One of the perks of buying a Spotify Premium membership is the ability to listen to songs offline. It’s convenient because you don’t need to rely on an internet connection to enjoy music.
However, often the downloaded music will be deleted by Spotify. Whether you use an Android or an iPhone, let’s troubleshoot the “Spotify keeps deleting your downloads” issue.
Why Spotify keeps deleting your downloads
Many people have experienced Spotify deleting their downloads multiple times. If you notice that Spotify has been deleting your downloads, here are a few reasons why.
1. The song has been removed by the artist
Spotify can only serve music that is licensed to them. If the song is no longer licensed to Spotify, then the song will be removed from the platform, including from your downloaded list.
There are a number of reasons why a song or album stops being licensed by Spotify.
First, the owners of the music have decided to remove it from Spotify. This could happen when the owners decide they’d rather make certain songs available only for sale instead of streaming.
Second, the song or album may go “out of print”.
This means the music is not available on Spotify or anyone else. There could also be situations where the copyright owners change the terms of the licensing that are unfavorable to Spotify.
Spotify is a music streaming service after all. If you want to have access to certain songs all the time, it’s better to “buy” them from a service like Amazon or iTunes store.
2. You went offline for more than 30 days
When was the last time you went online on Spotify? According to Spotify, you need to go online at least once every 30 days to keep your account active and keep your downloads.
If you go offline for more than 30 days, Spotify cannot collect your data to compensate artists. The app also needs to collect your data to count streams on your account.
3. You exceeded the download limit
On Premium, you can download albums, playlists, and podcasts. On the free version, you can only download podcasts. However, Spotify has a download limit.
You can download as many as 10,000 tracks on each of up to 5 different devices. If you exceed this limit, you might lose the downloads on your storage.
If you download music from Spotify on more than 5 different devices, the downloaded songs will be removed from the device you use the least.
4. Your Spotify app is not up to date
I’m sure you’re someone who keeps their apps up to date but ensure the Spotify app you have is the latest version. The downloaded songs will be deleted if the app is not up to date.
5. You have just reinstalled the app
Have you reinstalled the app recently? If so, then your downloaded songs will be deleted. Whenever the Spotify app is reinstalled, all the downloaded songs will be deleted.
6. You logged out of your Spotify account
If you have accidentally logged out of your Spotify account, your downloaded songs will be deleted. I’ve seen many people get logged out of their accounts automatically.
This in and of itself is a problem because I’ve been randomly logged out in situations when I didn’t have access to the internet, so I couldn’t use the service I’ve been paying for ages.
But once I get on the internet and manage to log in, the same thing always happens:
All my downloaded songs are gone. When I check the settings, the default download location has been changed to internal storage (where there isn’t enough space) without my intervention.
I’m a Spotify Premium user. I keep my Spotify app updated, use different SD cards, use different networks (even used data), and I’m not downloading on any other devices.
There are thousands, if not millions, of Spotify users who experience the same thing. So much so that Spotify has a thread where users can talk about deleted downloaded songs here.
7. You have just rebooted your phone
Whenever you reboot your phone, Spotify can start before your phone can read your SD card, and therefore, Spotify will not detect your SD card (where you store downloaded songs).
This can also happen when you reinsert your SD card.
Because Spotify does not detect your SD card, it cannot detect your downloaded songs and automatically change the download location to the phone’s internal storage.
You won’t have this problem if you store your downloaded songs on the internal storage, but it may not have enough space to store thousands of songs from Spotify.
Solution 1: Delay Spotify startup (Android)
When an Android phone reboots, Spotify launches immediately after the system starts.
Now, why is this a problem?
The downloaded songs will be deleted if you store them on your SD card because Spotify cannot locate the songs since the SD card has not been identified by the Android phone.
I managed to fix this issue by downloading an app that prevents other apps from starting up immediately (delayed start) after a phone reboot, then adding Spotify to the list.
This is the Android app I use.
Using the app, I was able to delay the Spotify app from starting after a phone reboot. By delaying the startup, Spotify can read the SD card and not delete the downloads.
Spotify needs to fix this bug. There should be a delay or a possibility to disable auto-launch apps on boot, but I’m happy that I found an easy solution on my Android.
Solution 2: Create a Spotify app backup (needs root access)
There is another workaround that works every time, but you need to give the app root access. This method works for iPhones and Androids.
After I reboot my phone, I open Titanium Backup and restore the backup before launching Spotify. Using this method, all my downloaded songs remain on my SD card.
Whenever I update the Spotify app or when Spotify downloads new songs (not all are available), I delete the backup and create a new one using the Titanium Backup app.
To show you that it works, I completely wiped (formatted) my Android phone and restored my Spotify backup on a fresh, new system and all of my downloaded songs remain.
It is frustrating because this is an issue that could be fixed easily through coding. I’m sure Spotify has plenty of talented software developers who can solve this problem.
Spotify is a rental service, after all
I don’t recommend downloading thousands of songs from Spotify and relying on offline downloads because they will all be deleted every time you reinstall the app.
Downloaded music being deleted is a NORMAL behavior for music streaming apps. After all, Spotify is a subscription-based streaming music service, but more like a rental service.
While the company never explicitly explains what’s going on, you are ultimately paying for a license to stream, not own songs. So, any offline download has an expiry date.
Similar to Netflix and other video streaming apps, the offline downloaded songs only last about 30 days before it’s deleted by Spotify due to licensing agreements.
If you remember this and remember that an offline download isn’t forever downloaded, you’ll have much less frustration in the future. It’s just part of the streaming world.