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Why does Spotify keep pausing? 3 quick fixes

Spotify on an iPhone
Play on: get past Spotify pauses

It is fantastically annoying when Spotify continually stutters or freezes when you’re trying listen to music. There are several things that might cause Spotify to keep pausing: here are the key culprits and how to deal with them.

1. Someone else is using the Spotify account

The prime reason why a Spotify account will suddenly pause mid-track is that someone else is using the same account. This can happen, for example, if you’re trying to listen on your smartphone and someone at home has started playing Spotify on a smart speaker. You’re not allowed to stream from the same account from two devices at the same time, so when someone starts streaming on a new device, the one that’s current playing stops.

How to fix it

There are a couple of ways around this problem. The first is to take out a Spotify Duo or Family subscription that gives you multiple accounts. That way, when someone else in the family starts streaming, it won’t knock out someone else’s music.

We have a Family account in our household. To prevent the problem of Alexa playback cutting out my music, we have a ‘house’ account that is used for the smart speakers. Not only does this prevent my music being stopped when I’m out of the house and the kids fire up Alexa, it also prevents the kids’ music from polluting my Spotify recommendations. Trust me, that’s worth the extra money alone!

If you don’t want to pay for a second account, you can get around the problem by switching off data on your smartphone and listening to tracks you’ve downloaded for offline listening. This is obviously far from ideal, not least because you’ll lose data for all other apps, but if you just want to keep listening to music on the morning commute, it might tide you over.

2. Patchy data connection causing Spotify to keep pausing

Spotify app on iPhone with headphones
Spotify stutters: data glitches can cause pauses

The most likely reason for this is that you’ve lost the mobile data connection. Spotify is pretty good at buffering data, so that if you lose mobile data reception for a minute or two, your music streams are uninterrupted. However, longer dips in mobile data can interrupt streams.

How to fix it

If your smartphone appears to have lost its mobile data connection without any obvious cause, sometimes flicking the phone in and out of Flight Mode can sort the problem. This effectively resets the mobile data radios and forces them to seek a signal afresh. It’s often the quickest way to resume Spotify streams.

Another similar problem can be the phone latching onto a weak Wi-Fi signal. Say, for example, you’re listening to music in your garden, where you’re only just within range of Wi-Fi. That signal might not be strong enough for uninterrupted streams, but Wi-Fi always overrides mobile data. In those situations, switch your Wi-Fi off and rely on the mobile signal.

If you haven’t got mobile or Wi-Fi signal where you are, you can fall back on any music you’ve previously downloaded for offline listening (Premium accounts only).

3. Broken app causing Spotify to keep pausing

It’s possible that something has gone wrong with an app update that causes Spotify to keep randomly pausing. If you’re sure that it’s not other people on the same account that are causing the app to pause or problems with the data connection, then it’s worth trying the following advice…

How to fix it

Uninstall the Spotify app from your device. A long press on the app icon of any mobile device will give you the option to uninstall it. Then go to the relevant app store and it reinstall the app afresh. You’ll need your login and password details again, so make sure you have those first. Hopefully, that will resolve the stuttering.

Spotify logo with musical notes

More Spotify tips

Find out how to make Alexa speakers play your Spotify playlists

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at barry@bigtechquestion.com.

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