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How to download music from Spotify for offline listening

If you're a Spotify Premium user paying that premium Spotify fee, chances are you've taken at least some time curating playlists, liking songs, and using the platform's easy-to-use (and recently revamped) user interface to discover new and old music.

But sometimes all that music or your favorite podcasts aren't available if you find yourself without an internet connection to stream them from — like on a long plane ride or weekend camping trip in the sticks. That's where Spotify's offline listening feature comes in handy, allowing you to download playlists, albums, and podcasts through its desktop and mobile apps so you can still rock out while you're off the grid.

To do this, you need to be a . Free version subscribers can only download podcasts. If you are a Premium subscriber, you can download up to 10,000 tracks to up to five devices, and you have to log in once every 30 days to ensure they're not removed.

It's also worth noting that Spotify doesn't allow you to download individual songs — you have to first add them to, or create, a playlist, which you can then download. You can download full albums, however.

Here's how to download music from Spotify for offline listening. And if you want more details on Spotify, check out our explainer on the service.

Difficulty

Easy

Duration

5 minutes

What You Need

A collage of screengrabs for how to download music and podcasts from Spotify on mobile.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

How to download music from Spotify's mobile app

Grab your smartphone or tablet and launch the Spotify app. Before you start, be sure to set your download preferences to you're liking, depending on your mobile data situation. If you don't want to use your device's mobile data, turn it off first.

Step 1: Go to Settings, Audio Quality, and scroll down to Download.

Step 2: Here you can select the audio quality of your downloads, if you haven't already. If you're only going to be downloading over Wi-Fi, feel free to set the quality to Very high for the best playback.

Step 3: If you're going to turn on the Download Using Cellular option here, you can choose a lower-quality download to save data. If data consumption isn't a concern, choose a higher quality. With this button in the off position, you won't be able to download anything unless you're connected to Wi-Fi.

Step 4: Downloading is dead simple. Simply search for or browse the playlist, album, or podcast you want to download. It can be from anywhere — the Made For section, existing playlists you've created, Daily Mixes, full albums, podcast episodes, you name it (except individual songs).

Step 5: Once selected, all you have to do now is tap the Down arrow icon and the download will begin. Doing this will also add it to your library (the heart icon next to it will fill in).

Step 6: You'll know the download is complete and successful when all of the tracks display a green Down arrow next to them.

How to access your downloaded music on mobile

If you've just had a download frenzy for a long road trip or flight, here's the easiest way to locate all that good stuff.

Step 1: On the Spotify app, choose the Your Library icon on the bottom toolbar.

Step 2: Use the Downloaded filter at the top. This will parse out everything you've downloaded, ensuring that anything from here will play when you don't have an internet connection.

How to remove downloaded music from Spotify on mobile

Removing downloaded music, playlists, albums, and podcasts is just as easy as adding it, and is more or less the opposite of that process.

Step 1: Navigate to the content you want to remove — playlist, album, podcast — and simply deselect the green Down arrow. A confirmation message will appear. Select Remove to lock in your choice.

Step 2: To take it to the extreme level, if you'd like to free up some space on your device and just want to purge all of your downloaded content from Spotify on mobile, tap the Settings gear in the top-right corner of the home screen.

Step 3: Scroll down to Storage, where you will see how much space on your device that your downloads are using. Tap Remove all downloads and confirm the choice by tapping Remove. All of your downloads will be deleted from the device.

How to download music and podcasts from Spotify: The downloads folder.
Derek Malcolm/Digital Trends

How to download music from Spotify's desktop app

Believe it or not, the process for downloading using the Spotify desktop app is basically exactly the same as it is on mobile or tablet. It is a little different accessing the Audio quality settings, so we'll start there.

Step 1: On a Mac or Windows, access the Settings menu from the Spotify app by selecting the drop-down menu from your profile pic in the top-right corner of the app.

 How to download music and podcasts from Spotify: Desktop settings.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 2: Scroll down to Audio quality and make a choice. It's likely your laptop or desktop is using wired or Wi-Fi internet access, so you should choose Very high for the best possible playback.

How to download music and podcasts from Spotify: Setting download quality.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 3: To download, as outlined above, just find the playlist, album, or podcast you want to download and click the green Down arrow icon. Your download will start and there will be a filled-in green Down arrow icon to let you know the download was successful.

How to download music and podcasts from Spotify: Downloading a plpaylist.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

How to access your downloaded music on desktop

This is a little different than the mobile app experience. While all of your downloaded content will be easily identified among all the available content to stream by green down arrow icons, parsing it all in one Downloads filter is a little different.

To do this, you must put the app in Offline Mode.

Step 1: On a Mac, from the Apple menu in the top-left corner of the screen, select Spotify to access the drop-down menu.

On a Windows PC, click the ... icon at the top of the screen and select File.

How to download music and podcasts from Spotify: Desktop offline mode.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 2: On both platforms, the dropdown menu will show Offline Mode. Click this. This will show a little blue icon next to your profile image to let you know you're in Offline Mode, and the main screen should display all your Music Downloads — playlists, albums, podcast episodes — in one place.

Anything in your library that you haven't downloaded will be grayed out and will be unplayable until you exit Offline Mode.

How to download music and podcasts from Spotify: Remove all downloads desktop app.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

How to remove downloaded music from Spotify on desktop

Not to sound like a skipping streaming file here (or a broken record if you're old), but purging your downloaded tracks from the desktop Spotify app is more or less the same as on mobile.

You simply access the Settings menu, scroll down to the Storage section, and select Remove all downloads. Easy.

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Derek Malcolm
Derek Malcolm is a Toronto-based technology journalist, editor, and content specialist whose work has appeared in…
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