Fix: ‘Spotify can’t play this right now’ error message [2023 updated]

Fix 'Spotify can't play this right now' error message

We’ve all been there – settling into our favorite playlist or artist on Spotify music on your laptop / desktop or mobile device, only to have the dreaded “Spotify can’t play this right now” error message pops up!

It’s a common problem that occurs across Windows PCs and can be caused by various factors like audio driver issuescache corruption, or even regional restrictions.

Fret not! In this blog post, we’ll dive into practical troubleshooting steps and preventative measures to help you resolve this pesky issue and get your tunes back on track.

Key Takeaways

  • Disabling hardware acceleration and updating the app to the latest version can resolve issues with playback errors on Spotify.
  • Deleting cache files, reducing crossfade songs setting, lowering streaming quality, changing the default format for speakers, and setting the output device to default are other simple troubleshooting steps that may help fix the error message.


1. Restart Device

This solution may seem basic, but it’s often effective in fixing playback issues caused by software glitches or temporary bugs.

Restarting your computer or mobile device will refresh its system and terminate any background processes that could be interfering with Spotify’s performance.

The step nullifies the need to restart the app.

Additionally, rebooting your internet modem or router can also help restore your network connection and improve streaming quality.

2. Log Out Of Spotify Account

Sometimes, simply logging out of your Spotify account can help resolve playback errors.

To do this, go to the “Profile” section on the top right corner of the app and click “Log Out.”

Then, log back in with your credentials and try playing a song again.

If there are multiple accounts logged in, make sure to select the correct one before trying to play any music.

3. Disable Hardware Acceleration

Disabling hardware acceleration is a helpful troubleshooting step to resolve the error, as it allows your computer’s processor (CPU) to handle all processing tasks instead of offloading some of them to the graphics card (GPU).

To disable hardware acceleration, simply open the Spotify app and click on the arrow next to your profile picture. Select ‘Settings’, scroll down, and find the ‘Show Advanced Settings option.

Under ‘Compatibility’, toggle off ‘Enable Hardware Acceleration’ then restart Spotify for good measure.

In many cases, users have found immediate relief from playback errors after disabling this feature.

4. Update The Laptop / Desktop App

Simply update your Spotify app. This may seem like an obvious solution, but it’s easy to overlook!

Updating your Spotify app is easy – just go to the Microsoft App Store on your Windows 11 or 10 computer and search for Spotify.

Select Update (if available), and wait for it to download and install any new updates.

Relaunch Spotify and check if the problem has been resolved.

If you don’t use the Spotify native app, just go to and click on ‘Download’

Besides improving performance, updating may also include important bug fixes that could be preventing certain songs from playing correctly.

5. Delete Cache Files

Cache files are temporary data stored by Spotify on your device to speed up streaming and overall performance.

To delete your cache files in Spotify cache, simply navigate through your computer’s file explorer to find the SPOTIFY > USERS > XXX-USER subfolders where you’ll locate local files. bnk.

Go ahead and remove this file from the directory – don’t worry; doing so won’t harm your music library or playlist information. Deleting local-files. bnk file on your computer clears any possible corrupted data that might be causing playback errors in Spotify.

6. Reduce Crossfade Songs Setting

This feature causes songs to overlap slightly when transitioning from one track to another, which can sometimes cause playback issues.

To change this setting, go to Settings > Playback and slide the crossfade toggle down to zero or switch it off entirely.

Additionally, reducing the Crossfade song setting could also improve overall sound quality by eliminating any distortion that might occur during song transitions.

By turning off crossfading, listeners get a crisp and clear experience with each song played without any interruption, trust me – I’ve done it!

7. Lower Streaming Quality

As much as I love high-quality streaming, lowering the streaming quality in Spotify can be an effective way to prevent playback errors and improve overall audio streaming. 

This setting controls the amount of data used by Spotify when playing songs, and reducing the sample rate can help prevent interruptions due to poor internet connections or insufficient bandwidth.

By taking this simple step, you’ll likely notice a significant improvement in audio playback.

Plus, using less data will also make it easier for you to use Spotify without worrying about exceeding your monthly mobile plan limit or running out of storage space on your device.

8. Change The Default Format For Output Audio

To fix playback issues with Spotify, one potential solution is to change the default format setting for your computer’s speakers.

This adjustment can help ensure that Spotify is compatible with your audio settings and configuration.

For instance, on Windows 11, you can access the sound navigation option in settings, click on “speakers,” and adjust the FORMAT setting. On Windows 10, you can right-click on the volume control system tray icon, select SOUNDS, go to the PLAYBACK tab, and select default speakers.

Access the PROPERTIES window and go to the ADVANCED tab to change the Hz setting on the DEFAULT FORMAT drop-down menu.

Remember these key points when fixing problems related to changing the default format for speakers:

9. Set Output Device To Default

This means that when audio playback occurs, it is routed correctly through the computer’s sound system.

To do this on Windows 11 or Windows 10, access the VOLUME MIXER options in sound settings and set the desired output device as default.

By ensuring that Spotify is properly connected to the correct speakers or headphones, you can avoid encountering any issues while streaming music or podcasts.

10. Reinstall The App

This method involves completely removing the existing Spotify installation from your device and then downloading and installing a fresh copy of the app.

To reinstall Spotify, go to your device’s app store, search for Spotify, and tap on Uninstall or Remove. Then, download and install a new version of the app from the same store.

On a PC / Laptop: Go to Control Panel, Uninstall Spotify.

Then, Go to Spotify’s official website and re-download the app again!

It’s important to note that this method will remove all data associated with your account stored on the device as well as custom settings like playlists and preferences.

11. Check Storage Space

This may seem like an obvious thing to check, but it’s not always mentioned in basic troubleshooting guides.

To ensure you have enough space for Spotify to function correctly, regularly delete any unnecessary files and apps from your device.

It’s also important to keep some free storage space at all times.

Most devices require at least 15% of total storage capacity to be available for them to perform well.

12. Use Spotify’s Offline Mode

Try Spotify Premium Offline Mode Feature.

This feature allows you to download songs and playlists onto your device for offline listening, reducing your reliance on streaming and saving valuable data usage.

Could resolve your error too!

13. Use Spotify Web Player

As a last resort, I would try using Spotify’s Web Player.

It probably doesn’t have the same look and feel as your local app, but it does the job!

How To Prevent Issues With Spotify In The Future

1. Keep The App Updated

As an avid Spotify user, I can’t stress enough the importance of keeping this app updated on your devices.

Updating the app regularly not only ensures that you have access to its latest features but it also helps prevent various errors.

To prevent any unwanted issues, make sure you check for updates regularly and download them when available.

You should also enable automatic updates in your device settings so that you don’t miss out on crucial updates.

2. Use A Stable Internet Connection

Having a stable internet connection is crucial. 

If possible, connect to a high-speed Wi-Fi network rather than relying on cellular data.

3. Keep Enough Storage Space Available

Insufficient storage can cause issues with the app, leading to audio playback errors or preventing songs from playing altogether.

4. Do Not Tamper With The App Settings

I cannot stress this enough- do not tamper with the app settings in your Spotify account.

Many users may think that adjusting certain settings will improve their experience, but it may lead to further issues.

5. Take Note Of Error Messages

It is crucial to take note of any error messages you encounter when trying to play songs on Spotify. These messages can provide valuable clues as to what is causing the issue and help you find a solution.

For example, if you see an “Audio playback issues” error message, this may indicate that there are problems with your computer’s audio drivers or settings.

Similarly, a “Missing content identification” error could suggest that some of the songs in your library are no longer available on Spotify.


If you’ve ever faced the frustrating “Spotify can’t play this right now” error message, don’t worry!

By following these basic and advanced troubleshooting steps, you should be able to resolve the issue.

Remember to keep your Spotify app updated regularly, use a stable internet connection, and not tamper with the app’s settings. 

Q: What is the “can’t play this right now” error message on Spotify?

A: The “can’t play this right now” error message on Spotify is an indication that the playback of the selected song or podcast episode has failed due to some issue.

Q: How do I restart the Spotify app?

A: To restart the Spotify app, first close the app completely and then reopen it. Alternatively, you can also restart your device and then try using the app again.

Q: What does disabling hardware acceleration mean?

A: Disabling hardware acceleration means that you are turning off the feature that allows your computer hardware to perform specific tasks for your Spotify app. This feature can sometimes cause playback issues and hence disabling it may help to fix the “can’t play this right now” error message on Spotify.

Q: How can I import local files to my Spotify account?

A: You can import local files to your Spotify account by selecting the “Local Files” option on the Spotify app and then selecting the relevant files from your computer that you want to add to your account.

Q: What should I do if I still can’t fix the “can’t play this right now” error on Spotify?

A: If you still can’t fix the “can’t play this right now” error on Spotify, you can try contacting the Spotify support team or seeking help from a computer technician, like us! 

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...