Spotify Not Working? How to Fix 8 Common Spotify Problems

Dan Price 11-07-2016

With 70 million free users and 30 million premium subscribers, Spotify is the undisputed king of music streaming services. In contrast, its nearest competitor, Apple Music, has around 13 million subscribers.


However, being the market leader doesn’t mean Spotify is exempt from problems. Given its huge userbase, the number of devices it supports, and the size of its music catalog, it shouldn’t be surprising that issues can, and do, occur on a regular basis.

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Some of those glitches happen more frequently than others. In this article, you’ll find a list of eight of the most common Spotify problems, as well as information on how to fix them.

Note: Before trying these tips, try and replicate your problem on different devices. If the problem occurs everywhere, it’s probably an account-wide issue and you’ll need to contact Spotify.

1. Spotify Could Be Not Started: Error Code 17

This Windows-specific issue has plagued users for several years, and yet it still pops up a lot.



The problem occurs when you try to launch Spotify – everything will appear to be running smoothly, but just as the client is about to open you’ll get an on-screen pop-up and the program will crash.

The solution is potentially two-fold:

  1. Download the Spotify installer and save it on your desktop.
  2. Right-click on the installer and select Properties
  3. Open the Compatibility tab, check the box by Run this program in compatibility mode for:, and choose Windows XP (Service Pack 3)
  4. Click Apply and run the installer


If that doesn’t work, boot into Safe Mode and repeat the above steps.


2. Cannot Add Local Files to a Playlist

One cool feature Spotify offers is the ability to add your locally saved music into the desktop client; it allows you to mingle Spotify’s tracks with your own tracks in playlists The 15 Best Spotify Playlists for the Summer Looking for the best Spotify playlists to soundtrack your summer? Here are the best Spotify playlists for summer vacations, cookouts, road trips, and more. Read More which can then be listened to from anywhere.

Spotify recently changed how its Windows and Mac desktop clients handle local music. Previously, you could drag-and-drop your desired files into a playlist, but now it’s a bit more complicated – the change in process has led some users to mistakenly believe the service was broken.


To add files, head to Edit (Windows) or Spotify (Mac) > Preferences > Local Files. You can ask Spotify to search your iTunes files or your Music Library, or point it in the direction of your saved music.


3. Cannot Download Songs for Offline Playback

Spotify lets you download songs for offline playback. It’s a fantastic feature for the gym, your car, or while you’re away from Wi-Fi, because it means you won’t be eating through your data allowance.

However, there is a little-known restriction. Each device can only sync a maximum of 3,333 songs for listening to offline. If you hit that limit, you won’t be able to download any more tracks until you unsync some of your existing music.


Toggling a playlist’s Available Offline switch will slowly delete its content, though for a speedier resolution, you should delete the cache (I’ll cover how to do that further down).


4. Cannot Add More Tracks to Your Music

In a similar vein to the previous problem, a lot of people also don’t realize that Your Music has a 10,000 song limit. It can lead to a nasty shock when you eventually hit the barrier, throwing your carefully curated library into disarray.

Lots of users have been angry about this restriction for a long time, but Spotify clearly has no plans to change it anytime soon. In a recent statement, the company said:

“We’ve recently reviewed this internally and at the moment we don’t have plans to extend the Your Music limit. The reason is because less than 1% of users reach it. The current limit ensures a great experience for 99% of users instead of an “OK” experience for 100%.”

However, if you’re smart about it, there is an easy workaround.

Just create a new playlist called “Library” and add music there instead. There is a 10,000 song limit per playlist, so once it’s full create “Library 2”, “Library 3” and so on. Add all of these libraries into a single playlist folder (File > New Playlist Folder), and highlight the folder to see all the music within in.

It’s not ideal, but it’s a viable workaround for what is ultimately a ridiculous restriction.

5. Account Hacked

Although this isn’t really a technical issue, it’s a surprisingly common problem. Reddit users often complain about their accounts being hacked; as recently as April 2016 hundreds of Spotify account details – including emails, usernames, passwords, and account types – were leaked on Pastebin.

Oddly, Spotify denied that its data had been breached, suggesting these account credentials were stolen from third-party web apps 7 Web Apps to Make Spotify Better Than Ever Spotify is already pretty damn good, being one of the best music streaming services around. But there are ways to make Spotify even better, as these awesome web apps show. Read More .


How Can You Tell If You’ve Been Hacked?

There are a few telltale signs. Are you seeing songs listed in your play history that you don’t recognize? Are you suddenly getting a lot of Swedish hip-hop or Japanese pop music in your Discover Weekly playlist, despite never listening to that genre? Were you kicked out of the app in the middle of playing a track?

If you answered Yes to any of these questions there is a high chance your account has been compromised.

What Should You Do?

If you’re lucky, your email and password will not have been changed. Log in to your account on the Spotify website, then head to Account Overview > Sign Out Everywhere. If that’s successful, change your password immediately. If your account is linked to Facebook, change your Facebook password as well.


If you have lost access to your account, you’ll need to contact Spotify directly. You can either use the online form, the @SpotifyCares Twitter account, or the company’s Facebook page.

6. Problems on Android

If you have a problem on your Android device How to Fix Spotify Storage Errors on Android When Spotify won't let you access your music on Android, the rocking comes to a halt. Here's how to get storage access issues fixed and get back to the music. Read More that cannot be replicated elsewhere, it can almost always be fixed by following a few simple steps.

Before working through this troubleshooting guide, first try logging out of the app and re-logging back in – it’ll often solve smaller issues. If you’re experiencing a blank screen when you start the app, playback problems, track skipping, offline syncing issues, or unavailable songs, keep reading.

Clear Cache and Perform a Clean Install

The cache is where Spotify saves data so it can operate faster and more efficiently in the future. Sometimes, the data in the cache will become corrupted and you’ll experience usage problems.

Thankfully, Android makes it simple to delete the cache How to Fix Spotify Storage Errors on Android When Spotify won't let you access your music on Android, the rocking comes to a halt. Here's how to get storage access issues fixed and get back to the music. Read More , thus allowing the app to rebuild a new, uncorrupted set of data.

Just head to Settings > Apps > Spotify > Storage and tap on Clear Cache. You should also tap on Clear Data.


Now, use an Android file manager The 7 Best Free File Explorers for Android There are a bunch of file management and file exploring apps out there for Android, but these are the best. Read More to make sure the following four files no longer exist:

  • /emulated/0/Android/data/com.spotify.music
  • /ext_sd/Android/data/com.spotify.music
  • /sdcard1/Android/data/com.spotify.music
  • /data/media/0/Android/data/com.spotify.music

If they are still visible, delete them manually.

Finally, uninstall the app and reinstall it via the Google Play Store.

Delete Cleaning Apps, Process Managers, and Battery Managers

Several cleaning apps contain a process-killing feature which can effect Spotify. Similarly, process managers and battery managers can interfere with the various running processes Spotify uses. They can be particularly aggressive when either the screen is off or an app is running in the background for a long time.

If you really need/want to keep these apps installed, trying adding Spotify (/ext_sd/Android/data/com.spotify.music) to the apps’ whitelists.

7. Problems on iPhones and iPads

Apple’s iDevices do not offer users a clear cache button iPhone Storage Full? How to Create Free Space on iOS The "iPhone Storage Full" message hits us when we least expect it. Here are the ways to free up storage space on an iPhone. Read More . Instead, it’s down to the individual apps to offer a way to clear their caches.

Unfortunately, Spotify has not yet included this function, despite thousands of user requests on its forums. If you’re experiencing problems with the Spotify app, you’ll need to delete it and reinstall it. This will clear the cache and hopefully solve your issue.

8. Accidentally Deleted Playlist

I’ll finish this list with a problem that’s extremely common and entirely of a user’s own making – accidentally deleted playlists.

Playlists are works of art – you can spend days, weeks, months, or even years creating the perfect playlist for an activity or event. For example, the famous Hipster International playlist by Sean Parker (founder of Napster) was constantly updated over a period of three and a half years, though it now seems to be dead.


If you delete your favorite list, don’t despair; you can easily recover it. Log into your account on the Spotify website, then go to Recover Playlists > Restore.

What Problems Have You Encountered?

I’ve covered lots of the most common issues above, but there will always be user-specific examples that are beyond the scope of this article.

As I alluded to in the piece, your first port of call should always be the official support channels, though the Spotify forums and the troubleshooting subreddit are also great places to find help.

If you’re looking for more help with Spotify, try some of these handy keyboard shortcuts for navigating Spotify The Ultimate Spotify Keyboard Shortcuts Cheat Sheet Get more out of Spotify with this cheat sheet of essential Spotify keyboard shortcuts for Windows and Mac. Read More quickly. But if you’re considering ditching Spotify, check out our article on Spotify vs. YouTube Music Spotify vs. YouTube Music: Which Is Best? There are a host of music streaming services available. Spotify and YouTube Music being two of the biggest. But which is best? Read More for another option.

Explore more about: Spotify, Streaming Music, Troubleshooting.

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  1. Pat Marlow
    July 27, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    I have had an issue with my Spotify for a couple of weeks now, but only on my pc. when I try to open the app on the pc it says, Application Error. The exception unknown software exception (0xc06d007e) occured in the application 0x0000000076EF3FF2. Any suggestions, please?

  2. Moe
    April 7, 2018 at 10:25 am

    Hi. I've installed Spotify on Android,and whenever I try to sign up for a new account,it says " no internet connection is available " and I'm pretty sure my internet just working fine! I've googled this, but can't find a solution ! Any ideas? Thanks.

  3. Zeeshan
    April 2, 2018 at 11:08 am

    I installed Spotify on my PC and android, but now it is automatically Logged out and gives the Location Erro, yeah Im From Pakistan. How can i fix it,,,,

  4. Joseph Trueman
    February 6, 2018 at 10:01 am

    Have been charged for the past 11 months ( without knowing ) without receiving Spotify premium . Can I be reimbursed???

  5. DaleNix
    January 16, 2018 at 1:39 am

    I am having problems with info pictures on albums and artist showing up on searches.

  6. Marg B
    December 16, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    I don't see an option to Recover Playlists. I am a Spotify Premium member since 1-Dec-2017. Perhaps this option is no longer available.

  7. Sandy
    December 1, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    My list of playlists is so garbled it is hard to see. It is difficult to explain without a picture, but it is as if it is crowded together so the titles of the playlist are overlayed with the titles of other playlists. I do have a bunch of them, not sure how many, but it isn't a problem anywhere else, like in albums, which has at least as many things listed. And I do 99% of my listening via playlist on my iphone 6s, in case that matters. So very frustrating.

    • Phil M.
      December 18, 2017 at 9:33 pm

      I'm having the same problem with my iphone 6

  8. Neo
    November 29, 2017 at 2:27 am

    There is advertizing on the screen and then asked me to log in. I tried but it tells me is off line and keep going back to same screen. I turned off and came back all the same.


  9. alfa salome lagos
    November 22, 2017 at 4:48 am

    i deleted all my downloaded playlist because their is duplication or overlapping in the list which renders it unreadable although i stl can play but there is ibstruction maybe of the alteration. after the deletion just the same double line appearancesoccurs. how will i fix them. log out from spotify so it will be cleared what will i do now?

  10. Andrew
    November 6, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Have experienced multiple playback problems on Napster and Spotify with Window 10. The problems relate to the listed song being either stuck on one title (won't play any other choice) or the application randomly scrolls through all the songs without playing them. This occurs on both Spotify and Napster with them appearing to run some sort or search or song monitoring process.
    Reloading and/or restarting the programs and the pc only occasionally presents and temporary fix to these chronic problems.
    Any ideas, thanks.

  11. Destiny Garcia
    September 29, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Error 404
    Lost my iohone , got a brand new phone got this error trying to log in to my account

  12. J J
    September 5, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    When i try to create an account on my Samsung it just comes up saying 'you need to be online to create an account. Check your connection and try again'. But i am connected to the internet, i've tried both Wi-Fi and Mobile Data and neither works. My other Apps and Internet surfing is working fine???

  13. Dave Maladecki
    September 2, 2017 at 9:48 am

    I cannot play individual songs from any of my files (or albums) - can only "Shuffle" any file?

    This is a new issue that I cannot solve?

  14. Andrew
    August 25, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    Whenever I delete songs from my library by clicking the tick button, most songs reappear after 1 second after deleting. After two or three times, it's okay. Can get annoying as I am always adding and deleting songs thousands of songs.

  15. Timothy hunt
    July 6, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Any song or album cuts out seconds in or harlf way through the song,very annoying

  16. Timothy hunt
    July 6, 2017 at 9:17 am

    I go to listen to a track,but switches off either seconds t hrough the the song or harlf way,any song or album.

  17. Emily Thompson
    June 7, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    I can't slow do the music after I accidentally made it speed up, how do I fix it??

  18. AJ
    May 22, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    Every time my phone comes on (alarm, timer) the music starts playing. Also, the screen in my car keeps showing the same song playing - and I don't even know the song!

  19. B Cleino
    January 21, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    I have downloaded a music list but when I play it offline, it only plays one song over and over. I have the "shuffle" listed on my set up and also hit the "shuffle" on the screen of my play list but it does not fix the problem.

  20. Abigail
    December 10, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    The issue that I am having on my android device, samsung galaxy note 2 phone, i just updated my spotify and when I go to the app all my Playlists are there, but not my songs that I have added. My songs that aren't on a Playlist, but just that I hAve added. And there is nowhere on the app that I can find that says my songs or hoe to get to them.

  21. Philip
    November 2, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    Today Spotify is freezing mid song and also jumping to another artist while listening in playlist !!!

    • Scotophor
      January 18, 2018 at 7:38 am

      I'm a new Spotify user on an Android phone and I notice that playback is a little buggy. Sometimes a track will play silently, as if the phone is muted; the progress bar fills as normal but there's no sound. Usually switching to another track and back will fix it, but sometimes I have to do that several times. I also have the issue of the playback skipping ahead several tracks when I'm doing something in the app. It also sometimes partially gets out of sync, typically showing the title, artist, album cover, etc. of the next track well before the current track has finished playing.

  22. CG
    September 19, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    Its been like a couple of weeks where I play an downloaded playlist on my Iphone and out of nowhere my spotify stop playing and a pop up is showed saying that another device is playing my music; the device name is B.

    I have researched for a while but I haven't found anything to solve this. any advice?

  23. Judy
    August 25, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    There's been a problem since about 2013 where people can't UNSYNC local files that were on their computers instead of downloaded or in their music library. I can't do it either in 2016. It happens on both Mac and Windows. Logout/login, Uninstall/reinstall were tried and didn't work.

  24. Paul
    July 12, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    My problem is that Spotify just begins playing at random times ... very annoying, especially given the difficulty in trying to get it to stop. (UI design, fellas??)
    I've removed it from my devices several times just to get it to stop being an uninvited guest!