How to fix Spotify stops playing when screen is off on iPhone

coco's user avatar
December 12, 2023

“When I press play on a song and lock my screen (when I go running for instance), Spotify app either plays the song and stops or it closes the app.” Do you also encounter the same problem? If the app stops playing or closes when you lock your screen, you can try the following troubleshooting steps:

  1. Restart Spotify
  2. Update Spotify
  3. Clean Reinstall Spotify
  4. Turn Off Data Saver Mode
  5. Turn Off Low Power Mode
  6. Hide Unplayable songs
  7. Check streaming Quality
  8. Log out/log back in
  9. Update iOS
  10. Download songs or podcasts to your iPhone
  11. Play Spotify with other music player

Related: Why does my Spotify keep pausing?

1. Restart Spotify

If Spotify stops playing, you can quit it and then reopen it to try and resolve the issue. 

  1. To quit the app, open the App Switcher, swipe right to find the app, then swipe up on the app.
    • On an iPhone with Face ID: Swipe up from the bottom edge and pause in the center of the screen.
    • On an iPhone with a Home button: Double-click the Home button.
  2. To reopen the app, go to the Home Screen (or App Library), then tap the app.

2. Update Spotify

Make sure you have the latest version of the Spotify app installed on your iPhone. Developers often release updates to address bugs and improve app performance. Go to the App Store, search for “Spotify,” and tap “Update” if an update is available.

3. Clean Reinstall Spotify

Most common issues can often be resolved with a quick app reinstall. However, in certain situations, a clean and more thorough reinstall of the app might be necessary. This will allow you to start fresh with Spotify on your device.

Keep in mind: After reinstalling the app, you’ll need to re-download any previously downloaded music and podcasts. Additionally, your settings will be reset to their default values. It’s a good idea to take screenshots of your settings before the reinstall so you can easily set them up again to your preferences.

  1. Open Spotify. In the app’s settings (you can access them by going to Home and then tapping the gear icon in the top right corner), tap Storage then Delete Cache.
  2. Head to your device’s Settings, then tap General.
  3. Tap iPhone Storage.
  4. Select Spotify from the list of apps.
  5. Tap Offload the app and confirm. This will delete the app but its documents data will be kept.
  6. Then tap Delete App and confirm. This action should delete any leftover documents and data.
  7. Once the app is deleted, press and hold the Side/Top button and either volume button until the power off slider appears.
  8. Drag the slider to turn your device completely off.
  9. After your device turns off, wait a couple of minutes.
  10. Press and hold the Top (or Side) button again until the display turns on.
  11. Switch your device back on and install Spotify from the App Store.

4. Enable Background App Refresh for the Spotify app

Allow apps to refresh their content when on Wi-Fi or cellular in the background.

  1. Go to Settings – General on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Background App Refresh.
  3. Find Spotify and switch it on.

5. Turn Off Low Power Mode

If your iPhone is in Low Power Mode, it may restrict background app activities. Ensure that your phone is not in Low Power Mode while using Spotify.

To turn Low Power Mode off, go to Settings > Battery – Low Power Mode. You can also turn Low Power Mode off from Control Centre. Go to Settings > Control Centre > Customise Controls, and then select Low Power Mode to add it to Control Centre.

6. Hide Unplayable songs

  1. Open Spotify. Tap Home.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Playback.
  4. Switch Hide Unplayable Songs on.

7. Check streaming Quality

If your internet connection is not fast enough, change streaming audio quality to Automatic or Low.

  1. Open Spotify. Tap Home.
  2. Tap the gear icon on the top right corner.
  3. Tap Audio Quality.
  4. Choose Automatic or Low.
Spotify quality

8. Log out/log back in

  1. Tap Home.
  2. Tap the gear icon.
  3. Scroll down and tap Log out.
  4. Log in with your account.

9. Update iOS

Ensure that your iPhone’s operating system is up to date. Sometimes, updating to the latest iOS version can resolve compatibility issues with apps.

Connect your device to a Wi-Fi network.
Go to “Settings” on your iOS device.
Scroll down and tap on “General.”
Select “Software Update.”
If an update is available, tap “Download and Install.”
If prompted, enter your device passcode.
Review the terms and conditions, then tap “Agree” to proceed.
The update will begin downloading, and your device will restart to install the update.

10. Download songs or podcasts to your iPhone and use Offline Mode

Downloading Spotify songs or podcasts to your iPhone can be a helpful way to prevent app crashes and ensure smooth playback, especially when you are in areas with weak or no internet connection. With a Spotify Premium subscription, you can easily download your favorite music and podcast episodes for offline listening. Simply find the content you want, tap the three dots next to the title, and select “Download” for songs or “Download Episode” for podcasts. The downloaded content will be stored on your device, allowing you to enjoy uninterrupted playback without worrying about app crashes caused by network issues.

To use Offline Mode:

  1. Tap Home.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Playback.
  4. Switch Offline on.

However, after checking many posts we found that usually the crash is caused by iOS or Spotify update. Above solutions may not work. The best solution is to wait for a Spotify update. Before that you may try to play Spotify music with other music player.

11. Play Spotify music with other music player

To prevent Spotify from ceasing playback on your iPhone, the optimal solution is to utilize an alternative music player, such as Apple Music. The process involves downloading Spotify tracks in the MP3 format using Pazu Spotify Converter. This method is applicable regardless of whether you have a free or premium Spotify account.

Pazu Spotify Converter has been purpose-built for the task of converting Spotify music into commonly used formats, and it functions seamlessly on both Mac and Windows platforms. With Pazu Spotify Music Converter, you have the capability to transform Spotify songs into popular audio formats like MP3, M4A, WAV, FLAC, AAC, and AIFF. The utilization of advanced encryption technology ensures that all converted audio files maintain their original quality without any loss, and it also preserves the essential ID3 tags and metadata information. Further details can be found below.

Key features of Pazu Spotify Converter:

  • Download Spotify music without Premium.
  • Download and convert Spotify to MP3/M4A/AAC/FLAC/WAV/AIFF.
  • Download Spotify to MP3 in 320kbps.
  • ID3 tags including title, artist, artwork, etc. preserved.
  • No need to install Spotify app.
  • Multilingual interface: English, Deutsch, Español, Français, 日本語, 简体中文.
  • Organize downloaded songs by album or artist.

1. Run Pazu Spotify Converter

Download, install and run Pazu Spotify Converter on your Mac or Windows. Log in your Spotify account with the built-in web player.

spotify converter

2. Choose output format

Click the gear icon on the top right corner to open Settings window. Here you can choose:

  • Output Format: M4A, MP3, AAC, FLAC, WAV and AIFF
  • Output quality: up to 320kbps for MP3
  • Cover Quality: High(640×640), Middle(300×300) or Low(64×64)
  • Output Folder;
  • Output File Name: Any combination of Title, Artist, Album, Track Number, Playlist Index.
  • Output Organized: Artist, Album. Artist/Album or Album/Artist
  • After Converting: Open the output folder or Put the computer to sleep
  • Interface Language: English, Deutsch, Español, Français, 日本語, 简体中文.
Spotify converter settings

3. Select Spotify songs, albums or playlists

Select the songs, album or playlist you want to convert to MP3. Spotify Converter will detect and select all songs in the playlist or album by default. Uncheck the songs you don’t want to download if there are any. Click “Show All” icon to toggle “Hide Converted” on in case some songs have been downloaded before.

drag&drop spotify songs

4. Convert Spotify Songs

Click the Convert button to download Spotify songs to MP3.

remove Spotify DRM

Once the conversion is done, click the folder icon to find the downloaded MP3 songs. Now You can then play the Spotify MP3 songs with your favorite music player or devices.

Note: The free trial version of Pazu Spotify Converter enables you to convert the first three minutes of each song. You can remove the trial limitation by purchasing the full version.