How to Fix ‘Spotify Can’t Play This Right Now’ Error

Spotify Can't Play This Right Now

Sweden-based Spotify is one of the best music streaming services I’ve ever tried. With a presence in around 184 countries, over 88 million active users, and 82 million music tracks, the sheer dominance of this music streaming platform will amaze you. But this doesn’t hide the fact that Spotify has its fair share of issues to frustrate you! If there’s one thing that I don’t like about Spotify, it’s the ‘Spotify can’t play this right now’ error.

This message will suddenly pop up on your screen and play spoilsport during your house party or karaoke nights! This not only interrupts your listening experience but dampens your mood as well.

But what causes the error? How can it be fixed? This article is all about the causes and solutions.

Continue reading as I discuss the common reasons behind the issue and the top 13 fixes that have worked for me and other Spotify users. 

Key Takeaways

  • ‘Spotify can’t play this right now’ is a prevalent issue in both Spotify’s desktop and mobile applications. 
  • It’s caused by an unstable internet connection, a minor bug, a corrupt cache, or when you try to play a song that has now been removed from Spotify. 
  • Some common fixes include updating Spotify to the latest version, disabling hardware acceleration, clearing the app cache, restarting the device, etc. 

Reasons for ‘Spotify Can’t Play This Right Now’ Error Message

Spotify can't play this right now Error Message

Image by The Spotify Community

You can encounter the ‘Spotify can’t play this right now’ again and again for several reasons. These can range from the basic network issue to a minor bug in the song’s metadata/Spotify app. 

Why Does Spotify Say It Can’t Play the Current Song?

Let’s see below the causes behind this error in more detail.

Slow or Unstable Internet Connection

If you’re connected to a slow or unstable internet, you’ll likely face playback-related issues.  

Required Song Is Unavailable

The ‘Spotify can’t play this right now’ error message also pops up if the song you’re trying to play is unavailable in your region or country. It’s also a possibility Spotify took that particular track down due to other reasons like copyright issues. 

Bug in Your Spotify App

Spotify is just another software, and thus, it is bound to be vulnerable to bugs. If that’s the case, you’ll find it challenging to play your songs. 

Corrupt Cache

Cache files help Spotify run smoothly every time you open it. If anything happens to them, like they get corrupt or damaged, you’ll experience issues using the app.  

Related: Apple Music vs. Spotify: A Head-to-Head Comparison of the Leading Music Streaming Services

How to Solve ‘Spotify Can’t Play This Right Now’ Error in 13 Ways

Let’s look at the 13 possible fixes for the ‘Spotify can’t play this right now’ error.

1. Check the Song’s Availability

The first thing I always check when greeted by the ‘Spotify can’t play this right now’ error message is the song’s availability. 

The track you’re trying to play has been removed from Spotify, though it still shows up in your playlist(s). There isn’t one, but many reasons behind this—for example, license issues, an artist’s request, or a minor bug in the platform itself. 

Note: Certain music tracks have region/country-wise restrictions, too! 

In such a scenario, try playing another song using Spotify’s superb music recommendation algorithm. Or you can just wait for that particular song to become available again on Spotify.  

2. Update Spotify

If the song is available, but the ‘Spotify can’t play this right now’ message is still appearing, it’s possible that the Spotify app on your desktop or mobile needs an update. 

Follow these steps to update Spotify: 

On Desktop

  • Launch your Spotify desktop app
  • Click the three dots on the top left corner of the app’s interface. 
Update Spotify Click the Three Dots

Image by Alphr

  • Go to Help
Go to Help

Image by Alphr

  • Select About Spotify
Select About Spotify

Image by Alphr

  • A dialog box will pop up. If there’s any Update option in it, click it. Otherwise, you’re running the latest Spotify version. 

On Mobile (iOS/Android)

Search for Spotify
  • If you find an Update button, tap it.
Update the Spotify App

Wait for the update to install. Check if Spotify is running fine now. 

3. Restart Device

Restarting your device is the next easiest fix for the ‘Spotify can’t play this right now’ error. 

Sometimes, clogged-up RAM makes your Spotify app slow, less responsive, and buggy. Due to this, it may start experiencing issues playing songs. Hence, a quick device restart is needed to free up some internal random access memory and make Spotify less glitchy and more responsive.

However, the steps will vary, depending on the device you use Spotify on. For example, here’s how you do it on Windows 10:

  • Go to Start
  • Select the Power button.
  • Click Restart.
Click Restart

Image by Microsoft

4. Check Spotify’s Server Status

If Spotify’s servers are down in your region, it can also lead to difficulties in playing songs and other unusual errors. You can use Downdetector to see if the servers are fine or experiencing issues. 

If it’s a server-side problem, you can’t do anything. The ‘Spotify can’t play this right now’ error will automatically resolve when the servers are up and running again. 

5. Clear Spotify Cache

Spotify has its cache to store small data files, such as recently played songs, most searched artists, song metadata, and more. With limited storage capacity, this cache can overload if not cleared occasionally. In case that happens, you’ll face a bunch of problems, especially when trying to play a song!

Thus, a clear Spotify cache is a must! 

To clear Spotify cache, follow these steps:

For Android: 

  • Open the Spotify app. 
  • Go to its Settings
Go to Spotify's Settings
  • Scroll down and tap Clear cache
Tap Clear Cache
  • Tap Clear cache again to confirm. 
Confirm Clear Cache

For iPhone: 

  • Open Settings of your Spotify app. 
Open Spotify Settings
  • Scroll down to Storage
Scroll Down to Storage
  • Tap Clear cache
Tap Clear Cache
Tap Again to Confirm Clearing Cache

For Desktop: 

  • Launch the Spotify desktop app
  • Click your username button in the top right corner and select Settings from the drop-down menu. 
  • To the right of Cache, click Clear cache. You can also select Remove all downloads to recover some additional RAM. 

Now check if Spotify works smoothly and you can play songs without the ‘Spotify can’t play this right now’ error. 

6. Log Out and Back Into Your Spotify Account

Log Out of Spotify and Back In

Don’t panic if your Spotify is still not playing songs for you. Simply log out and sign in again to your Spotify account to resolve the problem. This will refresh your connection to the servers, clearing off any temporary errors preventing Spotify from playing music properly. 

7. Uninstall and Reinstall Spotify

Uninstall and Reinstall Spotify

If the above fix didn’t work, I suggest uninstalling and reinstalling Spotify. There may be a bug in your application, causing the ‘Spotify can’t play this right now’ error. 

Thus, uninstall Spotify and reinstall it as you did earlier. 

8. Disable Hardware Acceleration in Spotify

Hardware acceleration lets your computer use its GPU to enhance Spotify’s performance. However, this feature works only on modern machines with high-end video cards and hardware. 

If your device lacks these, it’s better to turn off the feature. Otherwise, you’ll have stuttering, lag, or face issues while playing songs. 

Follow these steps to do so: 

  • Open Spotify on your Windows PC. 
  • Click your username button in the top right corner and select Settings from the drop-down menu.
  • Scroll down the Settings screen to Compatibility
  • Toggle OFF the button beside Enable hardware acceleration.

Hardware acceleration is disabled. Check if the ‘Spotify can’t play this right now’ issue has disappeared. 

9. Reduce the Crossfade Setting to Zero

Do you prefer seamless transitions between your songs without any gaps of silence? If yes, you must have set the Crossfade setting to high. And that’s another possible reason behind the playback errors you’re facing. 

Try reducing Crossfade to zero by following these steps: 

  • Open Spotify on your device. 
  • Go to the Settings
Spotify Settings
  • Under Playback, slide the slider for Crossfade to OFF. If required, toggle OFF the Gapless option right under it. 
Set Crossfade to Off

The above steps are the same across all platforms – Android, iPhone, and Windows. 

10. Switch to a Lower Streaming Quality

A higher music streaming quality can also give rise to playback issues, and you may encounter the ‘Spotify can’t play this right now’ problem. So, switch to a lower setting to fix it. 

The steps are: 

For Android: 

  • Launch Spotify
  • Go to its Settings
  • Scroll down to Audio Quality. 
  • Set WiFi streaming and Cellular streaming to either Low or Normal. I prefer the Automatic setting, though. 
Set to WiFi and Cellular Streaming

For iPhone: 

  • Open Settings of your Spotify app. 
  • Scroll down to Audio Quality
Tap Audio Quality
  • Set both Wi-Fi streaming and Mobile streaming to Automatic or Low/Normal
Set Streaming Quality to Automatic

For Desktop: 

  • Open Spotify
  • Click your username button in the top right corner and select Settings from the drop-down menu.
  • Under Audio quality, set Streaming quality to Low, Normal, or Automatic

Don’t forget to relaunch the Spotify app after changing the streaming settings. 

11. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

If you’re wondering what using a VPN has to do with the ‘Spotify can’t play this right now’ issue, let me explain. 

As I demonstrated earlier, this error message will also appear if you’re trying to play a song that’s now unavailable on Spotify. The track may be restricted in your country/region and available everywhere else. In such conditions, a VPN can help you listen to this blocked track and bypass the above issue. 

Note: Stay away from unverified VPNs, as they will expose your network and other connected devices to cyber threats, like malware and spoofing attacks.

NotdVPN
ExpressVPN

Image by CNET

Hence, always use a verified virtual private network. I’ve tried a handful of them and found NordVPN & ExpressVPN are just amazing. They are 100% encrypted and offer the industry’s best streaming speed at relatively low prices. 

Currently, I’m using NordVPN, and below are the steps to use it: 

  • Download NordVPN by clicking on this link
  • Choose an appropriate plan
  • Connect to a server in any location of your choice.

That’s it. Spotify is now unblocked, and all songs are now available in your region for listening. 

Related: What Is a VPN and What Does It Do?

12. Change the Default Format Setting for Your PC’s Speakers

Changing the default format setting for your PC’s speakers has worked for some users in bypassing the ‘Spotify can’t play this right now’ error pop-up. I’ve also tried it at my end and found the results satisfactory. 

The steps are: 

  • Go to your PC’s Sound settings. 
  • Click Speakers to reach the Format setting. 
  • Select the Format drop-down menu. Here, set a lower Hz output setting.

13. Set the Output device to Default

Last but not least, check if the Output device is set to “Default.” If it’s not, there’s a good chance Spotify could be affected.

Follow these steps to set the Output device to Default: 

  • Open Spotify
  • Launch the Settings using Windows + I
  • Select System from the left panel. 
  • Click Sound
  • Scroll down to the Advanced section and click Volume Mixer.
  • Look for Spotify Music under the Apps section.
  • Under Spotify Music, check if the Output device option is set to Default. If not, use the drop-down menu to change it. 

Relaunch the app, and see if the ‘Spotify can’t play this right now’ error message is gone. 

Related: Best Spotify Equalizer Settings For Your Music & Listening Device

How to Fix ‘Spotify Can’t Play This Right Now’: FAQs

Q: Why Is Spotify Not Letting Me Play Anything?

A: In case Spotify isn’t letting you play anything, check if:

  • Spotify supports your device and is up-to-date. 
  • Your device has at least 250MB of available RAM. 
  • Your firewall isn’t blocking Spotify (desktop only)

You can get more details here

Q: If I Download a Song on Spotify, Will This Fix the ‘Spotify Can’t Play This Right Now’ Error?

A: Yes, downloading a song on Spotify will fix the ‘Spotify can’t play this right now’ error. The track is locally stored on your device and won’t depend on Spotify for playing. 

Q: Can I Delete Spotify and Start Over?

A: Yes, you can delete Spotify and start over. But I don’t think that’s required. Try other fixes, instead. 

Q: How Do I Change My Region on Spotify?

A: Changing your region on Spotify is a matter of a few steps, which are: 

  • Log in to your account page. 
  • Scroll down to Country or region and select your new one from the drop-down list.
  • Click SAVE PROFILE.

Note: Your new country or region only shows when you’re actually there.

Conclusion

Here you go, peeps. Similar to other music platforms, Spotify is notorious for unexpected problems from time to time. Among all, the ‘Spotify can’t play this right now’ error message is probably the most common. But you now know how to fix it and resume listening to your favorite songs! 

So, is your Spotify working fine? 

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