Apple Music Rewind and Fast Forward Not Working (Explained)

In short: Both the Rewind (<<) and Fast Forward (>>) buttons do not work on the iPhone and the iPad when the Apple Music Lossless Audio setting is enabled. Disable Lossless Audio and the onscreen controls should work just fine.

You can tap the Rewind button (<<) to return to the song’s beginning, or double-tap to play the previous song. You can also rewind the song by touching and holding the icon.

On the other hand, you can tap the Fast Forward (>>) button to skip to the next song. You can also fast-forward through the current song by touching and holding the icon.

However, I’ve heard from many people that the Apple Music rewind and fast-forward functions are not working properly. Here are some things you can do to troubleshoot the issue.

You’re seeing the album or “Up Next” view

I know this sounds very simple, but are you sure you’re seeing the song view? If you’re seeing either the album view or the “Up Next” view, you won’t see Rewind and Fast Forward.

You’ll need to tap the 3 dots and 3 lines icon on the bottom right corner. The song view will pop up, not the album and not the “Up Next” views. Only there can you see the slider bar in iOS 16.

You’ll want to see the icon have no outline, and the dots and lines are white. Whenever the icon is white with black lines, you won’t be able to rewind or fast-forward the song.

Poor network connection

You can’t fast-forward a song on Apple Music when your device has a bad reception. It doesn’t matter whether your device is connected to a Wi-Fi network or cellular data.

When your device doesn’t get a good reception, Apple Music can’t fast-forward a song properly because the later parts of the song have not been loaded yet.

It’s actually quite logical. You can easily rewind the song, but the fast-forward function would seem unresponsive when you have bad reception – it’s as simple as that.

If you’re dealing with this issue, try moving to a different area with better cellular coverage, or connecting to a faster Wi-Fi network. Then, try the fast-forward function.

Lossless audio is enabled

After many trials and errors, I’ve discovered that the Rewind and Fast Forward buttons do not work on the iPhone and the iPad with Apple Music Lossless Audio settings enabled.

This issue happens when you turn on Lossless Audio, and then set the quality for Cellular Streaming, Wi-Fi Streaming, and Downloads to either Lossless or High-Resolution Lossless.

I considered this could be related to streaming and buffering, so I tested this by downloading a song with Lossless Audio, and the Rewind and Fast Forward buttons still did not work.

However, the scrubber bar still allows you to go forward and back as you would expect, which means you can still scrub to any point in a song by dragging the playhead.

The problem for me is that the scrubber is not part of the Apple CarPlay interface. Thus, I am not able to rewind or fast forward within an audio track while driving.

To disable Lossless Audio, open your iPhone’s Settings app and scroll down to tap Music. Under Audio, tap Audio Quality, then make sure the Lossless Audio toggle is off.

You should also set the audio quality for Cellular Streaming, Wi-Fi Streaming, and Downloads to High Quality (make sure NOT TO CHOOSE either Lossless or High-Resolution Lossless).

Once Lossless Audio is disabled (Audio Quality set to High Quality), the Rewind and Fast Forward interface elements come back to life immediately.

I’ve not seen this observation covered anywhere online, so I’m sure you’ve learned a thing or two about the Rewind and Fast Forward buttons not working here in this article.

You can fast-forward lossless audio files using the karaoke function

Lossless compression is a form of compression that preserves all of the original data. It’s basically higher-resolution audio that consumes significantly more data.

I think it’s probably a hardware issue with the larger lossless files, which causes both the rewind and fast-forward functions to not work properly on Apple Music.

Most cellular, and even Wi-Fi bandwidth, may not be enough to support lossless audio properly at this time. There are some bugs that Apple needs to iron out right now.

Interestingly enough, when I switch on the karaoke function, I can fast-forward through songs, although when you use the karaoke function, there are no vocals.

I think there’s actually a second file on the server that is an AAC version (without vocals) of the song, or whatever algorithm that’s used to strip out the vocals and downsampled it to AAC.

Look, I know you probably want to listen to songs, not sing along. I just thought that this was an interesting observation to share with other Apple Music users out there.

For the moment, disabling Lossless Audio is the only workaround that consistently works whenever the Rewind and Fast Forward buttons are not working on Apple Music.

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