How To Add Local Files To Spotify On An iPhone

Local files – songs, albums, and shows which you have on your computer, but which aren’t available to stream on Spotify – can be easily added to Your Library in the streaming giant, allowing you to listen to them anywhere, on any device, any time.

Unfortunately, it must be stated that you cannot add local files to Spotify directly from a smartphone (neither Android or iOS). You must first load the files onto Spotify from a desktop computer or laptop, and then sync these local files with your phone’s Spotify app.

We’ll explain how to complete both steps in our tutorials below. For all other information, or if you have further questions, please direct your attention to our FAQ section at the end of this article.

How to add local files to Spotify from the desktop app

  1. On your computer, launch the Spotify desktop app, and sign into your Spotify profile if prompted to.
  2. First, click on your Profile name/picture in the top-right of the app’s homepage
  3. From the drop-down menu, select ‘Settings’
  4. On the ‘Settings’ page, scroll down to ‘Local Files’
  5. Next, toggle the ‘Show Local Files’ button from OFF to ON (gray to green)
  6. Below this, toggle OFF or ON (according to your preferences) the sources from which Spotify is to pull your local files
  7. You can add an additional source for Spotify to pull local files from by clicking ‘Add A Source’ at the bottom of this ‘Settings’ section; then double-clicking on the source folder.
  8. You will now find all of your selected Local Files available to stream through the Spotify desktop app, by navigating thusly: Your Library > Playlists > Local Files
  9. To now add these files to the mobile Spotify app, create a Spotify playlist and add all of the local files you want to access on your phone to the playlist. Next, follow the steps in the tutorial below.

How to add local files to the Spotify iPhone app (following the above tutorial)

  1. Open the Spotify app on your iPhone, and sign into your Spotify account using your credentials, if prompted.
  2. Ensure that you are connected to Spotify via the same WiFi connection which your laptop/desktop computer is connected to.
  3. Tap the ‘Settings’ icon in the top-right of the Spotify app homepage (it’s shaped like a gear, or cog).
  4. Find and tap on ‘Local Files’ in ‘Settings’
  5. On the next page, tap the toggle button next to ‘Local audio files’ to turn it from OFF to ON (gray to green)
  6. Next, navigate to Your Library > Playlists and locate the playlist you made on your computer which contains the local files you added earlier. Open this playlist up by tapping on it.
  7. Lastly, tap the small grey download icon, turning it green to indicate that your playlist full of local files has been downloaded to your iPhone.
  8. You can now listen to your local files wherever you go with your iPhone, whether you’re connected to the internet or not.

And there you have it! It is, unfortunately, a bit of a laborious process, since you have to first add local files from your desktop before you can sync them to your iPhone. Still, this is the only way to do so, and by following our simple step-by-step instructions, you should encounter no problems at all.

If you have additional queries or would like a little more information, see our FAQs below.


What are local files on Spotify, and why would I want to add them?

Spotify is the world’s most popular music streaming service, used by millions of people every single day. With a Premium Spotify account, you are granted access to Spotify’s entire library of music and podcast, which covers just about all recorded music. You can personalize your own Library, create Playlists, follow the Libraries of other users, and share your music around, limitlessly. 

However, whilst Spotify hosts a huge amount of music and shows, it doesn’t have everything. There are always going to be those rare B-sides, rough cuts, home recordings, and small-time musicians whose music just isn’t available through the music streaming giant.

Thankfully, that doesn’t mean you can’t still listen to these sorts of tracks through Spotify. “Local files” can be added to your Spotify library from your computer. These local files are any sound files that you have on your computer, and which are not available to stream on Spotify, but which you’d still like to be able to listen to via the app.

You will usually find Local Files in the Music folder of your Documents/Viewfinder. Local Files added to Spotify can be listened to there, on any device, provided the devices are first synced with the desktop on which the files were added.

You may wish to add local files so as to replicate a playlist you’ve created elsewhere, say in iTunes or Apple Music, or so that you can listen to your friend’s garage band when you’re out on a road trip.

What file types are supported as Local Files from Spotify?

You can add several different file types to Spotify which shall then appear as “Local Files” in Your Library. These files types include, and are limited to:

  • .MP3
  • .M4P (unless it contains a video)
  • .MP4 (only if QuickTime is installed on your computer)

File types not supported include iTunes’ lossless file format M4A, and Apple’s lossless file format ALAC. However, if you try to also import them, Spotify will do its best to match them to music available to stream through the service.

Can I delete local files from Spotify?

You can “delete” local files from Spotify at any time. On a mobile device, you can simply turn off the Local Files setting, so that they are no longer made visible or streamable to you. On a desktop, you simply reverse the process described above for adding local files to Spotify.

Why can’t you add local files to Spotify directly from your smartphone?

Whilst you can access and listen to local files on Spotify from any device, they must be loaded onto your Spotify Library from a laptop or desktop computer first. You cannot, unfortunately, add local files to Spotify from your phone. 

Truthfully, we’re not entirely sure why you can’t do this, but all the same, the process of doing so from your desktop is super straightforward. Thus, whilst it’s a pain that you can’t add local files to Spotify from your smartphone, it’s not the worst issue in the world, and can quickly be solved with access to a computer.

Remember, you can always import your local song files from your phone to your computer, and load them to Spotify from there.