How to Delete Local Files on Spotify?

Have some songs or albums saved locally on your Spotify app taking up space? Want to delete downloaded music from a device no longer in use? Spotify makes it easy to delete local audio files while still keeping them available for streaming. You’ll learn how to delete local files on Spotify!

Read on to learn how clearing out cached tracks, removing downloads, and disabling local file storage can help optimize your Spotify experience by freeing up local storage space.

What Are Local Files on Spotify?

Local files refer to any Spotify music, podcasts or other audio content you have downloaded to a device for offline listening. This allows you to play the media without an internet connection.

Key characteristics of Spotify local files:

  • They are cached copies of songs, albums, playlists or podcasts from Spotify’s catalog.
  • Take up storage space on your device until deleted.
  • Playback is possible without wifi or data connectivity when offline.
  • Audio quality depends on your Spotify plan and download settings.
  • Serve as a backup in case content is removed from Spotify’s servers.

Managing and selectively deleting these local files can help conserve storage space while still preserving favorites for offline listening.

Why Delete Local Spotify Files?

There are a few key reasons you may want to delete local audio files cached from Spotify:

  • To free up storage space on your device if low on capacity.
  • Removing downloads no longer needed after getting a new device.
  • Clearing up old songs or podcasts you no longer listen to regularly.
  • Temporary downloads that are obsolete after a trip or commute.
  • Fixing playback issues that may arise from excessive cached files.
  • Reducing app size and profile bloat caused by numerous downloads.
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While downloading allows offline listening, periodic removal of unneeded downloads helps keep your app light and device storage optimized.

How to Clear Local Files on Mobile

To delete local audio files from the Spotify app on your iPhone, Android or other mobile devices:

  1. Open the Spotify app and tap on a downloaded playlist, album or podcast.
  2. Tap the “Download” icon next to the title.
  3. Select “Remove Download” to delete the local files.
  4. Confirm removing the downloaded content.
  5. Repeat for any other downloads no longer needed.

This will remove the local audio files while still keeping them available for streaming.

Removing Local Files on Desktop

To clear out downloaded music or podcasts from the desktop version of Spotify:

  1. Click on a downloaded playlist name to open it.
  2. Click the “Download” button near the title.
  3. Select “Remove from This Device” to delete local files.
  4. Confirm removing the download from your computer.
  5. Repeat for any other downloads you wish to remove.

Now those playlists will no longer take up disk space but remain in your library for streaming.

How to Disable Local File Storage

In addition to selectively removing downloads, you can proactively disable local file storage:

On mobile:

  1. Go to Settings > Storage
  2. Toggle “Local Files” off
  3. Confirm stopping downloads

On desktop:

  1. Go to Edit > Preferences
  2. Select “Local Files”
  3. Uncheck “Enable Local File Storage”

This will prevent Spotify from caching any further local song and podcast files.

Other Ways to Delete Local Spotify Files

Some additional options for removing downloaded Spotify content include:

  • Deleting and reinstalling the Spotify app.
  • Clearing the Spotify app cache and data in your device settings.
  • Using a storage space cleaner app to identify and delete Spotify files.
  • Deleting Spotify files directly through your device’s file manager.
  • Performing a factory reset on your device to wipe all local files.
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While more cumbersome, these methods ensure a fully clean slate with no lingering downloads.

What Happens When You Delete Local Spotify Files?

When you remove downloaded Spotify content from a device:

  • The local audio files are deleted to free up disk space.
  • The songs and podcasts still exist in your Spotify library for streaming.
  • You lose the ability to listen offline without an internet connection.
  • Playback on that particular device will switch to streaming.
  • Other devices will not be affected if downloads remain.

So deleting local files simply removes offline, device-specific access while retaining the media in your overall Spotify account for on-demand streaming.

Can You Recover Deleted Local Spotify Files?

Unfortunately, once you confirm deleting downloaded Spotify content, there is no way to recover the removed local audio files.

However, you can simply redownload any tracks, albums or playlists you still wish to access offline:

  • Browse your Spotify library for the song or podcast.
  • Tap the “Download” icon next to the title.
  • The content will get cached again locally for offline use.

Just be diligent about redownloading key playlists or albums you might still need offline before your next trip or commute.

Are There Any Risks When Deleting Local Spotify Files?

While generally safe, some risks of removing your downloaded Spotify content include:

  • Losing access to rare tracks that get removed from Spotify’s catalog.
  • Missing out on early album or single releases if they get pulled.
  • Forgetting to redownload essential playlists for an upcoming offline commute or trip.
  • Losing forensic meta-data evidence if investigating copyright infringement.
  • Accidentally deleting important files if not careful.
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So proceed cautiously, and consider backing up rare Spotify downloads before deletion just in case.

Can Deleting Local Files Impact Spotify Streaming?

Removing downloads will not actually affect the ability for Spotify to stream content to that device. Streaming relies fully on internet connectivity and Spotify’s servers, not local storage.

However, deleting all local files can impact streaming if:

  • You have limited data bandwidth and relied on downloads to conserve data.
  • You stream in areas with frequent connectivity disruptions.
  • You listen on airplane mode and forgot to redownload playlists.

In these cases, streaming reliability may suffer slightly without local file backup. But overall, deleting old downloads should not disrupt normal Spotify streaming capabilities.

Achieve Spotify Storage Freedom

With millions of tracks and podcasts available, Spotify downloads can quickly consume device storage without selective removal of unneeded content.

By taking advantage of Spotify’s tools for managing and deleting local files, you can strike the right balance between offline flexibility and optimal storage usage. Keep just those playlists, albums and podcasts truly essential for regular offline listening.

The key is being disciplined about periodically clearing out old, unused downloads to keep your Spotify profile light, responsive and storage-efficient. So embrace the freedom of streaming music without being weighed down by unnecessary local audio files.

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