and there's no giant "Shuffle" button like there was before. But that doesn't mean there's no more shuffling.

When Google anointed YouTube Music as the successor to Google Play Music, which shuttered in 2020, the music streaming service did not seem ready for prime time. YouTube Music has since gained many new features and improvements that match, if not surpass, its predecessor and competing services. Personally, I find that the queue management features of YouTube Music far exceed those of Apple Music and Spotify.

However, at times, the constant tinkering brings about less desirable outcomes. For instance, a refresh of the playlist UI, rolling out to Android phones now and possibly to iPhones soon, hides the "Shuffle" button. It may not be in-your-face big anymore, but it's definitely still there.

Step 1: Update Your App

The new playlist UI appears via a server-side update rather than an app update, but it's always good to ensure you're running the latest YouTube Music version to get all the hottest new features.

The change has not made its way to the iOS version of the app, but it may come at any time. Also, albums maintain the previous look, so you'll still see the giant Shuffle button below the album cover.

  • Install YouTube Music: Android (free) | iOS (free)

Step 2: Select a Playlist

Find a playlist you want to listen to, which you'll find in two areas. First, you'll discover computer-generated mixes and a curated selection of playlists from your library under the Home tab. Second, all the playlists you've created are visible under the Library tab.

Step 3: Shuffle the Playlist

In the old layout (left screenshot below), all you'd have to do is hit the big Shuffle button. The button is gone in the new design, but it's just an extra tap away.

Select the overflow (the vertical ellipsis) menu to the right of the share button, then tap the "Shuffle playlist" option from the list that appears (right screenshot below). You could also use the overflow menu to shuffle songs before the revamped UI, but there was no need to use it since the humungous Shuffle button was always available right away.

Alternate Methods

  • Just hit Play: Since the Play button is right there, you might find it easier to press it and then toggle the Shuffle option to the left of the play button in the Now Playing screen. It's the same level of effort.
  • Use Hey Google: If you use Google Assistant, you can say "Hey Google, shuffle [playlist name]" from any screen. Technically, this is the easiest option, but it works only if you already know which playlist you want. If YouTube Music isn't your default music service for Google Assistant, you'll need to add "on YouTube Music" to the end of your verbal command.
  • Shuffle from the lists view: When viewing your list of playlists in the Library tab, you can tap the overflow menu button to the right of the playlist you want to shuffle and select "Shuffle play" from the list that appears. You can also long-press the playlist to find the "Shuffle play" option, which also works when browsing playlists on the Home tab.

Just updated your iPhone? You'll find new features for Podcasts, News, Books, and TV, as well as important security improvements and fresh wallpapers. Find out what's new and changed on your iPhone with the iOS 17.5 update.

Cover photo and screenshots by Tommy Palladino/Gadget Hacks

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