Spotify Private Sessions: 5 Common Questions (Answered)

With millions of users around the world and the possibility to follow people’s playlists, Spotify has enabled its users to have a fair level of connection.

However, Spotify Private Sessions give you peace of mind so that you can continue to listen to content privately.

This article will discuss this feature and how it protects your privacy as a Spotify user. 

Person holding a brand new Apple iPhone XS with Spotify logo on the screen. Spotify is a popular commercial music streaming service.

How Exactly Is a Private Session on Spotify Different?

By default, your followers on Spotify can view the content that you are listening to with Friend Activity.

If you want to have some privacy and you don’t want people to find out what content you are tuning into, then you can opt for a Private Session.

Here’s how to enable a Private Session:


  1. Go to ‘Home’
  2. Hit ‘Settings’
  3. Scroll down to ‘Social’ under which you will find ‘Private Session’, then toggle ON.

To switch off the Private Session, repeat steps 1-3 but toggle it OFF.


  1. Select the downward arrow on the top right.
  2. Hit ‘Private Session’
  3. The padlock on your profile picture shows the private session has been enabled.

To conclude a Private Session, repeat the steps above and now switch the private session OFF.

How Private are the Private Sessions on Spotify Really?

“Private session” is the Spotify form of incognito mode that you have on your browser. It prevents what you’re listening to from being seen by other users and Spotify.

Essentially that means that content listened to in a private session won’t be processed by Spotify and impact its algorithms.

This data won’t be used when Spotify generates playlists formulated from your listening activity.

If you would prefer to hide your listening activity from your followers, you can enable that under Settings.

Here’s how to hide your listening activity on Spotify:

Android and iPhone users:

  1. Open the Spotify App.
  2. Hit ‘Home’
  3. Tap ‘Settings’
  4. Below ‘Privacy & Social (iOS)’ or ‘Social (Android)’, toggle OFF the ‘Listening Activity’


  1. Click the downward-facing arrow in the top-right and click on ‘Settings’
  2. Below ‘Social’, turn ‘Show my listening activity on Spotify’ off.

These are the two options available to ensure that your followers don’t know what songs you’re listening to (when the features are enabled).

You can also increase your privacy with a VPN. A VPN (a virtual private network) masks your connection using encryption technology.

Using a VPN together with Spotify helps because it makes it possible for you to change your IP address and disguise it with an IP address that fits your VPN server.

This restricts the location-specific data Spotify can gather from you, and subsequently distribute to third parties.

Please also read our article about Spotify’s Hide/Unhide option not working.

Does a Private Session on Spotify Affect Recommendations?

When Spotify was created in 2006, its goal was to be a music library.

Personalization happened later after the app’s engineers discovered that making it possible for people to find new music based on what they like could amplify their experience.

This was done by harvesting algorithm data about a user’s listening history, music preferences, amount of time a song was played, and feedback on recommendations (whether they like, skip, save or replay that content).

In other words, music streaming apps learn what you like.

Perhaps you are listening to something that you consider to be embarrassing or controversial. You may not necessarily want more of that kind of content to then be recommended to you.

You will be happy to know that what you plug into during a Private Session will not impact your music recommendations, for instance, Discover Weekly. 

This is because when you are in a Private Session, Spotify will not collect data on your listening.

How Long Does a Spotify Private Session Last?

Maybe you only want to use Spotify Private Session for certain content, or maybe you always want your listening activity to be private.

It’s important to note that this privacy feature remains private until you change the setting.

That said, the Private Session will be switched off automatically if Spotify is restarted, or if there is a large duration of activity.

It would be wise to double-check that your session is private if you want to listen to content during a private session.

Does Spotify Private Session get Counted in “Spotify Wrapped”?

Spotify Wrapped looks back at the year and sums up your listening activity, including music as well as podcasts. It’s personalized according to your profile and typically includes fun interactive features such as polls, quizzes, and filters.

Last year, Wrapped included stats, your favorite artists, songs, the most-streamed content, genres, podcasts, and listening minutes.

With all of that in mind, you might be anxious about whether the content you listened to in a private session will also be included in Spotify Wrapped.

If you have been making use of Private Sessions, all music listened to under that feature is not recorded. No one will be able to sneak a peek at your listening activity while Private Session is enabled.

Therefore, all music and other content that you lent an ear to during a Private Session will not be shown in your Spotify Wrapped.

Final Thoughts

Let’s face it, most of us do not read the fine print so we don’t know what we have actually agreed to. Your data is processed when you visit most internet sites and apps.

The Private Session mode allows you to listen to songs without your listening activity data being processed.


Private listening
Friend Activity

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