Podcasts Not Playing On Spotify Desktop? (7 Common Issues)

Spotify users are not restricted to listening to just music, they even have access to a wealth of fantastic podcasts. Podcasts have become a huge part of the Spotify experience and many users enjoy getting their podcast fix on their desktop computers.

Occasionally, users have encountered that their podcasts don’t seem to play on the Spotify desktop app, and in this article, we take a look at why that is and how you can ensure your podcasts play when you want them to.

Photograph of the Spotify logo on computer screen

1. Your Desktop Computer Needs a Restart

Apps can and will crash on occasion, unfortunately, it’s a fact of life that all users experience from time to time.

However, there is a simple solution that is often overlooked.

Rebooting your Mac or Windows PC can fix a multitude of issues, including playback problems with on Spotify. The great thing about trying this solution is that it involves very little effort and should be attempted first before diving into more complicated fixes.

So, if you’ve found that your Spotify desktop app is unable to play your favorite podcast then try a restart of your machine and let your system have a chance to refresh.

  • Windows users can click the ‘Start Menu’ icon and then choose ‘Restart’
  • Mac users should power down their device and wait a minute before powering it up again.

Once the reboot of your computer has been completed it’s time to open up your Spotify app and test if the playback of your podcasts is still a problem.

In the event that there is still a problem, troubleshoot the issue further with the advice found in the rest of this article.

2. Hardware Acceleration Setting Needs to be Disabled

If you are having problems playing your podcasts on the Spotify Desktop app then it may be worth toggling a setting, specifically the Hardware Acceleration.

What is Hardware Acceleration?

This is a setting that should, in theory, allow your applications to run more efficiently.

Hardware Acceleration takes the pressure off your CPU to ensure that the programs you are using won’t crash or slow down.

If your computer is a little dated then this setting may cause more trouble than it’s worth because Hardware Acceleration will be putting pressure on components in your machine that are not able to handle it.

If the Hardware Acceleration setting is not appropriate for your computer then Spotify is likely to struggle to play your podcasts. Disabling this setting is, therefore, a prudent course of action.

Here’s How to Disable Spotify’s Hardware Acceleration Setting on Windows:

  1. Launch your Spotify Desktop app.
  2. Now click the three dots found in the top left corner.
  3. Hover over ‘View’.
  4. Find ‘Hardware Acceleration’ and remove the tick with a click.

Here’s How to Disable Spotify’s Hardware Acceleration Setting on Mac:

  1. Open the Spotify app on your Mac.
  2. Click Spotify found in the menu bar.
  3. Find ‘Hardware Acceleration’ and ensure that it is toggled off.

3. The Desktop Cache Needs to be Cleared

The Spotify desktop app has come under scrutiny from its users due to unexpected crashes. This sluggish behavior from the app, and how it prevents podcasts from playing, really needed a solution and thankfully one was discovered.

The issue that was lurking beneath this technical problem was an overloaded cache.

Now Spotify’s cache should, in theory, help speed things up for playback without the need for buffering your songs, however, if all this cached data becomes too much for your computer to handle then the opposite can occur.

The folks at Mackeeper.com explain that Spotify’s cache is not one of the app’s best features and in fact, is:

“(…) extremely poorly managed. It adds up over time, growing into an intimidatingly-large segment that takes up your Mac’s memory and causes the app itself to load slowly.”

[Source: Mackeeper.com]

This problem is not limited to Mac users – it’s a problem that can hamper podcast listening for Windows users, too.

If you feel like your Spotify Desktop app has been struggling to run efficiently, resulting in crashes that are preventing you from playing your podcasts, then it may be time to learn how to clear out the Spotify cache.

Here’s How to Clear the Spotify Cache on Windows:

Use the following steps if your copy of Spotify was downloaded from the Spotify website.

  1. Open up ‘File Explorer’.
  2. Navigate to ‘C:’ drive.
  3. Click ‘Users’ and open up your username’s folder.
  4. Now open the following folders: AppData > Local > Spotify.
  5. Now delete the contents from within the ‘Storage’ folder.

If you downloaded your copy of Spotify from the Windows Store then take these steps instead:

  1. Copy the following: %appdata%.
  2. Paste it into search by clicking the Windows icon and hitting ‘ctrl and v’ simultaneously.
  3. Open AppData and then Local.
  4. Now open the following folders: Packages > SpotifyAB.SpotifyMusic_zpdnekdrzrea0 > LocalCache > Spotify > Data.
  5. Delete the contents found in this Data folder.

For more on this, take a look at our article about Spotify and Storage!

4. Make Sure You’re Connected to the Internet

This is a simple one, but worth remembering.

In order to stream your podcasts on Spotify, whether you’re on a Mac or Windows, you’ll need a stable connection to the internet.

If you’re struggling with playback issues on your Spotify Desktop app you should check if you’re having connection issues.

If you’re a Mac user:

  • Open the Apple menu.
  • Then, select ‘System Preferences’.
  • From there just click ‘Network’ and select your network connection.

If you’re a Windows user:

  • Click the WiFi symbol found on the taskbar, then find your network connection from the list of available networks.

Check out our answer guide to ‘Bad Spotify Sound Quality!

5. The Spotify Desktop App Needs a Restart

If you find you are unable to play podcasts using the Spotify desktop app, one of the first things you should try is relaunching it.

It may sound simple, but force closing all background processes should revive the ability to play podcasts again.

How to Force Quit & Restart the Spotify Desktop App on Windows PC:

  1. Begin by closing the Spotify app.
  2. To ensure it’s not running in the background, simply press ‘ctrl+alt+delete’ on your keyboard and select ‘Task Manager’.
  3. With the Task Manager window open, scroll through the programs that are currently running.
  4. If you see Spotify, highlight it and select ‘End Task’.
  5. Once you are certain Spotify is closed, open the taskbar and relaunch the app.

How to Force Quit & Restart the Spotify Desktop App on Mac:

  1. Begin by closing the Spotify app.
  2. To ensure it is not running in the background, either hit ‘option+command+escape’ on the keyboard or click the Apple icon at the top of your screen and click ‘Force Quit’.
  3. A ‘Force Quit Applications’ window will appear, listing all running programs.
  4. If you see Spotify, simply highlight it then click ‘Force Quit’.
  5. Now you know Spotify is completely closed, relaunch the app.

Hopefully going through this process will mean you can now listen to podcasts hassle-free.

6. Redownload the Spotify Desktop App

If you are still unable to play podcasts using Spotify, it may be worth fully uninstalling and then reinstalling the desktop app.

Sometimes the download files for an application can be corrupted, causing malfunctions when running the app such as problems with playback on both music and podcast files.

Simply read the instructions below to find out how to properly uninstall and reinstall the Spotify desktop app on both Windows and Mac:

Here’s How to Uninstall Spotify on Windows:

  1. Begin by hitting the ‘Windows’ key to open up the Windows Start Menu.
  2. Locate Spotify in the apps and then right-click and select ‘Uninstall’.
  3. Click ‘OK’ if prompted.
  4. Next, hit the Windows Key+E simultaneously to open up ‘File Explorer’.
  5. Navigate to the file: C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\AppData\Roaming\
  6. Here is where it is necessary to delete the ‘Spotify’ folder to ensure the app is completely removed from your desktop.
  7. If you are unable to view the Spotify file, right-click on ‘Quick Access’.
  8. Navigate to the View tab and check the box next to ‘Show hidden files, folders and drives’.
  9. Select ‘Apply’ then ‘OK’.
  10. Once you can view the AppData folder, simply delete the folder named ‘Spotify’.

When this is complete, redownload the Spotify desktop app by visiting Spotify’s website on the Microsoft store and see if the issue has been resolved.

Here’s How to Uninstall Spotify on Mac:

  1. Begin by ensuring the Spotify app is not currently running.
  2. Next, open ‘Finder’ and navigate to ‘Applications’.
  3. Scroll through your applications until you find Spotify.
  4. Highlight the icon and drag it into your Trash.

You will now need to delete the files associated with Spotify. To do this, click on the search icon in the top right of your screen.

  1. Type ‘~/Library/Preferences’ and select the ‘Preferences’ folder.
  2. Search for ‘Spotify’ in the Preferences folder.
  3. Delete the relevant .plist files.
  4. Now search ‘~/Library/Application Support’ and locate the ‘Spotify’ folder.
  5. Highlight the icon and drag this to your Trash.

Once this is complete, visit the Spotify official website, click on ‘Download’, then follow the on-screen instructions to reinstall the Spotify desktop app.

Please also read our article about why Spotify is better than Apple Music.

7. The Spotify Desktop App may Require Updating

When you are experiencing playback-related issues on Spotify, such as being unable to play your Podcasts, it’s worth checking to see if the desktop app needs updating.

Here’s How to Update the Spotify Desktop App on Windows:

  1. Open the Spotify app on your Windows desktop and ensure you are logged in.
  2. Click on your Profile to open a drop-down menu.
  3. Here is where you will see the option ‘Check for updates’. Simply click this and follow the instructions.
  4. If you cannot see this option, then your Spotify app is up to date.

Here’s How to Update the Spotify App on your Mac:

  1. Launch the Spotify desktop application and log in.
  2. Click on ‘Spotify’, located on the top left-hand side of your screen.
  3. Next, select ‘About Spotify’.
    • You will see a pop-up screen appear that informs you of which current version of the app you are running.
    • If there is a newer version ready to be installed you will see the caption ‘A new version of Spotify is available’.
  4. Simply click on this and you will be able to update the app.


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