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Spotify creates directory "Downloads" on start

Spotify creates directory "Downloads" on start

Plan: Premium
Country: Norway
Device: Laptop PC
Operating System: Linux

My Question or Issue Whenever I start Spotify, it creates a directory /home/USER/Downloads (if it does not exist). There is no apparent way to disable this.

The issue is confirmed with strace spotify > dump.txt 2>&1, which contains things like this:

access("/home/USER/Downloads", F_OK)  = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
stat("/", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
stat("/home", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
stat("/home/USER", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0700, st_size=12288, ...}) = 0
stat("/home/USER/Downloads", 0x7fff83cef870) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
mkdir("/home/USER/Downloads", 0700)   = 0

I would expect Spotify to adhere to the paths provided in ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs (which strace also confirms that Spotify indeed reads).

I’ve been annoyed at this bug for a couple of months, I think. I just recently recognized that the culprit is Spotify. That is, the bug has been introduced in a relatively recent version of the Spotify client on Linux.

See also: Related issue on Windows

5 Replies

This is so annoying. Why? Even if correctly reading or parsing ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs (which spotify is certainly having problems at properly doing it), there is no need to mkdir the directories, that's a job for xdg and spotify shouldn't touch it.

I agree. I also don't understand the point of creating a directory that is not even really used for anything. At least, with my use of Spotify I never download anything (except cached music).

For people annoyed by this issue, here is my hacky workaround:

Create a bash script named "spotify" and place it in $PATH in a place that takes priority over system-level stuff (like ~/.local/bin/spotify or ~/bin/spotify or whatever you use for personal scripts)


#!/bin/bash -m
/bin/spotify &
sleep 0.25 # Increase delay if folder persists
rmdir "$HOME/Downloads"


Still happening here.

ah I've finally found the process creating this directory!


This is so pointless, Spotify doesn't even use that location.


#low-hanging-fruit  #good-first-issue


Spotify devs, pls get to it already, it should be an easy fix.


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