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Even though Spotify’s algorithm is great at recommending songs and podcasts you might like, sometimes you’ll have to use the search feature to find a particular song, album, or artist. But what if Spotify’s search tool malfunctions and shows strange errors? There are at least 13 fixes you can try.

How Does Spotify Search Work?

Spotify’s search lets you type in keywords like song titles or artist names. It then matches these with content in its library using algorithms.

Spotify shows search results based on popularity, user preferences, and relevance to your query. It also considers your location, listening history, and personalized recommendations for more tailored results. Also, Spotify's engine is dynamic, constantly updated and refined based on user interactions and feedback.

If Spotify’s search isn’t working well, it’s probably due to an issue on your end. In rare cases, the problem is with the platform itself.

Why can’t I search on Spotify?

Let's fix the search tool by trying one solution at a time.

#1: Test Your Internet

One easy step to start with is checking your internet connection. Weak or unstable internet can make Spotify act up. Try resetting your router or switching to a different Wi-Fi network to troubleshoot this. Once your internet is stable, see if the Spotify search works as needed.

#2: Get the Latest Spotify Update

Spotify makes regular updates to enhance user experience, including bug fixes in the latest version for a smoother search process. Upgrading helps you avoid search frustrations and have your usual music streaming experience.

To get the latest version, visit the official Spotify website for Windows or macOS, or go to the App Store or Google Play Store on your mobile. Look for Spotify in the Updates section and tap Update to get the improvements.

#3: Log Out, Then Back In to Spotify

A common solution to the Spotify search problem is to log out of your account and then log back in. Many users have found this simple step effective in fixing various issues. Logging out refreshes your account and improves connectivity to Spotify’s servers.

#4: Wipe Spotify’s Stored Data

Clearing the stored data, or cache, can be a quick fix for Spotify’s performance issues if they’re caused by accumulated temporary files. Even if they’re not, this process improves overall app performance and resolves glitches.

To clear Spotify’s cache:

  1. Click on the Settings gear icon in the top-right corner.
  2. Choose Storage > Clear Cache.

After this, the app should function better.

#5: Check If Spotify’s Servers Are Up

If you’ve tried the previous methods without success, it’s a good idea to check if Spotify’s servers are down. Server issues can cause problems with features like search, playback, or syncing. Server outages are usually temporary, so you may just need to wait until everything’s back up and running smoothly again.

Follow SpotifyCares on Twitter to get updates on any known issues or outages. Spotify usually provides information on when the problem will be fixed.

#6: Switch Off Spotify’s Offline Mode

If you’re in Spotify’s offline mode, you won’t be able to search for songs or podcasts that aren’t already on your device. You’ll see a message saying ‘Go online to search again’ when you try.

To fix this:

  1. Tap the Settings icon.
  2. Turn off Offline mode from the Settings menu.

Now, try using the search tool again.

#7: Ensure Your Device’s Time Is Accurate

If you can’t search on Spotify, it may have been caused by your phone being set to the wrong date or time. This is because it’s preventing Spotify from connecting to its servers and loading results. To avoid this, use the automatic date and time feature:

For iPhone:

  1. Go to Settings > General.
  2. Tap Date & Time, then toggle on Set Automatically.

For Android:

  1. Open Settings > General Management.
  2. Tap Date and Time, then turn on Automatic Date and Time.

#8: Turn Off Any VPN Connections

VPNs are great for online privacy but can sometimes cause issues with apps like Spotify. Just disconnect from your VPN and try searching on Spotify again. If it works, you might want to explore other ways to protect your privacy while using Spotify, like using trusted networks or proxies.

#9: Allow Camera Access

Camera issues with Spotify are uncommon, but let’s fix missing camera permissions just in case.

For iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app and scroll down to tap on Spotify.
  2. Turn on the toggle next to the Camera.

For Android:

  1. Long-press the Spotify app icon and tap the info icon.
  2. Go to Permissions.
  3. Tap Camera and select Allow Only While Using the App.

#10: Reinstall Spotify

Try uninstalling and reinstalling Spotify to resolve issues like bugs or corrupted files.

On iPhone:

  1. Press and hold the Spotify app on your iPhone, then select Remove App and confirm.
  2. Reinstall Spotify from the App Store.

On Android:

  1. Open the Google Play Store, search for Spotify, and uninstall it.
  2. Reinstall Spotify from the Play Store.

On Mac:

  1. Quit Spotify (Finder > Applications > Spotify > Move to Trash).
  2. Hold Option/Alt and click Go in Finder, then choose Library.
  3. Go to Caches and delete Spotify folders.
  4. Empty Trash and reinstall Spotify from the website.

On Windows:

  1. Go to Control Panel > Programs > Uninstall a program.
  2. Select Spotify and click Uninstall.
  3. Press Win + R, type %AppData%, and delete the Spotify folder in the Roaming directory.
  4. Restart your computer and download Spotify again on the website.

#11: Try Spotify’s Web Player

You can overcome search issues on your mobile or desktop app by using Spotify through a web browser.

The web player offers the same music library as the app and could have a more reliable search function. Accessible via any web browser, the Spotify Web Player doesn’t need downloads or installations. Plus, you can listen to music without disrupting your work or other browser tasks.

#12: Allow Spotify to Run in the Background

Consider allowing background usage for Spotify on different devices.

On iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to General.
  2. Select Application Data Usage and enable Allow Background Data Usage.

On Android:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to Apps or Manage Apps.
  2. Find Spotify and enable Allow Background Activity.

On desktop:

  1. Open the desktop app and click your profile.
  2. Choose Settings > Show Advanced Settings.
  3. Turn off the Close Button Should Minimize the Spotify Window.

#13: Reach Out to Spotify’s Support Team

One of the previous solutions should solve the issue of Spotify not searching for music. If it keeps happening,  try reaching out to Spotify’s support team is your best bet. You can contact them via email, social media, or live chat for guidance on resolving the issue for good. They’re always available to help!

Why Can’t I Find a Specific Playlist on Spotify?

Looking for playlists on Spotify is pretty much like searching for songs or artists.

On iPhone/Android:

  1. Tap on the middle search tab at the bottom.
  2. Enter keywords for artists, songs, or podcasts into the search bar.
  3. Scroll down to See All Playlists at the bottom of the search results.
  4. Tap on a playlist to view its details, add it to your library, or search within it for a song or artist.

On desktop:

  1. Start your search from any page in the Spotify app. Type an activity, artist, genre, mood, or keyword into the search bar.
  2. Click See All next to the Playlists section in the search results.
  3. Click on a playlist to view its details and add it to your library.

Keep in mind that not all playlists are public. If someone hasn’t made their playlist viewable to everyone, you won’t be able to see it. Apart from that, try the same fixes listed above.

Why Can’t I Play The Song I Searched for on Spotify?

For a quick fix, start by closing and reopening the app. Also, check if your device supports Spotify and is up-to-date. Make sure there’s at least 250MB of available memory on your device and that your firewall isn’t blocking Spotify (this applies to desktops only).

Overall, this post should solve most of your search issues and address a number of your questions on the topic.