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How To Delete Local Files On Spotify?

Spotify has become one of the most popular music streaming services, offering access to millions of songs and podcasts. However, over time you may accumulate several local files saved on your Spotify app that you want to delete to free up space. Deleting cached tracks, specific albums or artists can be done with just a few clicks; all these can be summed up as deleting local files on Spotify!

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about deleting local files on Spotify across desktop and mobile apps.

Why You Might Want to Delete Local Files

Here are some of the main reasons you may want to delete local files on Spotify:

  • Free up space: Spotify caches or stores local file copies of songs, albums and playlists you listen to for quick access. But this can take up storage space on your device overtime. Deleting local files can free up significant storage space.
  • Remove unwanted music: You may have saved albums or playlists that you no longer listen to or want on your device. Deleting local files allows you to remove this unwanted music.
  • Fix sync issues: Sometimes downloading local files to Spotify can get interrupted or corrupted. Deleting and re-downloading local files can fix sync problems between devices.
  • Privacy: Local files are stored on your device specifically. Deleting them can help protect your privacy if you are sharing your computer or giving your phone to someone else.

How to Delete Local Files on Desktop App

Deleting local files you no longer want on the Spotify desktop app is straightforward:

  1. Open the Spotify app on your Mac or PC. Be sure the app is updated to the latest version.
  2. Click on the Downloaded icon on the left sidebar menu. This will display all playlists, albums and songs you’ve downloaded to your computer as local files.
  3. Right click on an album, playlist or song you want to delete. Then click “Remove from this device” in the menu that appears.
  4. Confirm you want to delete the local files when prompted. The files will be immediately removed from your local storage.
  5. To delete all local files at once, click the three dot menu next to Playlists or Albums. Select “Remove all from this device.” Click yes to confirm deletion.
  6. Close Spotify and re-open it to automatically update and remove the deleted local files. They will no longer take up space.
  7. If you have signed out of Spotify on your computer, simply signing in again will remove all previously downloaded local files.
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Step-by-Step: Deleting Specific Artists/Albums/Songs

To delete local files for just specific artists, albums or songs, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Downloaded icon and navigate to the Artists, Albums or Songs tabs.
  2. Scroll through and browse artists and albums to find what you want to delete.
  3. Right click on the artist, album or song. Select “Go to Song/Album/Artist Radio” from the menu.
  4. This will open a playlist for that selection. Click the three dot menu next to the playlist name.
  5. Choose “Remove from this device” then confirm deletion.
  6. Close Spotify and re-open to remove the local files from your computer’s storage.

Using this method you can precisely delete cached audio files just for certain artists, albums or tracks without removing everything.

How to Delete Local Files on Mobile

Deleting specific downloads on Spotify mobile works similarly as on desktop:

  1. Open the Spotify app on your iPhone, iPad or Android device.
  2. Tap on Your Library at the bottom and select Downloaded.
  3. This will display playlists, albums and podcasts with downloaded local files.
  4. Swipe left on the content you want to delete and tap Remove Download.
  5. To delete an entire section like playlists or albums, tap the three dots menu and choose Remove All Downloads.
  6. Confirm you want to delete the selected local files when prompted.
  7. Close and re-open the Spotify app to remove the downloads from device storage.
  8. You can also go to Settings > Storage to see total storage used and delete from there.
  9. Signing out of your Spotify account on mobile will also erase any existing local file downloads.

Clearing Spotify Cache on Desktop

In addition to deleting selectively, you can clear the entire Spotify cache and local files on your desktop in one go:

  1. Quit the Spotify application if open.
  2. Open your File Explorer or Finder and navigate to the cache folder location:
    • Windows: %APPDATA%/Spotify/Cache
    • Mac: ~/Library/Caches/com.spotify.client/Cache
  3. Select all files and folders and delete them. This will clear the entire cache.
  4. For good measure, also empty the recycle bin to complete the file deletion.
  5. Launch Spotify again. The cache will be reset with no downloaded local files.
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This wiped all cached data, requiring everything to be re-downloaded when playing. So only use this method if you want to truly start fresh.

How to Clear Cache on Mobile

To clear the cache on mobile:

  1. Force quit the Spotify app if it’s open.
  2. Open your device Settings.
  3. Go to General > iPhone/iPad Storage or Android Device Care > Storage.
  4. Select Spotify and tap Offload App or Clear Cache.

This will delete the app data and cache. When you re-open Spotify, all local files will have to be re-downloaded, giving you a clean slate.

Preventing Files from Downloading Again

Once you’ve deleted local files, you’ll likely want to prevent the same tracks and albums from automatically downloading again to your device.

Here are a few tips to stop that from happening:

  • Turn off “automatic downloads” in settings on desktop and mobile. This prevents local file downloads unless you manually trigger it.
  • Remove the deleted albums and playlists from your Liked Songs on desktop and Your Library on mobile. This stops downloads.
  • Create a playlist called “Do Not Download” and add unwanted songs, albums and artists to that playlist instead of your library.
  • Download songs selectively rather than whole albums or playlists.
  • Switch streaming quality to “Low” which saves less local files than “High.”
  • Mark specific artists, albums and songs as “Do Not Recommend” so Spotify avoids suggesting them.

Alternative Ways to Delete Local Files

In addition to the main methods outlined already, there are a few more ways you can delete local Spotify files from desktop and mobile:

  • Uninstall and reinstall Spotify: Completely uninstalling and then fresh installing Spotify will wipe any existing local file downloads.
  • New user profile: On desktop, create a new Spotify user profile which will not have any downloads from your previous profile.
  • Delete app data: On Android, delete local Spotify data specifically through Settings -> Apps -> Spotify -> Storage -> Clear Cache and Clear Data options.
  • Reset device or reimage: Performing a factory reset or reimaging your computer will wipe all local Spotify files, though this is more extreme.
  • Contact support: You can also contact Spotify customer service if you need help removing stubborn, unwanted downloaded files from your devices.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about deleting local files on Spotify:

Q: Will deleting local files remove them from my Spotify account?

A: No, deleting local downloaded files only removes them from the specific device storage. They will still remain in your Spotify library and account online.

Q: Can I delete files without unsubscribing from a playlist?

A: Yes, removing the local files will not affect your subscriptions or followers. Playlists and accounts stay the same.

Q: Will removing local files also delete my Spotify settings?

A: No, your app settings, preferences, login details, etc. will not be impacted. Only the cached audio files are deleted.

Q: If I delete files on desktop, will they be deleted on mobile too?

A: No, you will need to selectively remove files from each device separately, as the local caches are unique.

Q: Is there a storage limit or number of local files I can have?

A: There is no set limit, but performance may decline if you have over 10,000 songs saved locally. Manage storage by deleting old, unused files.

Summary

Having old, unwanted Spotify downloads taking up device storage can be annoying. But thankfully deleting local files is straightforward on both desktop and mobile.

Simply use the built-in options to remove albums, artists, songs or playlists you no longer want cached for quick access. Or do a complete cache clear if you want to start fresh.

Keeping your Spotify app light and fast leads to better streaming, so don’t forget to delete local files you’re no longer listening to!

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