If you’re like me, you probably woke up one morning after installing Spotify on your phone or computer to a bunch of people making fun of you for listening to the Frozen soundtrack, but how did everyone know what I was jamming to when no one else was looking? As not many people are aware, by default Spotify contains several sharing settings that will automatically post any activity on your account not only to your Facebook wall, but also to a feed that lives in the Spotify client itself.
This can be seen by all your friends on your Facebook friends list, so just in case you want to rock out to some Broadway musicals and not feel guilty about it, here’s the best way to lock up your privacy settings in Spotify.
Prevent Spotify From Posting to Your Local Feed
When we talk about Spotify sharing, it helps to know there are actually two separate ways the app will try to broadcast your activity out to the world. Far be it from me to figure out why the company thinks you want everyone to know what you’re listening to all the time, but either way, it’s important to know what’s being shared with who, and where.
If you signed up to Spotify using only your email, the only place Spotify will try to share is within the app itself. When you create your profile, you’ll see you also have a “Feed” that gives anyone with your profile name the ability to see what you’re playing now as well as the past 20 songs that have been in the playlist.
To deactivate the Feed sharing feature, start by going into your Spotify preferences by clicking the “Edit” tab in the top-left hand corner, then selecting “Preferences”.
After this, scroll down to the “Social” section, where you’ll see all your available sharing options. There are two ways to manage who sees what inside the Spotify account: you can either turn off the “Publish my activity on Spotify” toggle as highlighted below, or turn on what the company calls a “Private Session”.
The primary difference here is that while the former will permanently remove you from the Activity feed of your friends until you turn it back on, a Private Session only stays active for as long as you have the desktop client or the app open, or six hours passes without any music being listened to from your account.
Lastly, in Social is where you’ll also find the option to change the “Show my current top artists” option which, while it won’t show the exact songs you’ve been listening to, could still give other users a clue what you’ve been most into this week.
Prevent Spotify From Sharing on Facebook
Next, there’s the issue of Spotify sharing what you do on Facebook. As mentioned in the previous section, if you used your Facebook account to sign up for Spotify, it will automatically turn on the option to begin sharing any of the songs or albums you listen to indiscriminately with every person on your friends list.
This can be a problem for anyone who shares their account with say, their teenage daughter and doesn’t want everyone at work thinking they’ve made their way through Katy Perry’s discography twice in the past two days. In order to prevent having to explain your way out of that situation you can simply prevent Spotify from posting any status updates or timeline events by first entering the Social tab.
Next, find the “Facebook” section directly below that, and toggle the “Share my activity on Facebook” switch to the off position. The same effect can also be achieved if you disable Spotify from posting on your behalf in your Facebook settings, although we don’t recommend going this route because it makes it impossible to share a song with friends when you intentionally want to post it to your timeline.
Change Settings in the App
If you only use Spotify in mobile form, you can change all these same settings by first opening up the settings menu inside the app:
From here, click on the Social tab:
Once at this menu, you’ll see the same three toggles that handle how your music activity is shared, and to which platform. Simply disable the toggles you don’t want kept on, and you’re done!
Although we live in an era where the motto for any Internet-savvy Spotify listener is share everything all the time, it’s annoying to see that the music subscription service assumes so much about how open you are about your music choices without even telling you about it first. Thanfully, for those who prefer to keep their listening habits a little closer to the chest, these settings are simple to manage on your desktop or phone.