Spotify is one of the leading services that provide online music streaming, and its fantastic platform delivers this ability to countless users.
Despite the Spotify web player being incredibly functional and a viable option for many users, it is not free from the occasional problem.
In this article, we take a look at some of the known issues with the Spotify web player and give you the information you need in order to solve them.
Table of Contents
1. Spotify Web Player’s Functionality is Hampered by a Problematic Extension
Sometimes our browsers do not play ball with certain sites and Spotify’s web player can be affected by certain features or extensions that your particular web browser has installed.
There is a multitude of problems that can occur when an extension or feature interferes with the Spotify web player. This can result in reduced functionality (not being able to play or search for music) or even a complete failure to launch the web player in the first place.
It’s crucial that you rule out problematic extensions or features that may be interfering with how the Spotify web player functions before delving into other fixes.
Thankfully, ruling out whether or not your problem is related to a feature or extension installed on your web browser is simple.
Check if an extension is preventing Spotify from working correctly:
The trick here is to know how to open a ‘private’ window or an ‘incognito’ window on your web browser. By doing this, your web browser will launch without all the added extras, such as extensions or cached data.
If Spotify web player works just fine in this type of ‘private’ window, then you know that the problem lies with something that has become a feature of your browser, such as an installed extension.
Read the instructions bulleted below for opening these windows in Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. Once you’ve opened them, test to see whether your Spotify web player problems persist.
- Open a private window in Chrome by clicking the 3 dots and selecting ‘New incognito window’
- Click the three horizontal lines in Firefox and then select ‘New Private Window’
- In Edge, you’ll find the 3 dot menu in the top right, click it and then select ‘New InPrivate Window’
If you experience no problems in a private window, then you’ll want to work your way through disabling your web browser’s extensions with Spotify web player. This should alert you to what is causing the problem.
Alternatively, you can choose to use these private windows to launch the Spotify web player as your default option.
2. The “Playback of Protected Content is Not Enabled” has an Error
If you’re having issues using the Spotify web player and you received the error message: “Playback of protected content is not enabled”, then don’t worry – you’re not alone.
This error has been addressed by Spotify, and their own support page has a recommendation, which is as follows:
“If you see this message (or similar), you need to enable the Widevine plugin or download a media pack.”
Installing the Widevine plugin will not, as Spotify points out, affect your browser’s security and can be downloaded from the Widevine website.
The Widevine plugin should usually already be a present plugin for your browser, and if so, there’s no need to reinstall it. Instead, if you are still receiving this error message, you should ensure that you have enabled ‘protected content’ from within your browser’s settings.
Here’s How to Enable Protected Content:
If you’re using Google Chrome and want to enable protected content, simply follow the steps below:
- Launch Chrome.
- Copy and paste the following into the address bar:
- Hit enter.
- Find ‘Protected content’
- Enable ‘Allow site to play protected content’
For Firefox, use these steps instead:
- Launch Firefox and open the Spotify web player site.
- Select the shield icon.
- Now choose to ‘Turn off blocking for this site’.
3. Spotify is Not Playing Songs Because the Cache Requires Clearing
Web browsers use cached data to make your experience navigating the internet more efficient. However, cached data has been known to cause unexpected issues for online media players such as Spotify’s web player.
Many users have found by simply clearing their web browser’s cache, Spotify web player’s functionality is restored, allowing them to get back to playing songs without problems.
Remember, clearing the cache won’t affect your saved data on other sites, so don’t worry about losing passwords, etc. As Online-Tech-Tips.com rightly states, this is a quick fix and, by:
“Clearing your browser’s cache [it] may help resolve your Spotify issue.”
If you want to clear the cache on your browser, simply use the guides found below.
Here’s How to Clear the Cache on Chrome:
- Launch Chrome.
- Copy and paste the following into the URL bar:
- Hit Enter and then change the Time range to ‘All time’
- Tick ‘Cached images and files, remembering to untick everything else.
- Finally, click ‘Clear data’
Here’s How to Clear the Cache on Firefox:
- Launch Firefox and open the menu by clicking the horizontal lines button.
- Now select ‘History’
- Click ‘Clear recent history’
- Ensure that the Time range is set to ‘Everything’
- Only select ‘Cache’ from the options below.
- Finally, click ‘OK’
Here’s How to Clear the Cache on Edge:
- Launch Edge.
- Copy and paste the following into the URL bar:
- Now hit Enter.
- Ensure that the Time range is set to ‘All time’
- Deselect everything other than ‘Cached images and files’
- Finally, click ‘Clear now’
4. Your Browser’s AdBlocker is Stopping Spotify Web Player Working
Adblockers are handy tools that prevent unwanted interruptions and distractions from popping up and interfering with our experience on the internet.
However, these adblockers can sometimes go a step too far and occasionally prevent certain sites from loading the features we want to access.
Chrome users have found that their adblocker actually stops Spotify from working as it should – sometimes preventing it from launching in the first place.
If you are a Chrome user with an adblocker and you’ve found that Spotify web player is not performing as you would expect it to, then it might be worth disabling it.
Here’s How to Disable the Adblocker on Chrome:
- Open Chrome and navigate to the Spotify web player site.
- Locate your adblocker extension icon (found on the left-hand side of your address bar).
- Right-click the icon for the extension and select ‘Manage extension’
- Toggle your adblocker to ‘OFF’
- Refresh the Spotify web player to see if the problem is resolved.
5. The Spotify Web Player is Not Set For Playback
The Spotify web player needs to be chosen for music playback in order for you to listen to tracks whilst using it.
This is an important factor to understand, especially if you use multiple devices to access and enjoy Spotify.
Checking that the connected device is set to the web player will ensure that playback will be achieved, but sometimes changing the connected device and then reselecting the web player can resolve any connection issues that you may be having.
MakeTechEasier.com agrees, explaining that:
“This kind of switch-up can trigger the Web Player to work properly again.”
If you’ve been having a similar problem with your Spotify web player not actually playing, then try the following steps:
- If you have a mobile device with the Spotify app installed, then launch it.
- Tap the cog to open ‘Settings’
- Now select ‘Devices’
- Switch between your available devices before finally selecting ‘Web Player’
- This should give it the nudge it needs for the web player to connect as the current playback device.
- Return to the web player and click ‘Connect to a device’
- Ensure that the web browser is selected as the playback device.
General Pros & Cons of Spotify Web Player
The Spotify web player certainly has a lot going for it. For starters, it negates the need to download an app at all, and yet despite the lack of the app, you still have almost every feature you’d expect from the app.
Moreover, by not downloading the Spotify app, you can save precious space on the device you are using.
It’s worth noting that the ability to simply open up a web browser anywhere and on any machine allows instant access to the Spotify experience. If you’re using a computer that does not allow you to download and install applications, such as an office environment, then the web player allows you to bypass those restrictions.
The Spotify web player has ensured that no matter what restrictions have been placed on the machine you are using, and even if you do not own the device in question, you can still log in to your Spotify account and listen to the music that you love.
- Your browser’s extensions can interfere with the web player’s functionality.
- The “Playback of protected content is not enabled” can prevent users from playing songs.
- Sometimes cached data can stop the Spotify web player from working properly.
- Adblockers can prevent Spotify web player from loading as it should.
- Occasionally the web player will not connect as the current playback device