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Spotify Desktop App doesn't open without internet-access (Windows 10)

Spotify Desktop App doesn't open without internet-access (Windows 10)


Family Plan


Desktop PC

Operating System

Windows 10


My Question or Issue

Today my internet didnt work for about 2h. Since I could not access the web-player (which I normally use), I decided to open the Desktop app. I have about 1000 songs downloaded there, so the fact that I'm offline shoudn't be a big issue.


However I coundn't do anything. The program opened, but it just showed a black screen with the three option-dots in the the top-left-corner. I tried setting it to offline-mode, but that didn't help either. Multiple restarts also didn't do anything.

As soon as the internet came back, I just had to restart it again and everything worked as it should.


Whats the point of having a song-download function if you can't open the app when offline?

Top Answer
Spotify Legend

Hi everyone. Thanks for reporting this and helping us troubleshoot further.

Our developers haven't been able to reproduce this on newer versions, but they'd still like to look into this further.


When troubleshooting it often helps to have a look at the log file and see what's going on under the hood.


To allow us to dig a little deeper, it would help if you share a log file with us. (This is for Windows, specifically.)

  • Important: if Spotify is running, make sure you completely close it (considering the nature of this issue it shouldn't be running, but we like to be thorough)
  • Open the Command Prompt by pressing the windows key and typing command. This should bring up Command Prompt (app); open that.
    Alternatively, you can press the Windows key and r simultaneously, then type cmd and hit the Return/Enter key.
  • Now copy/paste what's below and hit the Return/Enter key. It should open the Spotify app and generate a log file on your desktop.
  • Lastly, just post the log file as an attachment to your post. If it exceeds the allowed limit, you can also upload it to Google Drive and share the link to it.
    if exist "%APPDATA%\Spotify" (
        cd "%APPDATA%\Spotify"
        start Spotify.exe --log-file="%USERPROFILE%\Desktop\Spotify.log"
    ) else (
     start Spotify.exe --log-file="%USERPROFILE%\Desktop\Spotify.log"   


46 Replies

Hi there @kachelstacktus


Thanks for getting in touch about this here in the Community. 


Just to confirm, did you follow these specific steps to download your content and activate the Offline mode?


If so, could you try logging out and then logging back in to your account to check if that makes any difference?


Also, could you check if this is happening across devices or only on your PC?


Keep us posted.

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“Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens.”– Maria von Trapp



I have the same issue. I have my music downloaded, but when I boot my laptop at a location without wifi, spotify will only display an empty grey screen, and there are no navigation controls to go to my playlists etc


To get it to work, I close spotify back down. I then need to take my phone out, activate a mobile hotspot to provide internet to the laptop, and then I can reopen spotify on the laptop. Then it will start properly. I can then immediately deactivate the mobile hotspot and continue using spotify and my offline playlists.

Hey @BjornSJE,

Thank you for reporting about this on the Community!

Could we ask you for the make and model of your laptop, the operating system it runs on as well as the exact version of the Spotify app you are having this issue with? Are you sure that this is the latest version available, if not we strongly recommend checking on any available updates and running them as soon as you have Internet!

Also as @Eni recommended above, logging out and back in (try it at least two times in a row) could usually help resolve current hick-ups between the app and your device. 

Hope this helps. Let us know how you get on.

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@elena my laptop is an HP Envy 17 (2018) running windows 10. It is fully updated and has automatic updates available. Two weeks ago I got my new Lenovo Legion 7i, which has just been installed with all the latest versions and updates, and it exhibits the exact same behavior when I am at my dance hall (no wifi). The playlist has previously been fully downloaded, but Spotify simply only starts to a blank screen until I connect it to my phone's mobile hot-spot. This prevents truly offline use... 

Once I am connected Spotify opens up, and I can immediately drop the connection. But I would like this step to be unnecessary

Hi @BjornSJE,


Thank you for your reply. 


This is very odd behavior. Please run a clean reinstall on both computers and make sure to download the app directly from the Microsoft Store, then download some music and test it again. 


Let us know how this goes!

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The behavior remained the same after a clean reinstall.

Hey again @BjornSJE,

Thanks for keeping us in the loop!


On the devices with no access to internet, where the black screen appears, you should still be able to access the 3-dot menu, where you can select the Offline mode to be enabled, then try to restart the app again to see if it will load correctly.

Keep us posted.

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It seems very hit and miss.

- I had it start one day without any issue while not having internet

- I had it start one day to the empty gray screen without an option to proceed. Using the three dots and checking offline does not help

- The last couple of sessions it always started to the screen attached. Reloading or using the three dots does not help.

Screenshot 2021-11-03 184457.png

Hi @BjornSJE,


Thanks for sending us this info.


Could you let us know if this happens across devices or only on your PC?


Additionally, could you ask a friend or a relative to log in to their account in your PC to check if the issue persists with a different account?


Keep us posted.

Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution".
If you appreciate my answer, maybe give me a Like.
“Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens.”– Maria von Trapp



Wanted to toss in my 2 cents:


I've been having this exact problem, on 2 of my laptops as well.  One is an older MSI with Windows 10 and the other is brand new, fresh out of the box, MSI with a fresh install for the first time of Spotify, not even week old and every time I get the same error as what Bjorn posted as well.


Since its happening on multiple machines of mine, (would happen on an HP too) and happening on one with the freshest install possible, as well as a slew of other people, I'm going to suggest that the issue is NOT caused by the client side, and is an issue with the Spotify program itself. 


I've been having offline issues for a while, and I'm tired of seeing "try a fresh install" as a solution.  It doesn't fix it.  It might mend it for a few a little bit but the problem comes back.  Obviously the issue isn't all the end users, it couldn't possibly be. 


It's time for your coders to put their thinking hats on and get this solved once and for all.   Apple music and Amazon music look more attractive as an option every time I see this error. 


I pay for this service. This is not free.  There is NO excuse why this STILL happens.   There is no excuse why there are still messages about this and why we still have this problem.  Google it. It goes back YEARS not just months.  





Hello Eni,


This happens on multiple laptops and across accounts

Hey folks,


Thanks for your replies.


This seems to be a rather intermittent behavior since we haven't been able to replicate it on our end, nor have we received any other recent reports.


In this case, it's worth reaching out to our Support team through any of these channels to check if maybe there are some issues with your accounts.


If you have any questions or need anything else, the Community is here for you.

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issue is still reproducible and it's not intermittent unfortunately, tried on two different PCs 😞
env: windows 10, Spotify for Windows
1. put windows in airplane mode or restrict any internet
2. launch Spotify > gray screen as described in the above posts is still persistent, spotify is actually unusable regardless of trying with offline mode or logging out.
3. after re-establishing PC connection to internet, relaunching the app makes it look like it never happened. kinda frustrating but reproducible 10/10.

Hi @iuliant,


Thank you for reaching out to the Community.


To start, we'd like to make sure if you've followed the troubleshooting steps shared throughout this thread. If not, please give them all a try. 


In case the issue persists, please follow the link shared by @CarlosE to contact the folks from Customer Support who can take a deeper look into your account.


Keep us posted.

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 @iuliant is describing exactly how to replicate it.


We've tried these "solutions" over and over.  I think most people just get frustrated posting and give up because it works for a few days and we're back to offline error or "reload page"  (BTW not sure why if the software is in offline mode it would be trying to Reload a page...ya know since there's no internet...)  


This is not an intermittent problem.  Do me a favor, go to Google, type in "Spotify doesn't load in offline mode" (or "doesn't play in offline mode", your choice)  and you'll see that this is nothing new and has been going on for YEARS.  It's unacceptable that the solution is just uninstall and reinstall again.  Yes, the first thing you should do when you have a problem with software is uninstall and reinstall.  But I've done that.  Looks like it's safe to say even that a collective "We've done this"  and yet on multiple laptops I personally still have this exact issue.   


I was even told once on this forum to use Spotify in windows 8 compatibility mode to try to fix this.  Are you kidding?  We're running Windows 10, and the solution is compatibility mode for one of the crappier versions of Windows, but... Ok I'll try that.... (still didn't fix it btw)


I just bought a brand new out of the box MSI gaming laptop, did the FIRST install of Spotify ever on the laptop, and within a week it was doing this again.  UNACCEPTABLE. You can't get more fresh an install than the first time, and then just miraculously I'm having the same issues as laptops I've uninstalled and reinstalled Spotify on over and over... 


Yeah you guys are correct.  This is a problem on the end user side.  This couldn't possibly be the Spotify software.  Please keep giving me more suggestions of how to "fix" my problem.


I don't have to reinstall iTunes every week or 2.  I don't have to reinstall Microsoft Office once a month. I don't have to reinstall games I play.  I don't have to reinstall windows 10 every couple weeks.  Discord? Steam? Naw, they work great, never have to reinstall them. 


This is a Spotify problem, not an end user problem.  


Also, this is the 2nd time I've written this message because I forgot to copy my message before hitting submit.  I forgot how great the Spotify forums are and that the first time you spend time typing out a message, it almost always errors out and you loose everything you've typed.  Another great piece of software you all have Spotify.




To some people its mild inconvenience. For almost everyone you can have connection back within a matter of days or hours. I am part of the antarctic expedition crew. I DONT have internet for half a year. Imagine my surprise when I couldn't play thousands of songs I payed for for the duration of the expedition. No, you can't.


Thank you, spotify. 

It's happened for me on both my laptops continuously since posting these messages.  


Maybe I should just post here every time it happens, so we can see that it's not intermittent?   It's all about the offline mode.  If you have internet connected it works just fine, but offline mode, it has an issue.


I have a theory to what's going on.  Ready?


Back when I had the paid version of Napster, yes, we're going way back to the 2000s here.... The songs had to "refresh" every 30 days to make sure that the DRM (digital rights management) for the song's licenses were current and paid for.   It used Windows DRM which were WMV files that were locked without having a license on that specific PC.  You could purchase music with that DRM and then move it from PC to PC with it's license though, which was cool but annoying.


Now if I understand correctly WDRM is no longer a thing, and each music service themselves have to created their own DRM for their software. 


So, fast forward to today with Spotify.  When it won't open, and I connect internet the first thing I see it do is download 1, 2 4, or even 20 random songs in playlists.  So my theory here is that the DRM doesn't understand what offline mode is, and only knows that "today I have to connect and make sure a song's license is current", therefore it fights back and says "NO. YOU GET NO SPOTIFY TILL I GET MY INTERNET TO MAKE SURE YOU"RE STILL PAYING FOR SPOTIFY"  and now cue that awesome "reload" button which of course does absolutely nothing but infuriate the user, because duh, there is no internet.


So what I think is going on is random songs in my library, expire each day, therefore need to be refreshed.  I have a TON of music downloaded on my laptops because I frequently work with limited mobile internet (or area's with none) and see no reason to stream audio when I'm paying for a service to have it downloaded to my PC.


I'm not a software engineer. I'm just a PC brain that's been a PC since the 80s.  I know just enough about coding to get into trouble, and of course arguments on the internet.


Again, I would love for an actual Spotify engineer to get involved in these conversations rather than forum moderators.  While we appreciate what you do, you are not who needs to be responding to these messages anymore.  We need to "elevate" this to a much higher level.

I got the exact same problem. I pay for Spotify Premium so i can download my playlists for when my internet is down. This thread is over 6 months old and there is still no solution. Always just the same copy-paste answer. Did you guys even forwad this problem to your tech guys? You might think we are just a "minority" so you don't have to care about us, but this problem is all over the internet. Really weak guys, really weak. Maybe Itunes is the better music provider after all...

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