How to Make a Playlist Private on Spotify


Got some guilty pleasure songs or planning a surprise party playlist that you don’t want others snooping around and finding? I’ve got your back, and will show you how to make a Spotify playlist private using both the Spotify mobile app and desktop app.

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Steps to Make a Spotify Playlist Private Using the Spotify Mobile App

  1. Open the Spotify app on your iPhone, iPad or Android device, and then tap “Your Library” in the menu along the bottom of this screen. The Your Library screen opens.

  1. Tap “Playlist” at the top of the screen to see all of your Spotify playlists. Tap the Spotify playlist you want to make private. That Spotify playlist opens.

  1. Tap the ellipses directly above the songs in this playlist. A menu opens.

  1. Tap “Make Private” in this menu. A window pops up warning you that if you make this Spotify playlist private that only you and people you invite will be able to view this playlist.

  1. Tap “Make Private.”

A message pops up at the bottom of this screen letting you know that this playlist is now private. You’ll also see a padlock icon displayed next to the total playlist time.

Going forward only you and other people you invite will be able to listen to this Spotify playlist. You can make this playlist public again at any time by tapping the ellipses and then tapping “Make Public.”

Steps to Make a Spotify Playlist Private Using the Spotify Desktop App

  1. Launch the Spotify app, and then click the “Your Library” icon in the menu along the left edge of the screen. The Your Library part of the menu will expand.

  1. Click “Playlists” in this menu. You’ll now only see your Spotify playlists in this section.
  2. Click the Spotify playlist you want to make private. That Spotify playlist opens.

  1. Click the ellipses directly above the songs in this playlist. A menu opens.

  1. Click “Make Private” in this menu.

You’ll see a note above the playlist name indicating this is a private playlist. Going forward only you and other people you invite will be able to listen to this Spotify playlist.

You can make this playlist public again at any time by tapping the ellipses and then tapping “Make Public.”

What Happens When You Make a Spotify Playlist Private?

1. Visibility

When a Spotify playlist goes private, it effectively disappears from the public’s eye. Think of it as a book transitioning from a public library shelf to a personal home shelf. The content remains unchanged, but access becomes exclusive. The owner retains complete control, ensuring the playlist remains their personal domain. It’s like a musical secret garden, accessible only to its creator.

2. Sharing

Imagine crafting a letter and then sealing it. Making a playlist private is similar. Previously accessible direct links become inactive. Like a sealed letter, the content remains intact, but the entryway becomes restricted. It’s about maintaining a sense of discretion and boundary around musical choices, ensuring that the intended sharing remains intentional.


Followers are like an audience at a concert. When a playlist becomes private, the curtains drop on that show. Those who once had unfettered access find themselves outside the concert hall. This shift ensures that the creator can choose when to raise the curtains again, deciding who gets a seat in the audience.

Visibility in search results is akin to a beacon. Making a playlist private dims this beacon, ensuring the playlist doesn’t appear in Spotify’s vast musical sea when users search. It’s like a hidden treasure, waiting to be unveiled only by its owner, away from the prying eyes of the curious.

5. Profile

A Spotify profile acts as a musical resume, showcasing one’s tastes and collections. A private playlist gets removed from this public display, ensuring a curated representation. It’s akin to having a personal diary tucked away from a public bookshelf, maintaining an aura of personal exclusivity.

6. Collaboration

Collaboration thrives on shared ideas and inputs. Making a playlist private, however, changes this dynamic. It becomes a closed-door brainstorming session, ensuring only invited participants can contribute. It’s like an exclusive workshop where the guest list is carefully curated.

7. Notifications

Notifications serve as digital nudges, alerting followers about updates. Once a playlist becomes private, these nudges go silent. It ensures that updates remain under wraps, devoid of public announcements. It’s like updating a personal journal, without the world knowing each entry.

8. Social Sharing

The digital realm allows for expansive sharing across platforms. Yet, when a playlist goes private, this bridge to social media collapses. It ensures the playlist remains confined to Spotify’s walls, untouched by the vast expanse of social networks. It’s like hosting a private event, away from the bustling city square.

9. Activity Feed

The Activity Feed is a bustling digital marketplace of musical actions. Making a playlist private means it exits this marketplace. Friends or followers remain unaware of interactions with that playlist. It’s akin to shopping at a secret store, with purchases kept discreet.

10. Safety

The internet is vast and unpredictable. Making a playlist private is a shield, protecting it from unwarranted attention or spam. It ensures the playlist remains a safe space, untouched by external disturbances. It’s like building a fortress around a cherished artifact, safeguarding it from external threats.

11. Reversibility

Choices aren’t always permanent, especially in the digital realm. Making a playlist private doesn’t cement its fate. The creator retains the power to switch its status, oscillating between privacy and public view. It’s about flexibility, allowing the curator to decide the playlist’s exposure based on changing preferences or situations.

Reasons to Make a Playlist Private on Spotify

1. Personal Preferences

Music often carries deep personal meaning for individuals. When songs touch the core of someone’s emotions, memories, or experiences, they become treasured. Making a playlist private can serve as a safeguard for these cherished moments. Just as someone might keep a journal or photo album away from prying eyes, they may choose to protect their personal soundtrack. It’s a way to honor and keep their emotional journey intimate.

2. Surprise Element

Crafting a playlist for someone special is a delightful gesture. Whether for anniversaries, birthdays, or just to lift someone’s spirits, the element of surprise amplifies the joy. Keeping a playlist private ensures the recipient gets a genuine, unspoiled experience. It’s like wrapping a musical gift, waiting for the perfect moment to reveal it.

3. Avoiding Judgement

No one wants to feel scrutinized or judged for their tastes. Music is a subjective art form, and what resonates with one person might seem odd to another. By making a playlist private, individuals can avoid unsolicited opinions and judgments. It allows them to embrace their unique tastes without the fear of external validation or ridicule.

4. Work in Progress

Curating a playlist can be likened to creating a piece of art. It requires thought, organization, and a sense of flow. While building it, a creator might feel it’s not ready for the public eye. By keeping it private, they grant themselves the freedom to tweak, adjust, and perfect their collection until they feel it’s ready to be shared.

5. Special Occasions

Some playlists cater specifically to events or moments. Whether it’s for a wedding, a workout session, or a quiet evening reading, these playlists have a specific purpose. Keeping them private ensures they retain their intended essence and purpose. It’s like having a secret recipe tailored for a particular moment or event.

6. Testing

Before unveiling a playlist to a broader audience, a creator might want to ensure it hits the right notes. Keeping it private during this testing phase allows for uninterrupted assessment. It’s a way to ensure that the playlist offers the desired experience, evokes the intended emotions, and retains coherence.

7. Niche Interests

Music can mirror unique hobbies, interests, or themes. Sometimes, these can be incredibly niche or unconventional. By making such a playlist private, the curator protects it from being misunderstood or misinterpreted. It’s like having a special club where only those who appreciate a particular theme gather.

8. Sensitive Content

Certain songs might delve into topics that are explicit, controversial, or sensitive. By choosing to make such playlists private, the curator takes a conscious step to ensure they aren’t inadvertently promoting or endorsing certain themes. It’s about being responsible and cautious about the content they associate with.

9. Personal Reminders

Playlists can serve functions beyond just listening. Sometimes they act as bookmarks or reminders for future projects or endeavors. Keeping them private means these lists remain personal tools, unaffected by external influences. It’s like having a musical to-do list or a set of reminders.

10. Avoiding Spam

For prolific playlist curators, gaining attention is double-edged. While recognition is nice, it can also bring unwanted spam or unsolicited requests. Making a playlist private acts as a shield, preventing unwanted interruptions or distractions. It’s a method to preserve the integrity and purpose of the playlist.

11. Collaborative Playlists

Collaboration can be a delightful creative process. When multiple minds come together to build a playlist, it becomes a shared project. Keeping it private during the collaboration ensures that the final product reflects the combined vision without external interference. It’s like working on a group project, fine-tuning it until all members are satisfied.

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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