How To Remove Local Files From Spotify

Whether you’re performing a digital declutter, a clean-up to save you from hearing those same unwanted local mp3 files, or no longer need access to your local music because the band or artist has recently appeared on Spotify, removing local files from Spotify is as easy as one click.

To learn how simply follow our tutorial below. For any additional information, or if you have any other queries, please see our FAQs at the end of this article.

Note: You can only remove local files from Spotify on the desktop version of the app. Changes should then be reflected in the other versions you use, such as the mobile and tablet versions.

How to remove local files from Spotify (Desktop)

  1. Open up the Spotify desktop app and sign in to your Spotify profile if prompted
  2. Click your Spotify profile icon in the top-right of the home screen
  3. From the drop-down menu, select ‘Settings’
  4. Once in ‘Settings’, scroll down to ‘Local Files’, it should currently be highlighted green, indicating that it is toggled ON
  5. Finally, toggle ‘Show Local Files’ to OFF
  6. You will no longer be able to see Local Files in Your Library, nor access them anywhere on Spotify, though you can toggle this setting back on anytime you like.

And there you have it! It’s really quite a simple process to add and remove local files from Spotify, and can revolutionise your listening experience. Happy streaming!

For any additional information, or if you have any additional queries, please head to our FAQ section below.

Frequently asked questions

What are local files on Spotify?

Local files are just that: they are files local to you and your device and are not necessarily ones found elsewhere on Spotify. Since Spotify is one of the world’s leading and favorite music streaming apps, they’ve ensured that you can integrate some content from outside of the app, to be enjoyed alongside the various tracks and shows you generally listen to on it.

Local files can range from voice notes and recordings you and your friends have made, the music you’ve downloaded, podcast episodes you’ve created or bought elsewhere, to the music from CDs and such which you’ve accumulated on your device over the years. Anything which is a Spotify-compatible music file type, essentially, including .mp3 files.

Uploading your local files to Spotify can be super rewarding for some people, allowing them to listen to a small local band, say, which is yet to be found on Spotify, before also listening to the biggest rock stars and pop stars on the planet in a tap.

When you load your local files onto Spotify, you can ensure that they are playable not only from your computer but your mobile devices too.

Why would I want to remove local files from Spotify?

There are lots of reasons you might want to remove local files from Spotify, but one of the main reasons is surely just to perform a bit of a digital declutter and tidy up. Whilst it can be super fun to have your own music or files loaded locally to be played through Spotify, it can also appear a little clumsy, maybe showing up in playlists where you don’t want it to, for example.

Furthermore, in order to have your local files playable through Spotify, you’ll have to have them downloaded/present on your device. Whereas with online streaming on Spotify, you needn’t consume any harddrive/disk space at all, with local files you’ll be eating into precious space, perhaps space you can’t afford to use up.

Removing local files is easy to do, and we’re here to help. Simply follow our step-by-step tutorial above and you’ll master the art in no time.

Can I recover accidentally removed local files from Spotify?

Yes, of course. Deleting local files from Spotify doesn’t do any damage to the files themselves – it only stops them from appearing undesirably in your Spotify library. The files themselves will remain (unless they’ve been externally altered) on the device from which you initially loaded them (most likely your PC).

To ‘recover’ accidentally removed local files (in other words, reuploading them to your Spotify), simply go to your Settings when on the desktop Spotify app. Scroll down to ‘Show Local Files’ and toggle the option to ON. 

Lastly, add any additional sources underneath, for Spotify to search for and source local files (usually it automatically links itself to your ‘Downloads’ folder and ‘Music Library’, which is generally sufficient to cover all the bases, however, you may have a couple of other specific folders in mind). To add sources, just hit the ‘Add A Source’ button and follow the on-screen instructions.

What happens to those local files I remove from Spotify?

Nothing. They will remain perfectly intact on the device from which you initially loaded them, in the folder, they are usually found in (wherever that is) unless you have otherwise altered them.

Why can’t I find my local files readily available elsewhere on Spotify?

If you’ve removed your local files from Spotify and are wondering why you can’t find the band or artist from your local files on Spotify, remember that Spotify – whilst leading music streaming subscription service – does not hold all of the recorded music in the world. 

What Spotify has to offer depends entirely on the individual artist and their record company, and the contract they do or do not sign with Spotify. Famously, none of the British rock band The Beatles’ music was available on Spotify for years and years, until very recently.