Local Files Song Causes Playlists to De-sync

Local Files Song Causes Playlists to De-sync


Anytime I add a local file song to a playlist on any platform, it causes that playlist to de-sync and two versions of that playlist begin to exist. One version with the local file song, that is on the platform where I made the change and and another version on all other platforms that lacks the local files song. Any changes made to either versions of the playlist ends up not translating to other platforms. The only way to re-sync up playlists is to clear the cache on the platform where the initial change was made. This reverts the playlist back to a state before the local files song was added. This means that it is impossible for me to transfer local files songs from my desktop to my iOS device as any time I attempt to add a local files song to a playlist on my desktop, the playlists de-sync and thus the song does not show up in the playlist on my phone. I have tried reinstalling app on both my pc and phone but neither fixes the issue.


24 Replies


I am having the same thing, it happens since a few days. More details:
Reinstalled both the win desktop app and the iPhone app but that doesn't fix it.
After the reinstalls, "old" local files are downloaded to the iPhone along with the other files of te playlist, but "new" local files (that were added after this issue appeared) are not. So downloading local files itself still works fine, just not the recently added local files.

Ya, any preexisting playlist prior to like a week ago still work. Strange stuff.


Hi there @nafizurahman,


Thanks for reaching out to the Community and welcome.


This sounds like a very odd issue. As a first step, we understand that you already tried reinstalling the app, but can you try it again by following these steps? This is more thorough than a regular reinstall and can be helpful to get rid of any cached files that might be causing trouble.


If the issue persists, try syncing your Local files again with these steps while using a different connection, like a mobile hotspot.


Keep us posted on how it goes.

Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution".
If you appreciate my answer, maybe give me a Like.

Neither of them solve the issue. Old playlists with local files songs in them sync just fine. Its just the new playlists that end up de-syncing when a local file song is added to them.


Hi @carlosE,

I just did a clean reinstalls on windows 10 desktop and iPhone (iOS 15.1) according to instructions above. Unfortunately the issue is still there.

Observations that might be useful: After the reinstalls, the playlists that contain local files on the desktop are "rolled back" to their state a few weeks back (I assume to their last state before this issue appeared). When I change the order of a few tracks in such a playlist on the desktop app, the change immediately appears on the iPhone. I haven't downloaded playlists on the iPhone yet at that point and local files are greyed out.

When I use the desktop app to add a local file that already was in another playlist it does not appear on the iPhone, while I would expect it to be shown - greyed out because I have not downloaded the playlist. Then I change the order of a few (non-local) tracks again on the desktop app and the change does not appear on the iPhone, so apparently this playlist is no longer syncing. Changes made to the playlist on the iPhone do not appear on the desktop.


I did the same experiment in another playlist with a new local file that I just added to the laptop, the same behavior occurs. All this is without any playlists downloaded on the iPhone so the issue seems unrelated to downloading. Then I touch the download icon on both playlists and they are downloaded just fine in their "iPhone version", including the local files that were in them longer than a few weeks ago.



This is very much a new bug. I use Spotify to make my own playlists and sometimes they require local files because the songs I want, or the versions of them I want, are not on Spotify.

After you've pretty much broken the old client which I have been using because it's far easier to manipulate, when I dropped in a local file, it just jumped straight out again. Strange, seeing this is an old client, but it is synching with something to do this.

I added the file in the new desktop but the old one isn't picking up the change at all.

Mobile Android isn't picking up the change either, that's on the old phone.

When I copied a playlist to a new one, the local files appeared at the bottom of it, not in the place where they go.


You've been breaking what worked well since 2014 and have gone out of your way to break it even further. Bring back Spotify to what it was, i.e. users deciding what we want to listen to, our choice our playlists.


I just put my old client into "Offline Mode" to replace your mislabelled live version of Purple Hearts - Millions Like Us with the proper studio version I have locally.  Offline mode it did indeed go in the playlist and play, but the moment I went back online it removed it and put the live version back.



Hi folks,


Thanks for the replies.


@potverpillepap, it seems that after the clean reinstall local files work as expected. Playlists which include local files need to be downloaded on the phone in order for the local files to play. This is because Spotify can only play music from it's cache. Local files are stored on your computer and need to be converted to Spotify cache and downloaded on your phone to become playable.


@EarlPurple, can you run us through what throubleshooting you've done so far? The local file version should remain in a playlist even in Online mode, so what you should see in your playlist are two tracks, one you've added from the Spotify library and one from your local files.


Keep us posted on how you get on.

Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution".
If you appreciate an answer, maybe give it a Like.
Are you new to the Community? Take a moment to introduce yourself!

Hi @Alex,

Thanks for your reply.

No, after the clean install working with local files does not work as expected because one crucial thing is wrong: when you add a local file to a playlist (a new local file or one that was already used in another playlist and already downloaded to the iPhone, doesn't matter), that playlist is no longer synced. So from that moment on any changes made to the playlist do not appear on my iPhone. 

If you want me to look something up on my machine that might help you figuring out what goes wrong I can do that. I'm a software developer so no problem if things get very nerdy 🙂


Today the key issue appears to have fixed itself, without me having to reinstall anything. My PC still runs the old version of Spotify i.e. 0.9 which I know Spotify do not officially support but it worked without any issues until about 2 weeks ago,  after which I can no longer view an artist, the name of a playlist or its length or look at "all matches".


This client has generally been far easier to create playlists - there is less clutter on the screen so more tracks fit into the screen. It's easier to drag a local file into a playlist in the location where I want it - my playlists have an order - and I can copy-paste from it into Excel and see the names of the songs, so I know which ones are missing or even if there's a total mismatch with what I was expecting and what I got (using "tunemymusic" because Spotify itself doesn't provide a text-to-playlist feature). 6-7 years on from the "new" Spotify client and these simple features were never put back, and the view is worse in fact because when I search a track it puts the results on top of the playlist rather than on top of my library list and I want to see the playlist I'm trying to add to.


Much of the time these playlists are basically the new entries in the UK top 75 singles chart and US Billboard Hot 100 top 40 for 3 consecutive weeks (at present I'm somewhere around September 1979 thus Millions Like Us by Purple Hearts).

In case you think it was just the old client that was having an issue, it wasn't.

I have the new client on my laptop and also an Android, and there were problems synching changes on the laptop to the android too, as well as copy-pasting a playlist with local songs from the new client onto another playlist on the same client, whereby the local tracks either disappeared or was shifted to the end.

I guess the issues I've had with the client not showing the details properly is the way the request is returned. As I know basically how web requests work, it sends a request and gets a response (probably in JSON format) and parses that onto the client. If the response detail has changed, the old client won't know how to parse it.



Hi @Alex, I am having the same issue.

Any playlist I have that I added local files to prior to yesterday (when I updated my desktop version) had those files synced fine, it is only when I now add new local files to a playlist that it stops it from syncing. I have also since updated the Spotify version on my phone and the issue has remained the same. To help try and explain this better I did a test:

  1. Created a playlist called 'test' on my desktop: this synced and appeared on the app on my phone.
  2. Added any number of Spotify/steamed songs to the playlist from my desktop: these synced and appeared on the playlist on my phone.
  3. Added a single local file song to the playlist from my desktop: this did not sync and did not appear on the playlist on my phone.
  4. Added a Spotify/streamed song to the playlist from my desktop with the local file still on the playlist: this now also did not sync to the playlist on my phone.
  5. Removed the local file song from the playlist from my desktop: the playlist on my phone still does not update from step 2.
  6. Added a final Spotify/streamed song to the playlist from my desktop: the playlist on my phone still does not update from step 2.
  7. Added a Spotify/streamed song to the playlist from my phone: the song added from my phone does not sync over and appear on my desktop.

It appears that adding a single local file to a playlist now 'locks' that playlist from syncing between devices. I have tried clean installs (following the steps you detailed) but they do not change the above behaviour. I have over 1000 local files downloaded on my phone from my desktop that were synced prior to yesterday but any new local files added to playlists since then exhibit the above behaviour of 'locking' the playlist from being able to sync between devices.


I am having the same problem, reinstalling does not seem to help and it has not fixed it on its own. I too have been using local files for years now and while syncing can sometimes been tricky it has never outright broken my playlists. This is incredibly annoying. 


Same problem here. All the local files I had synced from my desktop to my mobile device are no longer downloaded as well. They still show up on the mobile playlist (though they can't be played, obviously); I honestly wouldn't mind local files from one device not showing up on the other, but desyncing the whole playlist even for streamable songs seems ridiculous.


Same issue here! Spotify sadly still blames the users for this issue. But it's clearly an issue with Spotify itself, maybe it's servers. 

I hope we get an appropriate answer soon and hopefully Spotify sees that it's a bug on their end.


Bump. Spotify, acknowledge this issue.




And after it worked for a short while you've gone and completely broken it again.

I have a playlist with one local song on. Don't ask me why Spotify doesn't have Addrisi Brothers' "Ghost Dancer", you have other songs of theirs. But there it is, you don't have it. You have the other 43 I was looking for, but when I try to make the playlist with this track in it, you bounce it out - the track or the entire playlist.


I copy-paste what I want to be in my playlist in the order, because that's how I do it. It instantly removes all the songs again.

After going offline to do it, it now tells me I can't do that in offline mode (since when?)

Seems like Spotify is deliberately deprecating its primary feature of allowing users to create their own playlists which can include "local tracks" when they are not on Spotify.


Yup, I did a very similar test, same thing happened to me as well


Bump. Spotify fix this



Suggested posts

Env: prod