In short: A Spotify Private Session ends automatically when you restart Spotify when you log out, or after a long period of inactivity (6 hours), making it seem like it is not working.
When a Private Session is active, you’ll see a padlock on your profile picture. It allows you to listen to music without your listening activity being displayed to your followers.
If your Spotify Private Session is not working, here are some workarounds. Keep in mind that a bug can cause this issue. I will provide hacks to keep your listening activity private.
1. Make sure the Private Session is actually on
Spotify Private Session may stop automatically, making it seem like it’s not working.
Even if you did not manually turn your Private Session off, it ends automatically when you restart Spotify, log out, and log in again, or after a long period of inactivity (6 hours).
2. Disable your listening activity
Some people have to activate Private Sessions every time. If this is you, you can permanently hide what you’re listening to so you don’t need to open a Private Session.
If you don’t want to share your listening activity at all or show your recently played artists, you can turn both of them off in the Spotify app Settings under Social.
These settings only affect what is shown on your profile and the Friend Activity. You need to activate a Private Session if you don’t want the song to influence your recommendations.
3. Make your playlists private
Did you know that you can choose which playlists show up on your profile?
It’s also possible to make a playlist completely private (in addition to disabling your listening activity) to hide it from search and prevent anyone but yourself from accessing it.
Here’s how to do it:
- Open the playlist.
- Tap on the three dots menu.
- Select Make private.
- Confirm your choice.
By making your playlists private, no one else can see them. This is a great way to curate a list of songs without anyone seeing what you are actually listening to on a regular basis.
4. Wait for an update
Sometimes, the best thing you can do is to wait for an app update. It’s been well documented that there is a bug inside Spotify’s Private Sessions for several years.
I’ve discovered an interesting bug in the desktop version of Spotify in Windows 8. I don’t know if it affects other OS or not because I’ve only had the chance to test it from my computer.
Anyway, I’ve found that if I listen to music in a Private Session and close Spotify while in Private Mode, it posts to Facebook the last track I listened to as soon as I reopen Spotify.
This bug defeats the purpose of having a Private Session in the first place.
I reached out to Spotify support and thankfully they are working on an update. After the next software update, the bug was “squashed” and the problem has been solved.
5. Remove Spotify’s access to Facebook
If your Spotify Private Session is not working, disconnect Spotify from Facebook to keep your listening activity private. You can only do this from the desktop app, though.
- Log into your Facebook account.
- Click on the dropdown arrow next to your profile icon.
- Select Settings & Privacy.
- Click Settings.
- Scroll down and select Apps and Websites from the left panel.
- Find the Spotify app and choose Remove.
- Click Remove.
You can also delete past activity from Spotify. Tick the box next to Delete posts, videos or events Spotify posted on your timeline. Then, simply click Remove.
Once you unlink your Spotify account from Facebook, Spotify won’t access your Facebook account and post on your timeline. It’s an alternative to Private Sessions.
6. Create a new Spotify account
Another method to solve the Spotify Private Session not working issue is to create a new account. Try opening a Private Session in another account other than yours.
If the issue doesn’t happen in the other account, then it might be worth it to try creating a fresh account to use instead. Maybe the issue only happens on your Spotify account.
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