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How to filter out explicit songs on Spotify

Section off songs with superfluous swearing in seconds!
January 11, 2022

There is a lot of content on Spotify, and not all of it is made equal. The Spotify library consists of many clean songs and family-friendly listening material, as well as “explicit content.” Before diving too deep into Spotify, you should first know what explicit means on Spotify and how to turn it on or off.

Read more: What is a private session on Spotify?


To turn explicit content on or off on Spotify for Android or iOS, go to Home and then Settings. From there, scroll down until you hit the Playback section, and then turn Allow Explicit Content on or off as you please.

To turn explicit content on or off on Spotify for desktop, open the display name dropdown and click Settings. From there, find the Explicit content slider and turn it on or off as you please.


What does “explicit” mean on Spotify?

Since 1985, music deemed unsuitable for younger audiences has been stamped with a little black and white warning label that reads “Parental Advisory Explicit Content.” Songs and albums are forced to wear this if they contain strong or discriminatory language, reference violence or abuse, or contain sexual themes. Anything that could be considered objectionable by listeners will likely be deemed “explicit.”

On Spotify, explicit material is marked either with an E symbol or an EXPLICIT tag. For example, the Au5 remix of “Piece Of Me (feat. LOVA)” seen below has the E symbol next to the artists’ names. This means the song is recognized as explicit by Spotify.

explicit example on spotify desktop
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

How to turn explicit on or off on Spotify (Android and iOS)

Turning explicit content on or off on Spotify uses their filter feature. The first thing you need to do is open the Spotify mobile app. From Home, select the gear-shaped button in the top right to open Settings.

Spotify mobile home screen explicit step 1
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

In Settings, go down to the Playback section. In there, you will find an Allow Explicit Content slider that you can toggle on and off. If off, only clean songs will be displayed; if on, then songs marked as explicit will be displayed.

Spotify mobile explicit step 2
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

How to turn explicit on or off on Spotify (desktop)

You cannot access settings from the Spotify web player. To turn explicit content on or off on the Spotify desktop app, open the Spotify desktop app, open the display name dropdown, and go to Settings. Under Explicit content, there is a slider that you can toggle on or off.

Explicit Desktop Spotify
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

Read more: How to download music from Spotify


How do you report an explicit song to Spotify?

According to Spotify, not all explicit content on the platform is tagged as such. The reason for this is that “[the content they can feasibly tag as explicit] depends on information [they] get from rights-holders.” The only known way to report a song you believe to be mislabeled as clean when the content is clearly explicit is to fill out a contact form.

  • Select I want to report a broken song or wrong song information.
  • Select the green I STILL NEED HELP button.
  • Paste the Spotify URI link to the song in question in the field marked Song URI.
  • In the field titled Tell us more, explain how you believe the track to be mislabeled and why it should be marked as explicit.
  • Select the green SEND QUESTION button.

Is it possible to listen to clean versions of songs tagged as explicit?

Yes, but only if clean versions are available on the platform. On the Spotify app for Android, iOS, or desktop, go to the Search bar and enter the title of the explicit song. If a version of the song comes up without the explicit tag, you have found a clean version of the song. These clean and explicit versions are typically released in pairs.

If a different version of an album has been released, on the desktop app, you can scroll down to the bottom of an album and look for MORE RELEASES.