How To Start A Private Session On Spotify So Your Sad Girl Song Choices Stay Secret

No one needs to know how many times you’ve streamed Adele this week.

Here's how to start a Private Session on Spotify.
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One of the best features Spotify has to offer is the ability to see what your friends are listening to at any moment throughout the day. But we all have those playlists that aren’t meant to be shared with everyone (you know the ones), and giving people a glimpse into your ~alone time~ can get pretty awkward. Thankfully, there’s a feature you might not know about that hides your music from your followers with just a few simple steps. Here’s everything you need to know about how to start a Private Session on Spotify, so you can finally stream your guilty pleasure songs and your sneaky link playlists in peace.

If you didn’t know, the Friend Activity section is a desktop, mobile, and tablet feature that gives you a peek into what songs your friends are listening to and vice versa. It’s a great way to feel connected to your long-distance besties, but just like how you have control over what your followers see on social media, you should be able to choose when your friends can see what you’re listening to. That’s where the Private Session feature, which pauses your Friend Activity and lets you stream without judgment, comes in. Yes, you can spin your sad girl playlist without having to worry about receiving a “you good?” text from your bestie.

Once you learn what the feature is all about, you’ll be turning the Private Session tool on and off so fast that your friends won’t even notice you’ve gone off the grid.

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What Is A Private Session On Spotify?

Private Sessions disable your Friend Activity for a period of time so your followers can’t see what you’re listening to. It’s basically Spotify’s version of a web browser’s “Incognito mode.” Once you’re in a Private Session, you can either turn it off yourself, or it will end automatically when you restart Spotify or after a long period of inactivity.

According to the private listening page on the Spotify support website, your recommendations are not affected by Private Sessions, but the music you listen to in a Private Session “may not influence your music recommendations, e.g. Discover Weekly.”

How To Start A Private Session On Spotify

The process for starting a Private Session might look a bit different depending on the device you’re using, so here’s a rundown about how Spotify’s private session feature works on mobile, desktop, and tablet for those days when you just want to keep your playlist between you and your headphones.

How To Start A Private Session On Spotify On Desktop

Listening to your concentration playlist at work, or streaming that podcast you and your roommate always listen to together? Whatever you’re listening to, you can start a Private Session on your laptop with these easy steps:

  1. Open the Spotify desktop app.
  2. Click the downward-facing arrow next to your username in the top-right corner.
  3. Click “Private Session.”

You can also access the feature by selecting “Settings” in the dropdown menu, scrolling down the Social section, and toggling on the “Start a Private Session to listen anonymously” option.

Once you’ve turned it on, a blue lock icon that says “Private Session” will appear at the top of your screen next to your username. A checkmark next to the “Private Session” option in the dropdown menu will also appear.

When you’re ready to go back online, all you have to do is click the “Private Session” option or toggle off the feature in Settings.

How To Start A Private Session On Spotify On Mobile & Tablet

If you don’t want anyone to know you’re in your feels while streaming on the go, here’s what you’ll need to do to enable a Private Session:

  1. Open the Spotify app.
  2. Tap the house-shaped Home icon.
  3. Tap the Settings gear icon.
  4. Select “Privacy & Social.”
  5. Toggle on “Private Session.”

After you do that, you’ll see the words “Private Session” at the very bottom of your screen.

You don’t need an excuse to start a Private Session, but if you have a playlist you’d rather keep on the DL, or you want to listen to that song that reminds you of your ex in private, that’s OK too.