Common Spotify problems and how to fix them

Spotify is perhaps the most popular music streaming service in the world, with over 200 million subscribers, an easy-to-use interface, some pretty great music discoveries, and an ever-growing lineup of fun new features like an AI-powered DJ. But the downside of all these innovations is that there is a longer list of Spotify issues and problems that can crop up that can interfere with your listening session.

Lost your playlists? App keeps crashing? Is the sound bad? Accidentally deleted your playlist? We have some simple solutions to these and many other common Spotify problems in the paragraphs below. See which solutions solve your Spotify problems.

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Is Spotify broken? Check out Downdetector

Spotify’s platform is usually pretty stable, but it crashes occasionally. If you suspect their servers are the main problem, it would be a good idea to head over to Downdetector and see if there has been an uptick in reports lately. If the problem is on the Spotify side, the best solution is to just wait for the service to come back online.

Marshall Emberton

Simon Cohen / Digital trends

No Spotify audio

So you pressed play expecting to hear the opening riff Again in black and got nothing. Boo. This can happen for a number of reasons. Start with the basics!

Step 1: Check the volume sliders on Spotify and your device to make sure the sound is turned up and not muted.

Step 2: Also check the speaker or headphone connections. Check your device settings and Spotify settings to make sure you’re connected to the right audio outputs, such as your Sonos, headphones or Bluetooth speaker.

Step 3: On your mobile devices, check your device’s audio settings to make sure you don’t have your media volume turned down if there are different sliders for, for example, phone calls and music or video.

Step 4: If nothing is obviously wrong, double-check the Spotify app to make sure it hasn’t frozen. Try logging out of the app and logging back in to see if this fixes things.

Spotify sounds weird or just bad

Sometimes Spotify has problems with crackling or stuttering. Here’s how to fix it.

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Step 1: First, check for internet connection issues — areas with poor Wi-Fi, for example, can cause erratic playback.

Step 2: If your internet is fine, open the Spotify app. Choose More > Viewthen check it out Hardware acceleration is included. This can often solve any sound problems you may be having.

Step 3: Finally, try restarting the device you are using and restart it to see if that fixes the problem. If hardware acceleration is already turned on, try turning it off instead — it can cause problems on computers that don’t need it.

Spotify's Recover playlist page.

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I accidentally deleted my Spotify playlist

Don’t worry, your playlists aren’t that easy to delete. Here’s how to restore them.

Step 1: Go to the Spotify website, log in to your account and select from the drop-down menu Account overview to access your account overview.

Step 2: Select the menu option that says Playlist recovery.

Step 3: Here you will see a list of recently deleted playlists. Find the one(s) you want and select Return.

How to download music and podcasts from Spotify: Download plpaylist.

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Unable to download songs

With Spotify Premium, you get the option to download songs to listen to later even when you’re offline, which is great for flights or when you’re offline. Spotify only lets you download up to 10,000 songs at a time, so if you’ve gone over that, this might be your answer and you’ll need to delete some stuff.

Also, if you still can’t download, try these fixes.

Step 1: Try restarting your device first and see if that clears things up. On your Android device, go to settings > applications > Spotify. Here, select options for Clear cache and clear data.

Step 2: On your iPhone or iOS device, go to settings and Storage and then Clear the cache. On desktop apps, it’s more or less the same — go to Spotify settings and scroll down to find Clear the cache Choice.

Step 3: If you have any monitoring or maintenance apps running in the background, they can also prevent the download process. Disable them before downloading to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Step 4: Finally, try to completely delete the Spotify app and reinstall it on your device. This can act as a kind of soft restart that can fix problems, including download problems.

Spotify desktop app with Daily Mix 1 open.

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Spotify features such as Daily Mixes are not displayed

Features like Daily Mixes are great for finding new recommendations or playing an assortment of music, but they don’t always display as they should. If you notice they are missing, log out of your Spotify account and then log back in. This usually solves the problem. If the features still don’t appear, try deleting the Spotify app and reinstalling it.

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Spotify error code 17.

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Windows reports error code 17

This was the infamous error code that Windows users got a few years ago, accompanied by a message saying that Spotify could not be started. This problem is not so common nowadays, but it can still happen, especially for those using older versions of Windows. The problem could be because your computer’s firewall is blocking it, the app may not have been downloaded correctly, or Spotify may not be available in your region.

If you have a brand new computer, people have had good results by deleting their current login account and starting over with a different Windows account, then reinstalling Spotify there.

If you have any disk cleanup applications, run them and use your own Windows cleanup method to see if that helps. Also check your drivers to see if any need updating as well. You can also use the Spotify web app version, which won’t have the same problem.

Windows reports error code 18

This is another common Windows error that users encounter. This means you can’t use Spotify because it’s already running as a background app (or at least Windows thinks it is). Here’s how to fix the problem.

Step 1: First, if you can open Spotify app, go to settings > Advanced settingsand then look for the option that says Window startup and behavior.

Step 2: Make sure Spotify is turned off as a startup app by selecting it Not. You can also manage startup/background apps in applications section of settings on Windows 10.

Step 3: Now delete the Spotify app, restart your computer and reinstall it.

Rick Astley artist page on Spotify on iPhone.

Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

The Spotify mobile app keeps crashing

Pop in the wireless headphones, whip out your smartphone and fire up Spotify for some tunes, but a few seconds later it just crashes. And again. And again. Here’s what to do.

Step 1: Try logging out first and then logging back in to see if that fixes the problem.

Step 2: Then try to force close the app and restart it. Or reboot your phone completely.

Step 3: Make sure your phone’s operating system and Spotify app are fully updated.

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Step 4: Wipe the device cache. If you have an Android device, go to settings > applications > Spotify > Storage and cache. Here you will be able to choose Clear the cachewhich can solve various problems on this platform.

If you have an iPhone, go to settings > Storage and then Clear the cache.

Step 5: Uninstall and reinstall Spotify.

Step 6: Check Downdetector for Spotify crashes.

Step 7: If that fails, you can also try resetting the device’s network settings. But this is a last resort as it will reset your Wi-Fi names and passwords, Bluetooth devices you’ve connected to, VPN profiles and cellular network settings.

If you choose to do so, on iPhone go to settings > In general and scroll to the very bottom to find Transfer or reset your iPhone. Then choose Reset and choose Reset network settings.

On your Android device, open the app drawer and select settings > System and then Reset options. Then choose Reset Wi-Fi, cellular and Bluetooth.

Step 8: You can also try disabling hardware acceleration if the problem occurs on a Mac or PC.

An iPhone with the Spotify app open playing a Pearl Jam video.

Derek Malcolm/Digital Trends

Spotify keeps kicking me out while playing songs

If Spotify seems to be working but keeps stopping your music or signing you out unexpectedly, a shared account is often the cause. Have you shared your Spotify login so they can listen to all your songs too? It’s an understandable practice, but individual Spotify accounts are designed to be used by just one person.

This means that if you’re listening to music and the person you shared your account with starts using Spotify on their device, Spotify will kick you out (and vice versa). No simultaneous streaming allowed.

There are only a few options to solve this problem. First, you can follow another person’s Spotify profile, allowing you to listen to their playlists without the hassle of an account. Second, you can upgrade to a family plan, which allows several people to listen to Spotify at the same time. You also have the option to get Spotify Premium or share individual playlists with people whenever you want.

Screen from Spotify on how to put it in offline mode.

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Spotify only plays downloaded music and podcasts

If you’ve read the guide on how to download music from Spotify, you’ve probably encountered this problem. The good news is that there is a likely cause and it’s easy to fix.

Step 1: First, however, the problem could be that you are not connected to the Internet or there is a problem with your connection. Check that first.

Step 2: Internet OK? Okay, so the problem could be that your Spotify app is in offline mode, which only allows you to play downloaded content.

Step 3: To return to online mode, go to settings and turn Offline mode off.

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