How to Hide What You Listen to From Friends on Spotify


By default, Spotify gives your friends and followers the ability to see what you’re listening to on your Spotify account. Thankfully, if you’re generally not comfortable with the idea of other people seeing what you’re listening to on Spotify, you can easily hide what you listen to on the streaming audio platform. To be clear, hiding your listening activity is different from listening to music on Spotify privately. If you ever decide to un-hide your listening activity on the service, people will be able to see what you listened to. Alternatively, if you listen to music in a private session, no one else will ever be able to see that.

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Steps to Hide What You Listen to From Friends on Spotify Using Spotify Mobile App

  1. Open the Spotify mobile app on your iPhone, iPad or Android device. You’ll land on your Spotify home screen.
  2. Tap the “Settings” icon at the top of the screen. The Spotify Settings screen is shown.

  1. Tap “Privacy and Social.” The Privacy and Social screen is displayed.

  1. Tap to toggle off “Listening Activity.” Going forward your friends and other people who follow you will no longer be able to see what you’re listening to on Spotify. If you ever want them to be able to see what you’re listening to again, you can always come back to this screen and toggle Listening Activity back on.

Steps to Hide What You Listen to From Friends on Spotify Using Spotify Desktop App

  1. Open the Spotify desktop app. Click your profile icon at the top of the screen to open a menu.
  2. Click “Settings” in this menu. The Settings screen is displayed.

  1. Scroll down this screen until you get to the Social section. Find “Share My Listening Activity on Spotify” in this section, and then click to toggle it off. Going forward your friends and other people who follow you will no longer be able to see what you’re listening to on Spotify. If you ever want them to be able to see what you’re listening to again, you can always come back to this screen and toggle Listening Activity back on.

Reasons to Hide What You Listen to From Friends on Spotify

1. Personal Privacy

Privacy remains a cherished value for many. In an era where sharing dominates, keeping music choices personal becomes an act of preserving individuality. Just as people might not disclose every detail of their day, they sometimes choose to keep their playlists close to their hearts. By doing so, they maintain a private space, untouched by external opinions. Listening to music in solitude creates an intimate experience, free from unsolicited feedback.

2. Fear of Judgment

Humans naturally crave social acceptance. When tastes deviate from the norm, the fear of being judged creeps in. Sharing unique or unconventional music choices can make some feel vulnerable. They worry that others might question their choices, belittle them, or simply not understand. By concealing these preferences, they shield themselves from potential ridicule, ensuring they remain comfortably within their peer group’s accepted norms.

3. Listening to Guilty Pleasures

Everyone has songs or artists they secretly enjoy. These are often termed ‘guilty pleasures’. Though these tracks might not align with someone’s usual taste, they bring undeniable joy. Yet, the ‘guilty’ tag implies embarrassment, making people hesitant to reveal these joys openly. There’s a fear that admitting to such pleasures might diminish one’s perceived musical credibility among peers.

4. Sensitive Content

Music often resonates on a deeply personal level. Songs might echo intimate emotions, struggles, or past experiences. Listening to tracks with sensitive content can be therapeutic, but sharing them opens up raw emotions. Some people prefer to process these emotions privately, without friends drawing conclusions or making inquiries about their mental or emotional state.

5. Work or Study Music

Functional music, chosen to aid concentration or productivity, serves a purpose beyond pure enjoyment. Someone may tune into instrumental tracks, nature sounds, or white noise to enhance focus. Revealing this might lead to misunderstandings. Friends might mistakenly believe these functional sounds represent the person’s genuine musical preference, leading to skewed perceptions.

6. Surprises

Surprises create cherished memories. If someone’s curating a special playlist for an event or party, secrecy becomes essential. By hiding their listening activity on Spotify, they ensure the element of surprise remains intact. Friends remain oblivious, anticipation builds, and when the moment arrives, the musical revelation creates a delightful impact.

7. Diverse Taste

Eclectic music enthusiasts often traverse various genres, from jazz to metal, classical to hip-hop. Such diverse taste can intrigue but also confuse acquaintances. When shared, these choices might spark endless questions, or worse, unsolicited advice. Keeping them private simplifies social interactions, allowing individuals to enjoy their varied selections in peace.

8. Influence on Recommendations

Discovering music independently brings pleasure. When friends see one’s listening habits, they might suggest similar tracks. While well-intentioned, this can saturate someone’s music exploration journey. By concealing their current favorites on Spotify, listeners can ensure their discoveries remain uninfluenced, allowing them to forge their own musical paths.

9. Personal Associations

Songs often tie to memories. A specific track might recall a past love, a lost friend, or a poignant moment. Listening to such tracks can be a deeply personal affair, evoking emotions that listeners might not wish to share or explain. By keeping these associations private, they can reminisce undisturbed, cherishing memories in solitude.

10. Concern Over Misinterpretation

Lyrics hold power. They convey stories, sentiments, and ideologies. While a listener might appreciate a song’s melody, they might not endorse its message. Sharing such songs can lead to misconceptions. Friends might assume the listener aligns with the song’s theme or message, potentially leading to unwarranted judgments.

11. Cultural or Familial Expectations

Cultural backgrounds shape us. They influence beliefs, values, and even music preferences. In some cultures or families, certain music genres might be frowned upon or misunderstood. Listening to them could invite criticism or confusion. To avoid conflicts or uncomfortable conversations, individuals might choose to enjoy these tracks discreetly on Spotify.

12. Mood Indicators

Music reflects moods. Upbeat tracks might indicate happiness, while melancholic tunes could hint at sadness. But not everyone wants their emotional state to be an open book. By hiding their listening habits on Spotify, individuals prevent friends from making assumptions about their well-being, ensuring they retain control over their emotional narratives.

About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

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