www.androidpolice.com How to access Now Playing history on a Google Pixel device

www.androidpolice.com How to access Now Playing history on a Google Pixel device

The Google Pixel devices are among the best Android phones available and are capable of some magical things, including some exclusive features that none of their competitors have access to. One such feature is Now Playing, which uses your smartphone's microphones to listen out for music, identify the song title and artist, and display it on your lock screen, all without you having to lift a finger. It's all very convenient and serves as an excellent way to bolster your favorite Spotify playlists with new songs that you would have ordinarily just forgotten about. Of course, we're not always in a position to immediately add a song to our playlist the moment it pops up on our lock screens. That's where your Now Playing history becomes an absolute life-saver. It just takes a bit of digging in your settings to find it.


These features are only available on the Pixel 2 and later, and all devices need to be running Android 10 or later to access them. And while the core Now Playing feature is available for the Pixel 2 series, you'll need a Pixel 3a and above to favorite songs.

Accessing Now Playing History

1. To find the list of songs your Pixel phone has picked up with the Now Playing feature, open your Settings and go to Sound and Vibration.

2. Within the Sound & Vibration menu, scroll down and you'll find the Now Playing' option. It'll be tucked between the Adaptive Sound and Media options.

3. Now all you need to do is tap Now Playing History within this menu. It'll be directly below the Show search button on the lock screen option that was recently added in as part of the December Android 12 update.

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4. On this screen, you should now find a complete list of all the songs that Now Playing has identified since your phone has had the feature enabled.

www.androidpolice.com How to access Now Playing history on a Google Pixel device

5. You can tap on a song in the list and receive options to play the song on Spotify, YouTube, and YouTube Music. You can also add it to your Liked Songs on YouTube Music, if you use this feature as a playlist.

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Adding a Now Playing shortcut to your home screen

On the Now Playing history screen, tap the three-dot menu in the upper right-hand corner and tap Add to home screen.

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This way, you can just tap the icon on your home screen and immediately be taken to the list, rather than having to navigate through the system settings.

Search button on the lock screen

Another setting on the Now Playing screen within your system settings is the Search button on the lock screen option. This adds a small magnifying glass icon with a musical note inside it onto your lock screen.

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When a song is playing nearby and your phone doesn't automatically detect it, you can then tap this icon and your phone will send relevant audio information to Google to identify what song is playing.

If you're looking for more handy Pixel tips, we've got five settings shortcuts you should be using on your Google Pixel home screen, Pixel tricks to make your Google phone even smarter, and even a comprehensive list of the best end-to-end encrypted messaging apps for your Android phone.

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Read NextShareTweetEmailRelated TopicsAbout The AuthorChris Jecks(12 Articles Published)

Chris has been a passionate Android fan since the Samsung Galaxy S5 days. Since then, he's long championed the Google Pixel line of phones and believes they're the best Android phone you can get. Having left his full-time job back in 2016, Chris has been writing about games and technology for over 5 years around the web. In his spare time, he can be found drowning in a backlog of games, catching up on the latest Netflix craze, or snapping photos in the great outdoors.

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