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How to listen to Spotify offline

The next time Spotify goes down, be prepared.


Selena Larson


Published Jun 22, 2016   Updated May 26, 2021, 1:50 pm CDT

Spotify experienced some technical difficulties on Wednesday, rendering users in the U.S. and across Europe unable to stream music. The outage was brief, and Spotify came back online at around 7:30am PT. 

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Naturally, as soon as the service became unavailable, the internet panicked. What do you do when you’ve got work to do and your focus playlist goes offline on Hump Day?

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There was a bright spot among the Spotify darkness: Users could still access offline playlists. 

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Offline playlists are one of the best things about Spotify, but you must be a premium subscriber to get them. Spotify’s individual premium plan is about $120 per year; a family plan is $14.99 per month; and if you’re a student, you can get it for just $4.99 per month. 

When your playlists are available offline, you don’t have to worry about not being connected to the Internet. You can listen anywhere—even, in this case, when Spotify goes down for everyone else. And offline playlists are total lifesavers on airplanes and subway commutes. 

Spotify lets you sync up to 3,333 songs to offline playlists. You have to connect the app to the Internet at least once a month to maintain them.

To save your tunes in offline mode:

  • Select “Playlists” from the Spotify menu
  • Pick which playlist you want to listen to offline
  • Toggle “Available offline”
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It will take a minute for Spotify to make them all available offline; you’ll see a green arrow next to the song when it’s finished downloading. If you add songs to offline playlists, Spotify will automatically download them when you’re connected to Wi-Fi. 

If you don’t want to lose your curated offline playlists, make sure to keep your Spotify subscription up to date—if you miss a payment or cancel the service, offline mode no longer works. And the worst part is discovering that just before you hop on a cross-country flight.

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*First Published: Jun 22, 2016, 12:01 pm CDT