How to listen to Spotify using no data from your phone plan

Note: this post was written in 2014 and much has changed since then. Please visit Spotify or the app store for your device and see what features are offered now.

original post, Oct 2014:

I have a Spotify Premium account. The price is $10 a month, but it gives you some pretty nice features:

  • play any song any time you want. Skip or repeat songs as often as you like.
  • no ads, no commercials, no interruptions. Just your music until you stop it.
  • simple song discovery and playlist creation. Find a song, add it to a list, then listen. NO SYNCING!
  • kiss corporate radio, heavy rotation, and endless Las Vegas concert ads goodbye (!!!)

Those are nice, but the KILLER feature of Spotify’s Premium plan is the Listen Offline function. Streaming music can put a serious dent in your phone data plan if you don’t have an unlimited plan. Here is how you can enjoy Spotify music using no data from your phone data plan:

1. First, connect your phone to a wifi connection. You probably have access at home, work, school, hotels, or hotspots.

2. Next, disable Cellular access to Spotify on your phone. On an iPhone, go to your “Settings / Cellular” page. Scroll down to the Spotify app and disable the slider (set to white, not green):

cellular data

3. Now when you start the Spotify app on your phone, Spotify will nag you with this pop up warning:

cellular data 2

That’s good. That message lets you know that you are only using wifi data with your Spotify app. No more data plan usage!

4. Now, when you have a wifi connection, you can use Spotify as usual and stream whatever music you want. That’s great, but what if a wifi connection isn’t available (like at my gym)? That’s where Spotify’s Listen Offline function comes in. On your phone in your Spotify app, go to the top of a playlist and flip the “Available Offline” switch to green, like this:

The Spotify app will then download all of the songs in that playlist to your phone. Those songs and the playlist will be available for you to listen to any time you want even when you don’t have a cellular or wifi connection. You can do this for any of your playlists. This is pretty handy if you want to have many playlists for different occasions (e.g. running, working out, driving, relaxing, etc.)

For example: my son has an old iPhone 3 with no sim card in it. He uses the Spotify app on his phone via wifi and downloads all of his favorite songs and playlists to it. When we go on trips, he is set with music for hours. When we get to the hotel, he connects back up to wifi, finds more songs, creates more playlists, and does it all again.

Spotify Premium’s Listen Offline function makes music downloading and syncing seamless.

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Mary Helen
Mary Helen
7 years ago

Does Spotify charge you when it downloads the playlists to your phone?

7 years ago

When you want to listen to the songs or playlists you’ve downloaded from Spotify, donyouvlisten they Spotify app or music app on your iPhone?
We are still using up lots of data- I’m guessing a family member isn’t doing all these steps! 🙂