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Common Spotify problems and how to fix them

Few things are more frustrating than a sudden problem that takes your music away. While Spotify is a useful music app in many ways, it does run into issues from time to time — and that can mean a sudden loss of audio or missing songs.

If that’s happening to you, our guide will go over the most common problems, what’s causing them, and what you can do to get back to the music ASAP. Take a look and see what solutions address your Spotify worries!

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Note: Spotify’s platform tends to be pretty stable, but it does crash occasionally. If you suspect their servers are the main issue, it’s a good idea to head to Downdetector and see if there’s an increased spike of reports recently. If the problem is on their end, the best solution is to just wait for the service to get back online.

Spotify Wrapped 2020

Wrapped stories aren’t working

Spotify’s newer Wrapped feature allows you to check stats and play slideshows/playlists that showcase your musical experience over the past year. That’s fun, but the feature hasn’t worked for some people. Many find that trying to watch their Wrapped story crashes the Spotify app or that it simply refuses to run. Unfortunately, there’s not much to do about this right now: Spotify has acknowledged the issues and is looking for bugs that are causing the problems. The service is also asking people to vote on the Wrapped issue so they have more data to work with.

There’s no Spotify sound

Start with the basics! Check the volume sliders on both Spotify and your device to make sure that the volume is turned up and not muted. Check your speaker or headphone connections. If nothing is obviously wrong, double-check the Spotify app to make sure it hasn’t frozen up. Try logging out of the app and logging back in to see if this fixes things.

Spotify songs sound crackly or indistinct

Sometimes Spotify has issues with crackly or stuttering playback. The first step is to see if your internet connection could be struggling — areas with poor Wi-Fi, for example, could create patchy playback.

If your internet is fine, head into the Spotify app. Choose More > View, then check to see that Hardware Acceleration is turned on. This can often fix frequent sound issues you may be having.

Finally, try rebooting the device you are using and start up again to see if this fixes the problem. If Hardware Acceleration is already on, try turning it off instead — it can cause issues on computers that don’t need it.

A Spotify playlist was accidentally deleted

Don’t worry, your playlist isn’t that easy to erase. Go to Spotify’s website and log into your account. In your Account Overview, select the menu option that says Recover Playlists. You will be able to choose your deleted playlist here and restore it — this is a fairly common occurrence, and Spotify is ready for it.

How to recover a playlist in Spotify

Unable to download songs

Typically, Spotify has a premium option that allows you to download songs for listening later even when you are offline. If you are no longer able to download songs, try rebooting your device first and see if that clears things up. If you have an Android device, you should also head to Settings > Apps > Spotify. Here, select options to Clear Cache and Clear Data.

If you have any monitoring or housekeeping apps running in the background, they may be preventing the download process, too. Disable them before downloading to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Finally, try deleting the Spotify app entirely and re-installing it on your device. This can act as a sort of soft reboot that can fix problems, including issues with downloading.

Spotify Mobile

Cannot turn local playlists into Spotify playlists

In previous iterations, you could drag and drop playlists from your local computer hard drive into Spotify to create a Spotify copy that you could listen to from anywhere. The current version of Spotify still lets you do this, but the old drag-and-drop method does not work. Instead, go up to your Menu while in the Spotify app and go to Preferences (this is found under the primary Spotify tab in Mac and under the Edit tab in Windows). Select Local Files. You can then search for your music files and add playlists as needed. It’s clunkier, but it’s the only way to do it for now.

Spotify features like Daily Mixes don’t show up

Features like Daily Mixes are great for finding new recommendations or playing an assortment of music, but they don’t always show up like they’re supposed to. If you notice that they’re missing, log out of your Spotify account and then log back in. This usually fixes the issue. If features still aren’t appearing, try deleting the Spotify app and re-installing it.

Windows reports an Error Code 17

This was an infamous error code Windows users got several years ago, accompanied by a message that stated Spotify could not be started. This problem isn’t as common these days, but it can still happen, especially for those running older versions of Windows. If it’s a brand new computer, people have had good results by deleting their current login account and starting over with another Windows account, then re-installing Spotify there. If you have any disk cleanup apps, run them and use Windows’ own clean-up method to see if that helps. Check drivers to see if any need updates, too. You can also use the web app version of Spotify, which won’t suffer from the same problem.

Windows reports an Error Code 18

This is another common Windows error that users come across. It means you can’t use Spotify because it’s already running as a background app (or at least Windows thinks it is). First, if you are able to open the Spotify app, go to Settings > Advanced Settings, and then look for the option that says Startup and Window Behavior. Make sure that Spotify is turned off as a Startup app by selecting No. You can also manage startup/background apps in the Apps section of Settings on Windows 10.

Now, delete the Spotify app, reboot your computer, and install it again.

Spotify on mobile keeps crashing

First, try logging off and then signing back in to see if this fixes the problem. Make sure that your operating system and the Spotify app are both fully updated. If you have an Android device, head to Settings > AppsSpotify > Storage and Cache. Here, you will be able to select Clear Cache, which can solve a variety of problems on this platform.

Cannot mute Spotify ads

Spotify really doesn’t want you to mute its ads. If you try it on the desktop app, Spotify will simply pause the ad until you unmute or raise the volume. If the ad breaks are driving you crazy and you don’t want to pay for a premium account, you have two choices. One option is to use the web app instead, which does let you mute ads manually without pausing. Another option is to try the SpotMute extension — it doesn’t work in every instance, but some people have found it an effective way to mute ads no matter what app they’re using.

Spotify for Windows 10 Screenshot

Spotify keeps kicking you out while playing songs

If Spotify appears to be working but keeps stopping your music or logging you off unexpectedly, a common cause is a shared account. Have you shared your Spotify login information so they can also listen to all your tunes? It’s an understandable practice, but individual Spotify accounts are only designed to be used by one person.

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

There are only a couple of options to solve this. First, you could follow another person’s profile on Spotify, which allows you to listen to their playlists without running into account issues. Second, you can upgrade to the Family Plan, which allows several people to listen to Spotify simultaneously. You also have the option to get Spotify Premium or share individual playlists with people whenever you want.

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