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How to Listen to Spotify Offline: The Complete Guide

This complete guide to Spotify offline mode covers everything from downloading playlists for offline usage to tools for managing your offline collection across devices. Learn how to enable offline functionality on mobile and desktop, download favorite playlists and podcasts, resolve issues with offline playback, plus power user tips for Spotify Premium subscribers who want to maximize untethered listening. Never lose access to your personal Spotify library - even without data or WiFi!

By: Aleksey Makohon Date: 01 / 19, 2024
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Have you ever been on a long flight or road trip and wished you could access your favorite Spotify playlists and podcasts? Or maybe you've dealt with spotty internet connectivity that kept buffering your songs? Spotify's handy offline mode solves these problems by allowing you to download music and podcasts to your mobile device or desktop app for anytime, internet-free listening.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore everything you need to know about taking your Spotify library offline. You'll learn how to enable offline mode, download playlists and tracks, manage your offline collection across devices, and troubleshoot any issues that arise. We'll also compare offline functionality for Free and Premium Spotify users so you can decide if upgrading is worthwhile for your needs.

Here's a quick overview of what we'll be covering:

What is Spotify Offline Mode and Why Use It?

We'll explain how Spotify's offline listening functionality works and why it's useful for situations like travel, low connectivity, or limiting mobile data usage.

Downloading Music and Podcasts for Offline Playback

We'll provide step-by-step instructions for downloading playlists, albums, and podcast episodes to your device so you can listen offline.

Making the Most of Offline Mode

Tips and tricks for managing, organizing and getting the most out of your offline music and podcast collection.

Using Offline Mode on Mobile and Desktop

Platform-specific guides for enabling and using Spotify's offline mode on your phone, tablet, or computer.

And much more! Whether you're a Spotify free or paid user, by the end you'll be a pro at taking your tunes and talk shows on the go. Let's get started!

What Is Spotify Offline Mode and How Does It Work?

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Spotify's handy offline mode allows you to download your favorite music, playlists, albums, and podcasts to your mobile device or desktop app so you can listen without an internet connection.

What is Offline Mode?

Offline mode gives Spotify users the ability to download songs, albums, playlists and podcast episodes to the storage on their device. Once downloaded, this content can be accessed at any time without needing an internet connection or mobile data. Playback happens seamlessly from the storage on your phone, tablet or computer.

Downloading Content to Your Device's Storage

The key functionality of offline mode is the downloading process. Spotify scans the songs, albums or playlists you want to save for offline listening and stores a protected, DRM version on your device's storage. This means you need free space on your device to use offline mode.

Downloaded Content Becomes Available Offline

The Spotify app shifts downloaded content into an "Available Offline" section and playlist folder. This means it is accessible and will play normally anytime your device is in airplane mode, disconnected from the internet, or you simply want to listen without using mobile data.

Uninterrupted Listening in Any Scenario

A major benefit of offline mode is the ability to play music or podcasts without interruptions, even with a spotty connection. Since the audio files are saved directly on your device, playback is smooth and uninterrupted in situations like:

  • Airplane trips with no in-flight WiFi
  • International travel with limited data
  • Remote hiking areas with no cell reception
  • Subway trains running through tunnels
  • Listening while keeping mobile data usage low

Save Battery and Data Usage

Beyond uninterrupted listening, offline mode offers other advantages. By reducing constant streaming over cellular data or WiFi, you conserve phone battery life. It also helps light users stay under mobile data caps. Although you still use some data for the initial downloads, it is minimized by selectively choosing which playlists or albums to save offline.

The offline functionality opens up exciting possibilities for Spotify listeners who want access to their favorite audio content anywhere. Next let's look at how to start using offline mode.

How to Enable Offline Mode on Spotify

Ready to start downloading your playlists and podcasts to listen offline? Enabling Spotify's offline functionality takes just a few simple steps on either mobile or desktop.

Activating Offline Mode on Mobile Devices

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Using offline mode for Spotify listening on smartphones and tablets is quite straightforward. Just follow these steps:

  1. Update App to Latest Version - Confirm you have the newest version of the Spotify mobile app downloaded from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store. Spotty offline performance may occur in outdated app versions.
  2. Check Available Storage Space - Before downloading any content for offline listening, the Spotify app will indicate how much free space your device has left. Look under device setting or the download prompt to view available space info.
  3. Tap Download Icon to Save Playlists/Podcasts - Find the downward arrow icon next to any playlist name, album, artist profile or podcast episode to download that content. You can also use the 3 dot "More" menu for additional options.
  4. Verify Content Downloaded - Navigate to the "Available Offline" section on the Home tab or Your Library to double check songs, albums and podcasts saved properly for offline listening. Make sure ample content downloaded based on your upcoming needs and available storage space.
  5. Enter Airplane Mode to Test Offline Playback - The true test of offline functionality is playing the downloaded content while in airplane mode. Disconnect from the internet, turn off WiFi, enable airplane mode and attempt listening to a few songs or podcast episodes from your offline content.

[Screenshots showing download options and confirming downloaded playlists)]

Offline Mode Requirements for Mobile

  • Premium Subscription - An active Spotify Premium paid subscription is required to use offline listening features on mobile. The Free Spotify tier does not support going offline.
  • Updated App + Available Space - A current Spotify app version with space left on your device storage is needed to save songs, albums and podcasts. The app indicates if you have insufficient storage for additional downloads.

Using Offline Mode in Spotify Desktop Apps

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In addition to mobile apps, Spotify also lets you enable offline listening functionality on Mac and Windows desktop platforms.

Activating Offline Mode on Windows

To download Spotify content for offline playback on a Windows 10 or 11 computer:

  1. Download and install the latest version of the Spotify desktop app from the Windows store or site.
  2. In the desktop app, click on the Download icon next to any playlist, album or other content you want to save for offline playback. A green arrow indicates downloaded content.
  3. Go to Preferences > Audio Quality in Spotify app settings to adjust cached playlist settings and amount of device storage space to use for storing downloaded content offline while on your Windows desktop.

Enabling Offline Listening on Mac

The process works similarly for saving Spotify playlists, albums and podcasts to the Mac desktop app:

  1. Confirm you have the newest Spotify desktop app updated on your Mac computer directly from the Mac App Store.
  2. Find the Download icon arrow next to content like playlists and click it to download for offline listening.
  3. Customize storage, quality and playlist preferences for offline listening within the Spotify > Preferences menu on Mac.

Offline Mode Requirements on Desktop

As with mobile devices, enjoying Spotify playlists and features in offline mode on desktop requires an active Premium subscription. Desktop offline listening also requires:

  • Sufficient free storage space for downloading playlists and episodes
  • The latest desktop app with offline mode support

Now let's explore how to best manage all your offline Spotify content.

Downloading Entire Playlists for Offline Playback

One of the most useful aspects of Spotify's offline mode is the ability to save entire playlists of songs, albums or podcast episodes that you can access without an internet connection.

How to Download Full Playlists to Your Library

Downloading a full playlist for offline use is easy:

On Mobile Devices:

  • Tap the "Download" icon (downward arrow) next to any playlist name in Your Library or Browse screens
  • Select "Download" in the dropdown menu to save entire playlist
  • Songs will show "Available Offline" tag when download completes

On Desktop Apps:

  • Click the green "Download" icon next to playlist name
  • Choose desired playback quality - Normal, High, or Extreme
  • Downloaded playlists get a green arrow indicator

Number of Songs and Storage Limits

When saving a playlist for offline listening, Spotify will indicate how much total storage space that content will occupy on your device. There are no strict limits on the number of songs, but your device's overall memory capacity and available space is the limiting factor.

Tip: Monitor your device storage space and clear old/listened playlists if you get memory warnings.

Strategies for Managing Large Playlists Offline

For playlists with hundreds of songs downloaded for offline mode, it helps to strategically name, organize, and prune those lists over time.

Some playlist management suggestions:

  • Split extra large playlists into smaller labeled offline downloads
  • Name downloads by artist, genre, year, or listening scenario
  • Create hierarchical playlist folders for organization
  • Review and remove listened tracks over time
  • Check playlist size before traveling to ensure adequate offline content

Getting in the habit of organizing will help avoid device storage issues over time. Next let's look at tools for managing offline content.

Tools and Tips for Managing Offline Playlists

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Once you build an extensive offline library of Spotify playlists downloaded for listening without internet, having solid management strategies becomes crucial - especially to conserve limited device storage capacity.

Viewing and Organizing Spotify Playlists Downloaded for Offline Use

The Spotify mobile and desktop apps have useful built-in tools for managing offline content:

  • Available Offline Section - Easily view, play and organize just your downloaded playlists, albums and podcasts episodes in one place.
  • Create Playlist Folders - Build offline playlist folders organized by genre, year, artist or any other system that fits your needs. Nest folders for better hierarchy.
  • Remove Button - Delete individual tracks or entire playlists when finished listening to maximize free space.
  • Filtering Tools - Use search and filtering to find specific playlists by name, date downloaded, size and more.

Updating and Redownloading Evolving Playlists

If new songs are added to an offline playlist or its order changes:

  • Tap "Update Playlist" on mobile or "Update Cache" on desktop to download the new tracks in updated order.
  • Playlists with major structure changes may need fully redownloaded to keep correct offline ordering.

Pro Tips for Optimizing Offline Storage Over Time

Suggested practices for making the most of limited offline storage:

  • Review device memory allocation weekly and remove listened playlists.
  • Name downloads by expiration date to streamline deleting old tracks later.
  • Audit downloads before traveling to ensure you have the playlists you actually need offline.
  • Consider upgrading device storage capacity if hitting limits often.

Leveraging tools like custom offline folders and pruning obsolete tracks are the keys for managing offline playlists smoothly long-term. Next we'll explore platform differences between mobile and desktop.

A Guide to Offline Mode on Mobile

Let's explore how Spotify's offline functionality works across iPhone, iPad, and Android phones and tablets. We'll cover everything from enabling offline mode, to downloading and managing content offline while on the go.

Activating Offline Mode on iOS Devices

To save Spotify playlists, albums or podcasts for offline use on iPhones or iPads:

  1. Confirm you have the latest version of Spotify app updated from the iOS App Store.
  2. Tap the download arrow icon next to any playlist, episode or music content.
  3. Manage all downloads within Library > Available Offline section.

Enabling Offline Listening on Android Mobiles

Similarly on Android smartphones and tablets like Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel:

  1. Check the Play Store for most updated Spotify app.
  2. Use download buttons to save desired playlists and albums offline.
  3. Access downloads through Home > Available Offline folder.

Tips for Conserving Mobile Storage and Data

When using Spotify's offline mode on mobile, keep these pointers in mind:

  • Set automated storage limits and quality in Settings based on your device capacity
  • Downloads use mobile data initially so use WiFi for large playlists
  • Remove listened to podcasts and playlists to free up space
  • Disable "auto-add similar tracks" playlist feature as this grows offline size exponentially

Using offline functionality requires planning, but unlocks amazing possibilities for mobile listening. Next let's compare to desktop.

Guide to Offline Mode in Desktop Apps

In addition to mobile devices, Spotify also enables saving playlists, albums and podcasts offline within desktop apps for Mac and Windows.

Enabling Offline Listening on Windows

To download content for offline playback within the Windows Spotify app:

  1. Confirm your desktop app is updated to the latest version from Microsoft Store.
  2. Click the downward arrow "Download" icon next to any playlist, album or content.
  3. Manage downloads from the Available Offline section within Your Library.

Downloading Playlists in Mac Spotify App

Similar steps for downloading songs, albums or episodes on a Mac:

  1. Check the Mac App Store for most recent Spotify desktop app.
  2. Select the "Download" icon next to playlists or content to save offline.
  3. View and organize downloads within the Available Offline folder.

Desktop App Limitations and Requirements

Although the functionality is similar across mobile and desktop platforms, note these caveats with offline mode on desktop:

  • Still requires an active Spotify Premium subscription
  • Desktop apps offer less playlist management and customization tools
  • Library limits based on local disk space rather than mobile device capacity

Overall, the desktop offline experience offers convenience but fewer advanced controls vs mobile devices. Next we'll explore some common troubleshooting tips.

Resolving Common Issues With Spotify Offline Mode

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Despite its benefits for uninterrupted listening, you may occasionally run into glitches using Spotify's offline functionality on mobile or desktop platforms. Here are some of the most common offline mode problems users face along with potential solutions.

Playlists Not Downloading or Saving Offline

Issue: Your selected Spotify playlists fail to properly download for offline usage.

Potential Fixes:

  • Confirm you have an active Spotify Premium account enabling offline features
  • Check internet connection and retry downloading over stable high-speed WiFi
  • Restart the Spotify app and device to clear any errors
  • Verify adequate free storage space for size of playlist
  • Enable offline mode in Settings if disabled
  • Update Spotify app to latest version if offline problems appeared recently

Downloaded Songs Skipping When Listening Offline

Issue: Tracks you previously saved skip excessively during offline playback.

Troubleshooting Steps:

  • Re-download playlist to grab latest version with any changes
  • Increase cached playlist bitrate quality in Settings > Audio Quality
  • Try deleting playlist download cache and re-adding
  • Repair or reinstall Spotify application
  • Upgrade operating system if using outdated platform

Getting Additional Troubleshooting Help

If you continue struggling with offline issues like failed downloads or skipping after trying the above fixes, tap the “Get Support” option within Spotify’s menus or reach out to their Customer Service team directly via email or social channels.

Spotify can run diagnostics and provide individual troubleshooting tailored to your specific error messages and offline problems. Their support team is quite responsive via social media as well.

Hopefully these tips help resolve and prevent common offline listening issues!

Advanced Tips for Power Users

Once you become a pro at enabling and managing Spotify's offline mode for interrupted-free listening, you can maximize functionality even further with some power user techniques.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Employ keyboard shortcuts on desktop for quick offline playlist downloads:

  • Cmd/Ctrl + S: Save current track to Your Library
  • Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + S: Save playing album to Your Library
  • Cmd/Ctrl + Alt + S: Save current playlist to Your Library for offline use


Set up iOS automations like:

  • Auto-download new Liked songs each week to keep growing offline collection current
  • Remove played podcasts auto-weekly to free up space

Managing Large Collections

Those with 1,000+ songs offline should:

  • Categorize playlists folders extensively by genre, mood, year etc
  • Consider premium cloud storage option to external storage limits
  • Archive older listening folders elsewhere after ending trips

Free vs Premium: Limitations of Offline Mode

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While Spotify's offline listening functionality delivers huge benefits, there are some key differences in capabilities between free users and those with Premium subscriptions.

Offline Mode for Free Users

Unfortunately Spotify's ad-supported Free tier has no access to offline listening features. So downloads are Premium-only. However, free members can still:

  • Cache some songs temporarily in memory to reduce streaming
  • Play shuffle mode without continuous connectivity

So free users only have very limited pseudo-offline abilities.

Full Offline Features with Premium Plan

Meanwhile, Premium subscribers unlock full offline modes such as:

  • Saving unlimited playlists/podcasts for offline listening
  • Enjoying downloads without ads or shuffle-only restrictions
  • Skipping unlimited tracks in offline playlists
  • Higher sound quality for cached playlists
  • Advanced management of offline library

So for true seamless offline listening across all devices, upgrading to a paid Spotify Premium account is essential.

Is Premium Worth It for Offline Use?

Given the significant limitations using Spotify offline as a free subscriber, the nominal monthly Premium fee easily pays for itself for most frequent listeners who value:

  • Unlimited downloads
  • Ad-free offline listening
  • Playlisting building and sharing capabilities
  • Enhanced sound quality

For Spotify fans who travel frequently or use the service daily, the offline functionality alone makes Premium well worth the spend.

Optimizing Offline Listening For Travel

One of the most popular use cases for Spotify's offline functionality is preparing downloaded playlists, albums and podcasts for trips involving air travel or areas with limited connectivity like national parks or remote rural locales.

Curating Music Playlists For Flights

To save Spotify songs, albums and playlists specifically for inflight listening when WiFi is limited:

  • Build one or more playlists designed for your upcoming trip like "Road Trip West Coast 2023" or "Hawaii Vacation Island Vibes". Give them identifiable names tying to your destination.
  • Be sure to download trip playlists over a stable high-speed WiFi connection while still at home in advance. Don't wait until the airport!
  • Aim to save at least 5-10 full playlists encompassing a range of genres, artists and listening durations to match your expected trip timeline.
  • Remember to actually listen and delete some downloads post-trip vs simply accumulating playlists.

Saving Podcasts and Episodes For Areas With No Cell Service

To prepare podcast listening for trips to national parks, remote beach locales or other areas lacking reliable cell coverage:

  • Before traveling, follow a selection of your favorite podcast shows that will be releasing new episodes leading up to your trip dates.
  • Within followed shows, go to Settings and toggle on "Automatically Download Episodes" so new releases get saved offline without manual effort.
  • Give priority offline saving to longer podcasts well-suited for extended time without connectivity like driving across states.

Battery Saving and Offline Settings Tweaks

For any travel scenario relying on offline Spotify listening rather than consistent connectivity:

  • Adjust Spotify app settings to prevent constantly running in background when not needed - disable autoplay etc.
  • Optimize your device's overall Battery Saver mode configurations for longest battery life.
  • Initially download trip playlists at highest quality over WiFi, then optionally revert to a lower quality setting for the actual trips to conserve storage space.


How do I download Spotify songs to listen offline?

To save Spotify tracks, playlists or podcasts for offline listening, tap the "Download" icon next to any content you want to download. Then access it within Your Library under the "Available Offline" section when in offline mode.

Can I listen to Spotify on airplane mode?

Yes, as long as you have previously enabled offline mode and downloaded playlists, albums or other content. Turn on airplane mode and confirm you can still access your offline Spotify content.

Why can't I download music from Spotify?

If the Spotify download icons are missing or offline content disappears, usually an outdated app or inactive premium subscription is the culprit. Update app and renew premium status.

How long can Spotify content be offline?

There is no hard limit if you manage device storage wisely. But downloaded Spotify content stays fully accessible offline indefinitely unless you manually remove specific playlists. Enjoy your offline collection!

Conclusion: Take Your Music Anywhere With Offline Mode

Thanks for joining us on an in-depth tour of how to listen to Spotify offline!

Leveraging Spotify’s offline functionality unlocks a seamless, uninterrupted listening experience for all your situations with limited connectivity - flights, foreign travel, basement workouts, remote hiking trails, and daily commutes included.

Now you know how easy it is to save your playlists, favorite new albums and can’t-miss podcast episodes right on your phone or computer for anytime access without WiFi or mobile data.

So the next time you face situations like long stretches in airplane mode or areas with sketchy cell coverage, rest assured your Spotify library will keep playing smoothly all thanks to offline mode capabilities.

Where will your newly downloaded playlists take you? The possibilities are endless!

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