In short: If Spotify plays random songs not in your playlist, clear your queue and disable the Smart Shuffle feature. You should also disable the Autoplay feature.
So you have a playlist on Spotify. But whenever you try to play songs from your playlist, Spotify plays a random song that is not on your playlist. Here are a few things you can do.
I’ve searched for answers from a Spotify employee (part of the developer team) and listed the most likely solution at the top, so I recommend going through this troubleshooting in order.
Chances are, you won’t have to go through the entire steps.
1. Clear your queue
If Spotify keeps playing random songs not on your playlist, it could be that you have songs in your queue. This is by far the most common reason why this is happening.
But first, let’s talk about the “Queue” before we move on.
The “Queue” is just a list of what songs will play after the one you’re currently listening to. A feature of the “Queue” is that you can add songs to the queue.
These songs will show in a section called “Next in Queue”.
If you add a song to the queue, Spotify will assume you want to hear it next after “Now Playing”. If you add multiple songs to the queue, they will play in the order that you added them.
The thing is, if you start playing a playlist, then add something to the queue, the queue takes priority over the playlist, which means the queue is cleared before the rest of the playlist plays.
Sometimes users will accidentally add songs or even entire playlists and/or albums to their queue without them realizing it, and it can cause a lot of confusion.
This is why it seems like Spotify is playing random songs not in your playlist. All you have to do to solve this issue is make sure you have no songs currently in your queue.
To clear your Spotify queue on Android and iOS, open the current song in full-screen and tap the Queue button in the bottom right corner. Press the Clear queue button.
To clear your Spotify queue on the desktop app and web player, click the Queue button from the playback bar at the bottom of the interface. Next, click CLEAR QUEUE.
Now, Spotify won’t “play random songs” that aren’t on your playlist.
2. Disable the Smart Shuffle feature
If you’ve cleared your Queue, but Spotify is still playing random songs not in your playlist, then it could be that you have the Smart Shuffle feature enabled.
The Smart Shuffle is a new feature that automatically adds similar tracks to your playlist when enabled. To disable this click the Shuffle button twice, until it becomes grayed out.
Smart Shuffle is different from normal Shuffle. You can differentiate between Smart Shuffle and Normal Shuffle with the little star on top of the Shuffle icon.
I personally think it’s a great feature because as soon as you turn it on, you’ll be able to start listening to your playlist mixed with new recommendations that match the vibe.
However, often most people just want to listen to their own playlist.
Sometimes a recommendation can also miss the mark. Just tap the minus button on the Now Playing View so Spotify can take note of what you like and what you don’t like.
3. Disable the Autoplay feature
Often, you’ll find Spotify playing random songs after you’ve finished listening to your playlist. If this is the case, it’s because you have the Autoplay feature turned on.
When you reach the end of an album, playlist, or selection of songs, Spotify automatically plays similar songs so the music never stops whenever the Autoplay feature is ON.
The problem for me is that often the songs recommended by Spotify aren’t similar to my playlist. It’s annoying listening to something peaceful when an upbeat song suddenly starts playing.
The best way to go about this is to have your playlist repeat.
You can do this by clicking the Repeat button once (until the icon appears green instead of white), then the playlist or album that you’re playing from will repeat itself after it ends.
Keep in mind, however, that clicking on the Repeat button twice will cause just the currently playing song to repeat itself instead of the entire playlist.
4. Clear the Spotify cache
By this point, you shouldn’t experience Spotify playing random songs not in your playlist, but if you’re still experiencing the same issue, you should clear the Spotify cache.
The cache is where Spotify stores certain data, such as album art, playlists, and recently played tracks, in order to make the app run faster and reduce data usage.
When you clear the cache on Spotify, you are basically removing temporary files that the app has stored on your device. It’s safe and won’t delete your Spotify account.
Clearing the cache may resolve some issues with the Spotify app, such as if the app is running slowly or if you’re experiencing playback issues within your playlist.
You can learn more about clearing Spotify’s cache right here.
5. Log out everywhere (on all devices)
The last thing you can do is to log out everywhere (on all devices). It’s not something that will likely change the outcome, but it’s something you can do for good measure.
You could also change your password if you feel that your Spotify account is being compromised, although the previous steps in this article should’ve solved the issue already.