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How to solve common Spotify problems

You can probably be up and listening in a matter of minutes.
October 12, 2022
Spotify stock photo 4
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

It’s safe to say that Spotify remains the global king of music streaming services, despite challengers like Apple, Amazon, and Google. Much of this can be attributed to solid mobile and desktop apps for multiple platforms, but even the best apps break or run into conflicts. Check out some common Spotify problems below, and more importantly, how to fix them.

Read also: How to hide and unhide songs on Spotify

Spotify login isn’t working

Spotify stock photo 12
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

There are a few potential reasons login might fail. As a first step, remember to use the same login method you used when creating your Spotify account — if you used Facebook, hit that button, and the same applies for Apple- and Google-based sign-ins. Only use  manual email address and password entry if you created a separate Spotify login.

If you’ve traveled or relocated to another country, it could be that you need to change country settings on your profile webpage. This isn’t likely to be an issue though, especially if you’re in Canada or the US.

More likely is that you’ve forgotten your password, or that you deactivated the platform you previously used for logins. Either way you’ll want to reset your password by visiting Spotify’s web form, or following in-app prompts.

Spotify downloads aren’t working

One of the perks of Spotify Premium is the ability to cache music for offline listening. Sometimes, though, downloads may not go through, leaving you in the lurch during a trip or workout.

It’s important to know that by default, the Spotify mobile app will only download playlists when your device is connected to Wi-Fi. Cellular downloads can be slow or unreliable, and run the risk of blowing through data caps where carriers impose them. To use cellular regardless:

  • Go to the Home tab.
  • Tap Settings, then Audio Quality.
  • Under the Download section, toggle on Download Using Cellular. Note that even with it on, you’ll need to keep Spotify open, and your phone unlocked and active — downloads will pause after two minutes of idling.

Other obstacles can include Spotify’s five-device download limit, or running out of local storage space. To make room, delete unused files or apps on your device, and unsync any downloaded Spotify playlists you don’t care about. You can remove all Spotify downloads at once via Settings > Storage > Remove all downloads.

The Storage menu also offers a Clear cache button, which removes hotswap files without deleting music. Chances are, though, that this will make a relatively small dent.

Finally Spotify cautions that you should turn off any separate cache-clearing or battery-saving apps, which can potentially interfere.

Related: How to upload music to Spotify

Spotify keeps crashing

Spotify on a phone next to a guitar
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

This is probably the toughest one to diagnose, since many factors could be involved.

If Spotify is simply frozen instead of quitting to your homescreen or desktop, the solution could be as simple as force-quitting the app then relaunching. Sometimes apps are prone to glitches under unique circumstances, say if a high-demand app is running in the background.

If that doesn’t help, make sure both the Spotify app and your device’s operating system are fully updated. The developers of both are regularly quashing bugs and enabling compatibility with new hardware and software. In rarer circumstances it could be that your hardware is too old to handle Spotify alongside other apps, but as a rule, Spotify isn’t that demanding.

Chances are the above steps will solve crashes if it’s at all possible. Should trouble persist, try deleting and reinstalling Spotify, disabling any low-power modes on your device, or clearing up storage space using the methods highlighted in the previous section. The latter two steps can potentially fix performance-related crashes.

Spotify offline content isn’t playing

Spotify stock photo 8
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

If you’ve successfully downloaded music to a device with Spotify Premium, it’s almost guaranteed to play without a hitch. If it’s not playing, then, the most likely explanation is that your downloads have been automatically removed. That can happen for four reasons:

  • You haven’t gone online in 30 days.
  • You’ve downloaded music to five other devices. After that, Spotify automatically deletes downloads from the device you’ve used least recently.
  • The Spotify app isn’t up-to-date.
  • You’ve reinstalled the app.

Another possibility is that if you saved music to external storage like an SD card, there might a hardware malfunction, in which case you’ll have to re-download music to a new card/drive or your device’s internal storage.

If your downloads have disappeared for any reason, you should be able to re-download and them as long as you have enough free storage. If playback still isn’t working, all you can do is try restarting the app or manually deleting your downloads and caching them again.

Spotify can’t connect to my speaker or TV

Pictured is the gray Google Nest Audio on a bookshelf with the lights blinking.
Adam Molina / Android Authority

Integral to Spotify is a technology called Spotify Connect, which lets you push audio from one device to another while controlling it from any phone, tablet, watch, or computer linked to your account. Normally, any speakers, TVs, or consoles that support Connect should show up for selection as long as they’re on the same Wi-Fi network as you.

That’s a big hint, of course. It’s possible that your target device has dropped off Wi-Fi, whether because of weak signal or an oversaturated router. Wi-Fi 5 routers in particular can have trouble with the dozens of connections in modern homes, in which case it may be necessary to disconnect some products or upgrade to a router with Wi-Fi 6.

Signal strength issues may require buying a Wi-Fi extender or a mesh router, but not necessarily. First, troubleshoot by making sure both your router and target device are out in the open, meaning they’re not immediately hindered by objects or being hidden in a cabinet or closet. You might also try moving the devices closer together if it’s practical. Once you’ve gone through these steps, restart Spotify before checking your Connect device list again.

If a target device remains unlisted, problems could lie on its end. Try rebooting it. If it still doesn’t appear in Connect, check its connection status using first-party mobile or on-device apps, and make sure it’s not blocked by Wi-Fi settings (such as router- or Windows-based firewalls). Conceivably you might have to change a device’s settings and/or manually link it with Spotify to make it discoverable. The configuration process will vary from product to product.

Read more: General troubleshooting for Spotify problems