Restore your deleted Spotify playlists

How to save your favorite songs, even from yourself

Spotify

Spotify

Accidentally deleted your favorite Spotify playlist? Here's how to fix your mistake.David Nield/Popular Science

If you play music on Spotify, then you know it's not quite the same as stacking your shelves with vinyl. You've got access to tens of millions of songs, but keeping track of them can be a chore. That's why many users build playlists. The problem is, it's easy to accidentally delete one of your favorite playlists. Here's how to restore vanished playlists, and preserve them for future use.

Playlist recovery tool

Recover playlists

Recover playlists

The playlist management tool on the author's Spotify accountDavid Nield/Popular Science

You may never have visited it, but you actually have a Spotify account page on the web. You can access it by logging in at spotify.com. Just use the same account name and password you do to log in on a smartphone or desktop client.

The first page you'll see gives you access to all the standard account information, including your name, your profile picture, and, if you have a premium subscription, the method you use to pay Spotify every month.

For the purposes of this guide, the link we're interested in is the one marked Recover playlists, which does exactly what the name suggests. You'll find playlists you've deleted stretching back several months. Spotify doesn't specify how long it keeps erased playlists around for, but we've seen ones that are six months old.

Click Recover next to the playlist you want to bring back, and as if by magic, it's restored to your account. Just make sure you really, really do want to delete a playlist the next time you erase one from your Spotify list.

Other recovery options

@SpotifyCares

@SpotifyCares

Playlists vanished? Try tweeting your problem to @SpotifyCares.David Nield/Popular Science

We're all guilty of hitting the wrong keyboard combination or clicking on the wrong menu entry from time to time, and if you've just wiped a playlist you didn’t intend to from your account, the old faithful undo command can bring it back right away.

Hit Ctrl+Z on a Windows PC or Cmd+Z on a Mac before you touch anything else and your last action is undone, restoring the playlist to its previous position. If you act quickly, you don't have to rely on the playlist recovery feature—though these shortcuts won't work on Spotify's web player.

It's not unheard of for playlists to disappear from Spotify due to a bug or a technical hitch (it's certainly happened to us!). If you find most or all of your playlists have been wiped without you touching them, and they're not available to recover online, get in touch with Spotify support. The @SpotifyCares Twitter account is usually a good place to start.

Spotify support should be able to restore your playlists from the backups at their end, although you will have to confirm your date of birth and some of your payment information to prove your identity.

Preserve your playlists

Copy a Spotify playlist

Copy a Spotify playlist

To preserve someone else's playlist, you can make your own copyDavid Nield/Popular Science

Some playlists will shift and change over time, without any input from you. These include playlists by other people you've subscribed to, as well as the Discover Weekly playlist that Spotify refreshes for you every week based on your listening history.

If you’ve happened across a Discover Weekly playlist that you really like, or you want to preserve another user’s playlist for future listening, then follow these steps. Open up the Spotify desktop client on your Windows or Mac machine, click somewhere inside the playlist, and hit Ctrl+A on Windows or Cmd+A on a Mac to highlight all of the tracks.

Right-click (or use a two-finger click on a Mac) on the playlist, then choose Add to Playlist. You can add all of the selected tracks to a playlist you've already set up, or create a new playlist that you can rename later.

Your new, permanent copy of the playlist won't be affected by any changes made to the original, so your songs will be safe and sound in your account. That is, at least until you accidentally delete another one of your playlists.