Spotify Plays Random Songs? Here’s Why (Solved)

Spotify has become a household name due to its dominance within the music streaming world. However, as with all great apps, sometimes users find frustrating issues – one, in particular, is hearing Spotify play random songs.

In this article, we’ll look at why you’re hearing random songs on Spotify and, better yet, how to avoid it from happening.

Everything You Need To Know About Spotify Playing Random Songs

Spotify plays all music on ‘shuffle’ as its default setting. However, this feature can be easily disabled by the tap of a button. It’s important to note that individuals without a Premium account will usually not have an option to select a particular song to listen to. 

holding smartphones opening spotify app, Spotify is a music service that offers legal streaming music.

Why Does Spotify Play A Different Song Than What I Clicked?

Sometimes you just need to hear your favorite song – no excuses – whether you’re on your way to work, just felt the stab of heartbreak, or you need to get your groove on, you’ll find that song and get it playing.

However, if you’ve selected a song on Spotify and for some reason it doesn’t play, there’s going to be no head bobbing. Instead, the chances are, you’re going to be feeling a tad frustrated.

Users have experienced this issue on both the app version of Spotify and the web player.

The reasons for this happening are as follows:

  1. The App Needs Updating
    • Spotify regularly creates updates that fix all kinds of glitches and also implements improvements to the user experience.
    • Updating the app will ensure that the song selection you make is played when it should.
  2. Your Internet Browser Needs Updating
    • Users who use the web player found that errors, such as Spotify mistakenly playing the wrong song, were resolved once they updated the browser they were using to access the site.
    • In some cases, it was necessary to log out and log back in again to ensure that Spotify ran as it should.
  3. Your Device Needs Updating
    • Whether you’re on iOS or Android, it is essential that you keep your device updated to the latest version.
    • Devices running on an older operating system can run into trouble with their installed apps and Spotify is no expectation.
    • An updated device that is running the latest version of Spotify should be bug-free.
  4. You Are On Spotify’s Free Plan
    • You need to be aware that Spotify’s free plan has some caveats that mean that users on this plan will not always be able to listen to exactly what they want when they want.
    • We’ll get into this in more detail later, but suffice to say, unless you’re on certain Spotify playlists, you won’t be able to pick and choose a specific song for playback.
    • Check out the section further down titled ‘Why Can’t I Select Which Songs Spotify Should Play?‘ for more info.

Does Spotify Have Auto-Shuffle Enabled By Default?

The shuffle feature allows Spotify users surprises, whether that’s finding a new song by accident, or throwing an unexpected gem into a great mix.

However, having our playlists or albums on shuffle isn’t always what we desire. It can interfere with how we’ve curated a playlist or mess with the ‘story’ or how an album is meant to be heard.

You may have noticed that when you’re using Spotify to play music it seems to automatically be on shuffle.

As points out:

“All Spotify playlists play on shuffle by default – double-tapping [the first song] will get them to play in order. “

So despite Spotify enabling auto-shuffle as default, it’s as simple as a quick double-tap to get your songs to play in the order they were meant to be heard in.

Can You Avoid Listening To Random Songs On The Free Plan?

Let’s start with the bad news first – if you’re using the Spotify app with a free account there’s no way to switch off the shuffle feature. It’s part and parcel of not paying for a Premium account.

However, there is a way to switch off shuffle on the desktop version of Spotify, even if you have a free account.

Stop Random Songs On Spotify Desktop Version (Even On A Free Plan)

If you want to get through an album or a playlist in order, and without random songs getting in your way, then follow these steps:

  1. Open your Spotify app on your computer.
  2. Take a look at the bottom of your screen and find the ‘shuffle icon‘.
    • This icon can be found along with the ‘Play/Pause’ button and the skip track buttons.
  3. Click the shuffle icon and it will toggle off.

Why Can’t I Select Which Songs Spotify Should Play?

Spotify plans are not created equally. If you’re currently on their ‘free’ plan and not ‘Premium’ then you should know that there are some big differences.

Premium plan Spotify users can enjoy unlimited skips, whereas the free version only allows 6 per hour, and playback will be interrupted with regular ads.

However, this is not what usually frustrates users the most. Instead, the biggest issue is actually the most prominent difference between the two plans.

The folks at compared Spotify’s Premium and free plans and found that users who opted for a free account couldn’t pick and choose specific songs to listen to:

“Rather, you can select an album or a playlist and shuffle the songs in it. This can get annoying when you have an earworm and just need to listen to that particular song. With Premium, you can listen to that song over and over to your little heart’s content.”

However, there are certain situations in which users on a free plan can select a song to listen to.

  • Spotify has special playlists that allow free users to select specific songs.
  • These playlists can be found in ‘Made for You‘ from within your Home screen.
  • You will find playlists such as ‘Discover Weekly’, ‘Release Radar’, and your ‘Daily Mix’. These playlists are designed around your listening habits and should reflect your musical interests.
  • You will also find popular playlists that Spotify’s editors have put together, such as ‘Alternative R&B’.
  • These types of playlists will allow even users on free plans to pick and choose the exact song they want to listen to.
  • However, if you notice a blue shuffle icon on a Spotify playlist, it signifies that this particular set of songs can only be played on shuffle for free account holders.

How Do I Stop Spotify From Playing Random Songs?

If randomly selected songs are not your jam, then it’s easy to find the solution you need.

Ensuring that the auto-shuffle feature is switched off is as simple as opening your app and tapping the correct icon. Remember, only users with a Premium plan can do this.

Deactivating Spotify’s Shuffle On iOS Or Android (Premium Users Only)

Follow these steps if you’ve decided it’s time to put an end to the randomness of when tracks are played on your Spotify app:

  1. Open up your Spotify app on your device.
  2. Find the playlist, song, or album in your library and open it into the player.
  3. Give the ‘shuffle icon‘ a tap and ensure that it is greyed out.

There are also a few other things to note when it comes to switching off the shuffle feature:

  • You can also double-tap the first song in the playlist or album to begin playing tracks in order.
  • If you find yourself in a playlist without the option to toggle the shuffle feature, just open a playlist in which you can and ensure that the shuffle icon is greyed out.
  • If none of the above solutions bring you no joy, try shutting down the app and restarting it.

How To Stop Spotify From Playing Random Songs After A Playlist?

You may have got to what you thought was the end of one of your playlists and bizarrely found that the songs keep coming.

You may have also noticed that these songs at the end of your playlist were not chosen by you.

If you’ve got to the end of one of your specially curated playlists and are now having to listen to some unwanted random tracks then don’t panic, there’s a way to prevent this from happening.

The trick to this is ensuring that Spotify’s ‘auto-play’ feature is switched off in your settings.

How To Deactivate ‘Auto-Play’ In Spotify

If you want your playlist to only play the songs that you picked and not play any additional unknown extras at the end, then you should take the following steps:

  1. Open up Spotify on your mobile device.
  2. Navigate from the home screen to ‘Settings‘ by tapping the gear icon.
    • This icon can be seen in the top right corner.
  3. Scroll through the list of options until you find the ‘Playback‘.
  4. From here you need to toggle ‘Autoplay‘ to off.

It’s as simple as that; no more random songs at the end of your playlists.

Why Does Spotify Add Random Songs?

So you’ve worked out how to stop those random songs from raining down at the end of your playlists, but perhaps you’re wondering why it happens in the first place.

The answer is simple:

  • The songs that Spotify is playing are not actually random.
  • These songs are what Spotify calls ‘suggestions‘.
  • The suggested tracks that are played after your playlist ends are based on an algorithm that has attempted to provide you with tracks that are similar to the ones on your playlist.
  • These random songs hopefully fit in with your musical tastes because they have been generated by your listening habits.
  • In the best-case scenario, they should enhance the specific playlist and, if you like them, then you can always add them to the list.

Please also check out our article about how many playlists you can have on Spotify.

How Do I Stop Random Play On Spotify?

If you’re sick of random tracks and the inability to select specific songs from an album or playlist then it’s time to sign up for a Premium Spotify account.

There’s no doubt about it, Premium members get a far better experience, one of which is the fact that it puts an end to random play.

Signing up for a Premium account is simple, but you do have a few options to choose from:

  1. Individual (3 months free and then $9.99 per month)
    • One Spotify Premium account.
  2. Duo (1 month free and then $12.99 per month)
    • 2 Spotify Premium accounts.
  3. Family (1 month free and then $15.99 per month)
    • 6 accounts for users who live at the same address.
    • Includes ‘Spotify for Kids’ and the option to disable listening to explicit content.
  4. Student (3 months free and then $4.99 per month)



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