While audio streaming is nowhere near as hungry as video streaming, you can still burn through your data cap pretty quickly if you listen to a lot of music. And if you happen to be roaming at the time, you can easily rack up a several hundred dollar phone bill just by listening to a playlist or two on Spotify.

Obviously, Spotify is aware of this, so they’ve made it possible for Premium subscribers to save music for offline listening. It’s one of the features that really makes it worth the $9.99 a month. Here’s how to use Spotify offline so it doesn’t use mobile data.

Save Your Music For Offline Listening

If you want to use Spotify offline, you need to make sure you’ve actually got some music downloaded to listen to. With Spotify Premium, you can download 10,000 songs for offline listening on five different devices. That’s 50,000 total tracks across everything.

Strangely, there’s no way to download individual songs; you have to download either albums or playlists.

Open Spotify and head to the album or playlist you want to save for offline listening. As long as you’re a Premium Subscriber, you’ll see a toggle that says Download. Tap it and the album or playlist will save to your phone. Once the songs are saved, you’ll see a little green arrow next to them to show it.

If you want to delete the songs from your phone, just tap the Downloaded toggle again.

Now whenever you play any of the songs you’ve saved—in my case, anything off Twisted Sister’s masterpiece, A Twisted Christmas—it will play from your phone rather than streaming over mobile data.

Turn On Offline Mode to Avoid Streaming Altogether

While just downloading the songs you listen to most often for offline listening will go a long way towards cutting your data usage, anything you haven’t downloaded will still stream over mobile data. If you want to stop Spotify from ever streaming anything, so you avoid accidental data drains, you need to put it in Offline Mode.

From the Your Library tab, tap the Settings icon in the top right and select Playback.

Tap the Offline toggle to put Spotify in Offline Mode.

Now when you use Spotify, you’ll only be able to play the songs you’ve downloaded. If you use Search, it will only return songs that are on your device.

It’s important to note that you can’t stay in Offline Mode indefinitely. You need to go online at least once every thirty days so Spotify can confirm you’re still subscribed.

Block Spotify From Using Mobile Data, But Not Wi-Fi

Turning on Offline Mode stops Spotify from connecting, even on Wi-Fi. If you want it to be able to connect on Wi-Fi but not when you’re on mobile data, you need to use your smartphone’s data controls to block Spotify from using mobile data. We’ve got full guides on how to handle mobile data on Android and on iOS, so check them out for the full run down.

RELATED: How to Monitor (and Reduce) Your Data Usage on Android

Once you’ve blocked Spotify from using mobile data, it will automatically launch in Offline Mode when you’re on a cellular connection but still launch in Online Mode when you’re on wifi.

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Harry Guinness is a photography expert and writer with nearly a decade of experience. His work has been published in newspapers like The New York Times and on a variety of other websites, from Lifehacker to Popular Science and Medium's OneZero.
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