Using the shuffle feature on Spotify has many advantages. Chief among these is the ability to discover new music and artists. The shuffle feature is also a great way to re-acquaint yourself with the material in your library that you haven’t listened to in a while.
It’s great, but…
There are reasons why the Spotify shuffle feature needs to be removed. Let’s say you’ve been grooving on upbeat tracks all morning, and after about an hour, the shuffle algorithm changes its mood, and you’re hit with some emo ballads that throw your rhythm.
Another situation is when you’re immersed in an extended audio experience that was crafted by the artists. A good example of this would be 2112 by Rush or The Dark Side Of The Moon by Pink Floyd. If the sequence of tracks is changed due to the shuffle feature, the entire storyline will get ruined.
Finally, if you’re listening to something like a Top 10 playlist and you want to hear the songs in sequence so that you can get a feel for how they are ranked, then the shuffle feature will throw you off.
So, how to turn off shuffle on Spotify?
In this article, I’ll be looking at all the ways you can deactivate the shuffle feature on Spotify. This will work for users who have Spotify free and Premium accounts. So, let’s get straight to it.
Turning Off Shuffle on iOS and Android
Many features distinguish the free and premium versions of Spotify. One of these features is the inclusion of advertisements and the mandatory shuffle feature.
If you are using a free Spotify subscription…
This essentially means that with most of the playlists on Spotify, you won’t be able to turn off the shuffle feature if you are using a free Spotify subscription.
I use the word “most” because there are some exceptions. Some of the auto-generated playlists on Spotify can be listened to without the mandatory shuffle being activated. These playlists include the “made for you” section.
However, if you are subscribed to Spotify Premium, you can turn off the Spotify shuffle on Android or iOS by following these steps:
- Start by opening the Spotify app on your Android or Apple device.
- Navigate to the song or playlist you want to listen to via your library or the search function.
- Tap on the shuffle icon at the bottom left of the music player to turn it from white to grey.
- The shuffle feature should now be turned off.
How To Turn Off Shuffle on Spotify Desktop Version
While this is not stated anywhere on Spotify’s website or other available resources, it is possible to circumvent the mandatory shuffle restriction when using Spotify’s Desktop version.
Whether you are using Spotify’s free version or have a paid subscription, using the desktop version allows you to deactivate shuffling on any playlist, regardless of your subscription.
Here’s how to turn off the shuffle feature on Spotify’s desktop version:
- Start by opening the Spotify app.
- Click on the shuffle icon at the button of the interface. It should be to the left of the “previous song” control.
- Turn shuffle off, and you’re done.
Spotify Free Users: Turn Off Shuffle in the “Made For You” Section
“Made For You” playlists are generated for every user. Spotify’s algorithms take note of your listening habits – liked songs, genres, albums, labels, and artists that you frequently listen to, and then generate playlists just for you based on your preferences.
Some of the “Made For you” playlists can be listened to without the shuffle feature when you have a free account.
But, not all playlists allow this…
The only content that can be listened to without shuffling when you’re using a free account is the “Daily Mixes” and the “Soundtrack of Your Day” playlists.
These can include up to six playlists generated daily. Some examples of “Soundtrack of Your Day” playlists include “Daily Drive” and “Daily Wellness.”
If you look hard enough, you will find more playlists that can be enjoyed without the shuffle turned on. These are mainly playlists that pertain to Spotify campaigns. Things like special occasions or holidays and seasonal events would be good examples of this.
Aside from the above-mentioned scenarios…
There is also another scenario that needs to be covered. Sometimes you will notice that despite having turned off the shuffle feature, your content still plays back with the shuffle turned on.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding this issue, there are some things you can do should it happen to you.
What To Do If Spotify is Stuck on Shuffle
Some users have reported cases where, despite having a premium account, some of their Spotify playlists keep playing in shuffle mode. This is likely due to programming errors within the application. This can cause Spotify to function in other ways than intended.
If this does happen to you, depending on the circumstances, there are ways that you can get around this:
- Spotify Playlists and Albums – Try double-tapping the first song on the playlist. All Spotify playlists play in shuffle mode by default; double-tapping the first song will let the songs play one after another.
- Playlists that don’t have shuffle controls (daily mixes, etc.) – Auto-generated playlists read their settings from your last known settings when the app was open. So, close the playlist and go back to settings to see if the shuffle is turned off, and then try again.
- If All Else Fails, Restart the Spotify App – Now and again, the only thing that will work is a total restart. This will clear up any bugs and issues that may have built up the cache.
It doesn’t matter where you experienced this issue or what your reason for wanting to turn off the shuffle might be. Some users have said that the randomness is too random, and other folks have said that it’s not random enough.
P.S. – If your mind has already been made up and you don’t want to listen to music with shuffle, then you might want to consider YouTube Music. Its free version allows you to play on demand without shuffling.
How Random Is Spotify’s Shuffle?
It’s pretty random if you ask me. But this will depend on how you define the term “random.” In an earlier version of the platform, the algorithm made use of what is called a Fisher-Yates Shuffle.
This means that every option on the list will have an equal chance of getting played every time the algorithm runs. It might sound simple and ideal, but when you start thinking about it, it’s not that great.
Why is that?
Let’s say you’ve got five songs by Ed Sheeran and five songs by Rihanna on your playlist. You don’t want two songs by the same artist to play back-to-back. The point of shuffling the playlist is to have it switch up. Well, with the Fisher-Yates shuffle, this can still happen, so Spotify switched it up a bit.
In 2014, an engineer by the name of Lukáš Poláček coded a new algorithm that not only shuffles content randomly but will spread out the songs that are by the same artists evenly throughout the length of the playlist.
This gave users the freedom to add whole albums to a playlist without fear of back-to-back plays by the same artist.
So, Spotify’s algorithm is still very much random…
But, it’s organized enough so that you won’t get the same artist twice, no matter how many of their songs you put on a varied playlist.
Have More Questions About Spotify?
Well, then, take a look at our detailed articles on How to Change Spotify Username, How to Change Spotify Username, Why Spotify Logged Me Out, Can You See Who Liked Your Playlist on Spotify, and Spotify Web Player – Pros and Cons for more useful information.
Also, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Headphones for Music, the Best Headphones Under $200, the Most Comfortable Headphones, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Best iPhone Earbuds, and the Best True Wireless Earbuds that you can buy in 2023.
How to Turn Off Shuffle on Spotify – Final Thoughts
The mandatory shuffle is one of the big deal-breakers when it comes to Spotify. If you’re using the service on a mobile device, you have no choice but to pay or bear with it.
Then again, for many other users, that’s the best part about Spotify. You are always going to get something new and fresh, no matter what.
If you are using the service on a desktop, though, then the shuffle won’t be a problem. Still, is it worth it to go premium just for a more personalized experience? I suppose you’ll just have to make up your own mind on that one.
Until next time, happy listening.