Fix: Spotify stops playing when screen is off on Android

Unless you are watching video podcasts or looking for music, you most likely use Spotify with the screen off for the majority of time. Connect headphones, press play, put your phone in a pocket, and enjoy. For some reason, some users can’t say the same because Spotify stops playing when screen is off on Android. This is a major problem and we blame aggressive process-killing nature of some Android skins. Luckily, there’s a solution for everything.

In case you, too, are experiencing issues with background playback on your Android, check the steps we listed below.

Table of contents:

  1. Allow background activity
  2. Disable Battery optimization
  3. Clear local data from Spotify
  4. Reinstall Spotify on your Android
  5. Prevent system from putting Spotify to sleep
  6. Update your Android firmware

How do I keep Spotify playing when my screen is off?

1. Allow background activity

Before we move to troubleshoot instructions, we’ll need you to check your offline tracks. If you play downloaded music from your library, make sure that your offline playlists are updated. Connect to Wi-Fi and open Spotify so it can update tracks. Also, make sure that Spotify is not playing music on other devices under the same account.

If the issue persists, we’ll need to check the background activity permission. Many OEMs (OneUI and MIUI are kind of notorious in this segment) tend to kill off background activity for apps that are not actively used. In this scenario, Spotify works in the background while your device is idle and the system is possibly stopping it to save the battery.

To ensure that Spotify can work in the background, you’ll need to find your way around System settings and give permission to Spotify so it can work freely in the background.

Here’s how to allow background activity for Spotify on Android:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Expand All apps.
  4. Open Spotify from the list of installed apps.
  5. Select Battery.
  6. Enable the Allow background activity option.

2. Disable Battery optimization

Going a step further, you can completely disable Battery optimization for Spotify. This might result in higher battery consumption but you’ll definitely avoid further issues with the playback while the screen is off.

Here’s how to disable Battery optimization for Spotify on Android:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Expand All apps.
  4. Open Spotify from the list of installed apps.
  5. Select Battery.
  6. Tap Optimize battery usage.
  7. Select All from the drop-down menu at the top.
  8. Find Spotify and disable battery optimization.

You can also lock the app in Recents. Just open Spotify, expand Recents, and tap on the Padlock icon next to Spotify to lock the app in RAM so it won’t be closed after your turn off the screen.

3. Clear local data from Spotify

The next thing you can try is resetting Spotify by clearing all local data. Have in mind that this action will delete all your local library (downloaded playlists, tracks, and podcast episodes), so you’ll need to redownload them again. Other than that, this should resolve issues caused by data corruption in the app and, hopefully, allow you to play music or podcasts while the screen is off.

Here’s how to clear local data from Spotify on your Android:

  1. Navigate to Settings > Apps > All apps > Spotify again.
  2. Tap Storage.
  3. Tap Clear data.
  4. Confirm and restart your device.
  5. Try playing music again with the screen off and check for improvements.

4. Reinstall Spotify on your Android

You can also reinstall the app if the issue persists. There is evidence that this is a bug with a certain Spotify version and the reinstall fixed the problem. However, if that doesn’t help, you can go backward and sideload an APK of an older Spotify version. You can find Spotify APKs, here. Make sure to avoid cracked premium versions from suspicious sources since that can lead to termination of your account.

Here’s how to reinstall Spotify on Android:

  1. Open Play Store.
  2. Search for Spotify.
  3. Expand the app from results.
  4. Tap Uninstall.
  5. Restart your device and get back to Play Store.
  6. Install Spotify again, sign in, and check for improvements.

5. Prevent system from putting Spotify to sleep

Samsung, Xiaomi, and a few others have a deep sleep feature that will automatically place unused apps to sleep mode. This shouldn’t apply to apps you frequently use, like Spotify, but you should probably prevent the system from even taking Spotify into consideration.

Here’s how to prevent the system from putting Spotify to sleep on Samsung devices:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Battery.
  3. Select Background usage limits.
  4. Tap Never sleeping apps.
  5. Tap the plus icon at the top and add Spotify to the list.

6. Update your Android firmware

Finally, if Spotify still stops playing when screen is off  on Android, we can only recommend reporting the problem to Spotify or your OEM. Also, make sure to keep your devices firmware up to date. Some users report that Spotify started working without issues after transition to a newer Android version.

You can check for updates manually by navigating to Settings > System > Software update. Check for updates and install whatever update is available.

With that said, we can conclude this article. Thank you for reading and feel free to share alternative solutions or ask in-detail about the ones we presented here. Post a comment in the comments section below or reach us on Facebook or Twitter.

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