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How to solve the most common Google Play Music problems

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© nextpit

Google Play Music is a wonderful thing: almost any song ever recorded, streamed instantly to your device no matter where you are. Except when it doesn’t work. If Google Play Music is waving its hands in the air like it just don’t care instead of getting into the groove, the solutions are usually simple. Here are the most common Google Play Music problems and solutions.

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Google Play Music is great, and if it stops working, the solutions are usually simple  / © NextPit

1. Google Play Music is not working

We know, you’ve checked your internet connection. But have you really checked it? Occasionally our phones get in a grumpy mood and although they show cellular or Wi-Fi bars, the connection isn’t actually working anymore. A swift restart solves that one.

The next simple check is to ensure that neither you nor somebody with access to your account is trying to use Google Play Music on another device. Google Play Music is designed to work on one device at a time, so if you’re playing tunes on your PC, for example, you won't be able to play anything on your phone. 

The third thing is also simple: are you using the correct account? You need to be using the same account you used to upload your music or to buy your music. You can check or change the account you're using in the app by tapping Menu > Settings > Account.

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Learn how to fix Google Play Music right here. / © NextPit

Another common issue is when you’ve changed your account password but haven’t updated it in the Google Play Music app. If you can’t remember what your password is, use the Google Account Recovery page.

If you’re trying to access Google Play Music on a computer, there are two other things to try. First, make sure you’re using a modern web browser – the latest Chrome is best, but Google Play Music works happily on Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer and Edge – and that you haven’t disabled JavaScript in your web browser’s settings.

If that’s OK, make sure you also have the latest version of Adobe’s Flash Player and that it’s enabled: in Chrome, type chrome:plugins in the address bar. If you see 'Enable' under Adobe Flash Player, Flash is currently switched off. Click Enable to turn it on.

Still no joy? Google Play Music has known issues with some third-party plugins, so if you’ve recently added something to your browser try disabling it, restarting the browser and trying Google Play Music again. That advice applies to any in-browser media that’s suddenly stopped working. Privacy protecting or ad-blocking plugins can be particularly bad for it, because their blocking can sometimes be a little overzealous.

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Google Play Music needs you to use the same Google Account you used to upload or buy your music / © NextPit (screenshot)

2. Google Play Music is not uploading

If Google Play Music is not uploading all of your songs, it’s usually for one of three reasons:

The song is in a file format Google Play Music doesn’t support

Google Play Music supports the usual suspects – MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, FLAC and so on – but there are limits, so for example uploading Windows Media WMA files is supported via the Windows version of Music Manager, but not other versions of Music Manager. Some music files, such as WAV, AIFF and RA, can’t be uploaded at all.

Your Google Play Music library is full

Google Play Music supports libraries with up to 50,000 songs. Hit that limit and you can’t upload any more until you clear out some space. Do you really need all those David Hasselhoff b-sides?

You bought the song with a different Google account

You can only upload purchased tracks if you’re using the same account that bought them. If you bought a track using a different account, you’ll need to log in to that account and upload from there.

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There are plenty of other music streaming services and apps / © NextPit 

3. Google Play Music is not syncing

Is there anything more frustrating than having loads of songs and playlists in Google Play Music but not being able to get them on your device? One culprit is a problem with the app’s cache: Google suggests clearing the app data and cache, rebooting your device and then refreshing the library. It can take a while to sync after that, especially if you’re syncing a lot of music, but that usually does the trick. If not, a factory reset and then starting again from scratch can help.

Did you transfer your Play Music settings from another phone? If you did, try deauthorizing the old phone, deleting the app data from your current phone and then signing into Google Play Music on your current phone.

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A quick restart or reinstall can fix a lot of issues / © NextPit

Have you encountered other issues with Google Play Music? Did you find a solution? Let us know below.

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Gary Marshall

Gary Marshall
Freelance writer

Former lion tamer, Girls Aloud backing dancer and habitual liar Gary Marshall has been writing about technology since Google was two guys in a garage. He's written for many fine magazines, newspapers and websites, written a range of how-to-books and a novel, co-written a BBC documentary series and dishes out weekly tech advice on BBC Radio Scotland.

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  • Shahed Samiullah 1
    Shahed Samiullah Jun 4, 2022 Link to comment

    Thanks for sharing a good information on "Thousands are Swapping Spotify for Apple Music". I just love this. I use musconv 1 for free to transfer of my playlist.

  • 1
    Mr Mike Mar 26, 2020 Link to comment

    Often when I sync an album on my laptop to Google Play Music on my Samsung Galaxy phone, song #1 ends up in a different music folder and the proper folder has all the other songs starting from #2. When I look at the folders on my cell from the laptop, everything looks ok, but it's still messed up on the cell. There's no way to move individual songs around to where they should be. Very annoying.

  • 1
    Jemra Mar 22, 2020 Link to comment

    Not uploading music from phone to computer correctly some do some dont. Same format. Sounds like chipmunk speed when played.

  • 1
    Letterpressman Feb 20, 2020 Link to comment

    I play music from my own library on an SD card. A song starts to play, plays for 10 second then stops & reverts to my to my home screen. How do I fix?

  • 1
    vice86 Feb 4, 2020 Link to comment

    Very annoying issue...say I have Michael Buble - Home from the album It's Time, copy it into another folder, edit the meta data to have its part of a compilation album called "Mellow Tunes"....Google for some reason wont add it because it knows I already have Home on there. VERY annoying. The only way I can get it to show up as the same song in a different album is if I re-encode it. Not sure what Google is seeing in the file to not allow it to uplaod again since its technically a same song but a different album.

  • marco sarli 39
    marco sarli
    • Admin
    Sep 28, 2019 Link to comment

    Not a fan. It works, no big problem but still not too enthusiastic about it. It is a bit vanilla

  • 49
    storm Sep 27, 2019 Link to comment

    One of the Google apps I always delete along with Play Books, Movies and Games.

    marco sarliDeactivated Account

    • 46
      Deactivated Account Sep 28, 2019 Link to comment

      and Chrome


      • 49
        storm Sep 28, 2019 Link to comment

        That one is usually part of the OS partition and I can only disable it at best.

        marco sarli

  • 1
    Mark Vining May 20, 2019 Link to comment

    I transferred my account to a new phone using the cord to plug the two phones together now I cant find songs that were on there before and when I go to add the song to the library again it says it's already in the library but I cant find it and when it transferred the last added list got completely shuffled how can I fix this issue

  • kuchi chris 1
    kuchi chris Oct 10, 2018 Link to comment

    Please i need your help. I backed up all my songs on my huawei honor 3c lite to my google account and they're all on my google play music. But i just recently bought a tecno camon x and i can't get my songs on the google play music. I don't know how to add this phone as a device on the google play music on the old phone and i can't even find the my devices icon on the google play music on the new phone. I just want all my songs on the new phone and I don't know what to do.

  • 1
    Ima Notreal Oct 20, 2017 Link to comment

    My JVC car stereo is supposed to automatically play music when I'm driving, but occasionally doesn't. Finally traced this intermittent issue to my phone's volume and a setting under Sounds and Vibration - Volume. To find it on my Galaxy 7, I have to click on the three dots in the upper left and select Media volume limiter. Paradoxically, setting the limiter to ON turns OFF the warning about loud noises causing hearing issues. When my phone's volume exceeded the default threshold, a screen would pop up warning me. No music would play until I responded to the popup. Since I was driving, I didn't see it. Now with the limiter turned ON and it set where I want it (all the way up), I no longer had this issue.

  • Mike 1
    Mike Jun 27, 2017 Link to comment

    I've got a problem with Sync - my online library contains 604 songs - all uploaded over the years from various PCs. My device currently has only 16 tracks - these were copied to my SD card directly from the PC using a USB cable, these 16 songs are not in the library.

    I've cleared the cache in the app - I've cleared data and cache from app management, I've refreshed under account in the app too, nothing has an effect.

    How can I get the 604 songs from the library to sync down to the device?

  • DKirk Stephens 1
    DKirk Stephens Jan 1, 2017 Link to comment

    my music is on my Samsung S6 in "Music" version 16.1, Verizon. I can see All my songs in Google Play Music. But when I go to cast them on Google Cast. They will not play. there is a popup that tells me to download from my computer. The songs are on my phone. I've tried making Google Play Music my default and I can't.

    • Nick Segarra (soren426) 2
      Nick Segarra (soren426) Jan 12, 2017 Link to comment

      If it's music you downloaded from the internet on to the phone, then you'll have to move those files from your phone to your pc, go to play music in your browser and click upload to sync the music to your account . Afterwards go to settings and tap refresh and you should be able to cast the music.

  • Gian Carlo 1
    Gian Carlo Oct 29, 2016 Link to comment

    I've uploaded songs from iTunes but some where organized and labeled wrong. I corrected them on my laptop but when I use Google play music on my phone it stills has them in wrong places

    • Nick Segarra (soren426) 2
      Nick Segarra (soren426) Jan 12, 2017 Link to comment

      Go into the settings and under account tap refresh

  • 1
    Lori Evans Oct 28, 2016 Link to comment

    I've downloaded my iTunes music to Google Play but the songs only show up in the not downloaded area. Does that mean I have to buy the song again from Google to get it to play without an internet connection?

    • Nick Segarra (soren426) 2
      Nick Segarra (soren426) Jan 12, 2017 Link to comment


  • Mickey Maus 1
    Mickey Maus Oct 14, 2016 Link to comment

    I see your request for comments & questions and I see questions - some a year old - with no answers or replies. Anyway, on my external memory card in my Android phone, I loaded lots of my personal, ripped MP3s. I can't get Google Play Music to find the MP3s. I have run ScanMediaPlz to force Android to discover all media but no help. I can use File Explorer to find the music and then use Google Play to play a track, but Play doesn't remember or catalogue the track.

    How can I get play to find my albums anywhete/everywhere on my phone?

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