by Anthony 

July 6, 2022

Last year literally millions of Spotify subscribers were delighted to finally be able to download songs to their Apple Watch for listening to without their iPhone. But it seems just as many people, including myself, are having trouble getting it to work.

The most common issue appears to be that Spotify gets stuck downloading the first track in a playlist, but there are other issues. So if you’re in this boat then here’s what you can try.

Spotify stuck downloading first song


Now before we start solving the problem, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. Firstly, make sure you have the latest version of the Spotify App installed on your phone.

To check this, go to the App Store, and click on your profile icon. If your Spotify app needs updating it will say Update. If it just says ‘open’, you’re running the latest version and you’re good to go.

update spotify in the app store

Next, make sure you’re running the latest version of Watch OS. Open the Apple Watch app on your Phone, go to General and click Software Update. Spotify does recommend using version 7.1 or higher and, also note that you do need Apple Watch version 3 or later.

spotify requires apple watch version 3 and up

With that done, you have a few solutions that Spotify recommends. It’s worth trying all of these, beginning with the easiest, which is just to restart both your watch and your phone.

If that doesn’t work (which it probably won’t) is to play the playlist whilst downloading the tracks. This fix worked for me, so hopefully it will work for you too.

spotify recommended fixes

 The actual recommendation is to stream the playlist first on your watch before downloading. So in the Spotify app on your watch, go to your library, choose playlists and start streaming the playlist you wish to download. Back in the Spotify app on your phone, click on the ellipsis icon under your playlist name, and choose Download to Apple watch. Swipe right on your watch to display Downloads. You should see your playlist begin to download.

option to download to apple watch

 At this point, make sure your watch continues to stream/play the playlist whilst it’s downloading. If it stopped, click on Back, choose Your Library, followed by Playlist, and hit play.

The download process is by no means instant and if you have an older watch or an older phone, it’s likely to take even longer, so do be patient. Also it’s a good idea to be wearing your watch and to keep your phone and you watch with you whilst downloading. This ensures your watch doesn’t lose connection to your phone during the process.

After a while, if you switch back to downloads, hopefully, you should see that your playlist has successfully been downloaded.

successful download on apple watch


If you’re still not having any luck, then work through Spotify’s other suggestions, such as reinstalling the Spotify app on your watch. To do this, click on the crown to display all your apps. Long press on the Spotify app until all the apps start to jiggle and then press the Spotify app again to delete it.

Having done this I recommend restarting your watch by holding the side button for a couple of seconds, swiping to power off, then pressing the same button or the crown to restart. Reinstall the Spotify app by opening the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, scrolling to the bottom of the My Watch tab, and press install.

READY TO START YOUR OWN YOUTUBE CHANNEL?

 According to Spotify’s forums, a number of people resolved the issue by unpairing and re-pairing their Apple watch with their phones. This is a little bit more time-consuming but, if nothing else has worked, it is worth trying.

 Start by opening the Apple Watch app on your phone. At the top of the My Watch tab, click on All Watches followed by the information icon next to your watch, and then choose unpair. Apple does state on its support pages that your watch is backed up as part of the unpairing process. So once it completes, goes through the re-pairing process, and all your preferences and data should be restored to the watch.

If none of these solutions work for you, I recommend keeping your Spotify app up to date because Spotify is clearly aware there’s an issue which is still “under investigation”. So as soon as they have a fix they’ll no doubt roll out an update for their app.

spotify app issues under investigation

For some incomprehensible reason the Spotify watch app has always proved to be flaky. Whilst I am able to play music from the Spotify app on my watch I still have issues. For example, one issue I continue to have is that some tracks refuse to play. The app will just skip to the next track in the playlist.

Another time, the app appeared to completely crash and I had to uninstall and reinstall for it to work again. Of course, what makes this worse is that I’ve usually started exercising before realising that something is wrong, which leaves me without music for the rest of my exercise session.

If you found this post useful you may be interested in my video demonstrating 5 ways to find new music in Spotify (https://youtu.be/qB8hkQilFUw) or you can check out my whole channel for lots of cool tips and tricks on all your favorite apps.

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