Local Files not playing on Iphone

Local Files not playing on Iphone



I have a bunch of local files on my mac and those songs are playing just fine on my playlist there, but when I try to use it on my phone only four of the songs show up. I've tried everything but nothing seems to fix this. Help!

21 Replies


Hey @emalameddine!

There's a couple of things that you can try to fix this:

  1.  Make sure the download option is enabled on your iphone for the playlist that the local files are in
  2. Make sure that you're on the most recent version of the Spotify app on both, your computer and your iPhone
  3. Your computer and iPhone are on the same Wifi network (to download the local files). Make sure the Spotify app is open on both devices. 
  4. If it still doesn't show up, try a clean reinstall of the app on your iPhone, this will force the app to retry downloading the local files.

Let me know if, after that, it's still not working! 


Doesn't work for me either, re-installed spotify on phone, did not help... what to do?



If that doesn't fix it, it may be that these files are of an unsupported file format. Spotify can only play .mp3, .mp4, .m4p (as long as it's not in the M4A format). It is also possible that those songs are protected by some kind of digital rights management that is preventing it from being played. There's a little more information about that here!


nope, had them on my phone before... and they play on the desktop version

I just wanted to hear my meditation before sleep and now I am still awake and upset, haha


I've had this problem for over a year and it's a bug Spotify doesn't seem to want to fix. However, I found an almost-solution which has, so far, worked 90% of the time.

You will need a computer logged into your Spotify account and your iPhone on the same network. 

Before I begin, I have to apologise as my Spotify is in French and so my translations may not be exactly what you see in the English version.


1. Make sure both iPhone are logged into the same account and on the same network.

2. On your phone, connect to your computer so that at the bottom of the screen you see the name of your computer in green.

3. Create a new playlist folder and give in a relevant name

4. On your computer play the file that doesn't appear on your iPhone

5. On your phone, click on the name of your computer so that you see the name of the song that is playing

6. Click on the three dots at the top right on the screen on your iPhone

7. Click "Add to playlist" and add it to the new folder you created in step 3

8. On the iPhone screen you should see "Download in progress" or whatever the equivalent phrase is on the English version

9. On your phone, look for the new folder you created and, hopefully, you will see that your song is now playable on your phone.



I was so tired of listening to people give the same suggestions to this issue because they didn't read the symptoms.


I really hope this helps some of you/us


By the way. If, when adding, you're told that the file already exists in a location, add it again, anyway.


I'm having the same issue. I have a playlist of local files on my mac with 135 songs.


I followed all the steps to make the playlist/songs availble on my iphone, but only 4/135 songs have downloaded. It will say "Downloading 0 of 135" for a minute or so until a box pops up that says "If you own this song try to save it offline" or something like that.


No idea why only 4 songs are downloading and the rest are stuck. This service is very frustrating.


I can verify that after trying other people’s methods multiple times, lesombres  method mentioned above actually works.


it's honestly ridiculous that spotify local has this many issues. I've never had a smooth experience with this service. album art almost never syncs for me but I've learned to accept it. recently got the iPhone 11 and when re-syncing the local files a select few files download, the rest have the green download arrow but are greyed out? The album art and artist name also just don't show up anymore. this whole service is honestly frustrating there are so many other services with this feature who have implemented it much better.



Hey folks, 


Thanks for searching for the answer you need here! 

As @landonharris88 mentioned, a clean reinstall is recommended instead of the regular reinstall. We suggest this step as it'll remove the old drivers first and then install the new ones. It'll also get you the latest version of Spotify. Then you can try syncing the local files again. 


Always make sure the two devices are connected to the same network when working with local files.  


Hope this helps. Keep us posted.


I managed to get the ONE track I have locally - I own the album it came from - to play on my iPhone 11 while they're connected to each other but I still can't download that track. There's no green arrow beside that song :C

Super frustrating because it's my favourite sprinting track AND it used to work until a year or so ago.



I have struggled with this for a few months now, I only have one source switched "on" for my local files source 



I have also attempted all the steps previously mentioned in this thread



None of these solutions work

-cleared cache on both iphone and windows

-clean reinstalled

-on same network, local files enabled, all songs are "downloaded," yet they only work on pc

-even tried lesombres method, didnt work

-fix this its been 4 years im begging you


Hi @duncancain,


Welcome to the Community and thanks for reaching out!


Could you confirm that you've allowed the Spotify app to access your local network? This can be done under your iPhone's settings > Privacy > Local Network. Find Spotify and make sure it's toggled on.


Then, try downloading your local files on your iPhone again, making sure Local audio files is turned on (this can be done in the Spotify app > Settings > Local files).


You can also try adding a new source for local files on your computer, then add them to a new playlist and try downloading it on your phone to see if that makes a difference.


Let us know how it goes. Cheers!

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my issue is that I press on the song to play it and it plays, but only for like a split second, then it closes out of the song entirely


Hey @2pjo13_d-qhzv,


Thanks for the post.


Can you let us know if this is happening with all local files or just certain ones?


Looking forward to your reply.

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I have the same problem.Is being on the same version on both the device a must because my phone is old and the latest version of spotify requires a updated version of ios so i have a older version of spotify on phone but latest on pc.


Hey @Atlantes!


It's recommended that you always keep the app up to date, but you should still be able to upload your local files to your phone. You can check out this article for more information on how to do that.


In case you run into some issues, try logging out and signing back in twice in a row as it triggers an internal refresh.



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