Spotify was one of the first big names in music streaming and remains one of the giants heading up the industry today.
And when everything is working as it should, navigating and using the services of Spotifyt tends to go quite smoothly.
Unfortunately, everything does not always go so well.
If you’ve found yourself frustrated with changing control interfaces and missing functionality, you’re not alone–keep reading to get to the bottom of it!
The Back Button Swapped for the Like Button
The back button: a quintessential component of any modern graphical user interface.
True to their name, back buttons are more or less the same thing: they take you back to whatever you were just doing a moment ago.
Bafflingly, Spotify developers have experimented recently with a particularly contentious change to their media player’s interface: replacing the back button with the like button.
The “like button” already existed, of course, and serves to let you indicate which songs you, well, like.
This lets Spotify know what your favorite tracks are and, alongside other data on your listening habit, helps ensure you get the best-tailored recommendations for music to try out.
So, on the one hand, it makes some sense to put the like button on a more prominent display, where you’ll be reminded to click it more frequently.
On the other hand, being unable to simply go back one step in your music listening history without having to click around to find what you were playing last is frustrating, to say the least.
Sadly, we don’t have a fix for this issue per se because it’s not an error but rather a matter of the platform’s design.
Mercifully, it doesn’t appear to be a very successful experiment, so if you’re having this problem, keep an eye out for the latest update, and hopefully, it will go away.
The Back Button Disappears from Lyrics View
Another place where it’s handy to have a back button for reverting to a previous page is the lyrics view on Spotify.
Granted, if you’re reading as you listen, you won’t need to go back unless you rewind or start the song over.
Still, there are reasons one might want finer control of their lyrics-reading experience, such as studying lyrics with the intent of memorizing them.
And typically, Spotify’s app would accommodate this, with a left-arrow icon in the top left of the lyrics view serving as a back button for the lyrics display.
However, many users have reported that the lyrics-view back button has mysteriously disappeared for them.
The bad news is we only have basic troubleshooting tips here, but the good news is that this one doesn’t appear to be intentional on the part of Spotify developers.
Unlike replacing the back button with the like button on the music player, which—infuriatingly—seems to have been an intentional experiment, this does not appear to be the case here.
This is good news because it means that it should be ironed out over time since it’s a bug and not a feature, and therefore something Spotify will hopefully seek to correct.
Our troubleshooting advice is this:
- Try restarting your device
- Checking for software updates
- Reinstall the Spotify app
Only go as far down that list as you need to solve the issue; if a quick restart does it, there is no need to carry on down the list.
If that doesn’t work, check for software updates to both the Spotify app and your device.
Finally, if all else fails, you can completely uninstall and reinstall Spotify to see if that corrects the issue.
If nothing works, the best thing you can do is simply wait, and hope the issue will be resolved in a future update to the Spotify app.
The back Button on Mouse or Keyboard won’t Work on Spotify
Some external hardware devices come with additional features:
- On keyboards, common additions are “back” and “forward” buttons centered under the spacebar or above the function keys.
- On a mouse, there might be a side button for the “back” function that you press with a thumb.
In either case, these physical back buttons tend to be pre-programmed to have the same effect as clicking a back button in a browser or application.
In theory, they should work in Spotify as well. In practice, however, many users report this is not always the case.
The most commonly reported problem we’ve seen in this vein is that a user of a physical mouse or keyboard back button will find it suddenly doesn’t work on Spotify when it did before.
Generally, such users report that the physical back button works fine in other applications and even used to work correctly in Spotify, but suddenly stops functioning.
This has been recognized as a problem by the Spotify team and, therefore, something to hopefully be fixed in future updates.
In the meantime, the best fix we can offer you is the same as we suggested for those suffering from a missing lyric-view back button.
That is to say, start by restarting your device; if that doesn’t work, check for updates, and if that doesn’t work, uninstall and then reinstall Spotify.
For more on this topic, please read our article about keyboard controls not working on Spotify.
General Pros and Cons of Spotify’s “back” button
When everything remains stable and essential functions aren’t being experimented with, Spotify’s navigation and playback work very smoothly.
The “back” button allows users to go back to the last song or podcast they were listening to if they accidentally skipped ahead or want to listen again.
Spotify can be navigated smoothly using its own built-in keyboard shortcuts. You can take a look at our source links for more information.
- Spotify replaced the back button with the like button without warning.
- The back button for navigating lyrics pages has also been known to vanish mysteriously.
- Navigating the app and website using a mouse or keyboard “back buttons” can be spotty.
Ultimate Spotify Keyboard Shortcut Guide