7 Common Google Play Music Problems & Fixes

Google Play Music is one of the best services offered by Google. Users stream millions of songs, upload their own collections and much more. It has a lot to offer, but it’s not perfect. Here we’ll discuss some common Google Play Music problems and some potential fixes for users.

It has over 35 million songs, our own library of tracks, and even a monthly subscription service. Giving users access to music anywhere, YouTube Red with ad-free videos and more. It’s certainly worth checking out. A service that’s great when it works, but frustrating when there are issues.

Read: Play Music Family Plans: What to Know

I have over 8,000 songs uploaded to Google Music, completely free, and it can hold a lot more. It’s one of the best services around. But as we said above, it’s not without its own share of issues. Just like most apps around. Whether music won’t upload, songs aren’t playing or you have duplicate tracks, we’re here to help.

Google Play Music

Looking through Google’s product help forums we see complaints about music not playing, or the Music Manager having problems of its own. A good place to start for any issue is Google’s help forum, and here’s a list of problem-solving tips for the Music Manager app itself.

To help you all out, we’ve round up some of the most common Google Music problems and any potential fixes, workarounds, or other ideas. Lets get started.

Google Music Isn’t Working

So, your music isn’t playing or the app isn’t working. We’ve all been there, seeing nothing but a swirling circle trying to load a song forever. However, it never starts playing.

The first thing that comes to mind is your data connection. Make sure you have a solid connection or are signed into a WiFi network for the best experience. Another idea is heading to settings and changing the quality over mobile streaming, as sometimes our phones can’t get enough 4G LTE to start streaming music.

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Occasionally you’ll see full bars, but it still won’t play. It’s always a good idea to toggle on and off your internet or WiFi connection, or even restart your device. I try closing and re-opening Google Music first, which usually fixes any odd issues.

However, there are other potential reasons. Is someone else streaming music on the account? By default only one device can stream music at a time. So if it’s paused on your laptop somewhere, your phone or tablet may not start streaming. Usually it just kicks the other device off, but that doesn’t always work as intended.

Google allows up to 10 devices to be connected to any one account, and you can always go in and de-authorize access to music, if it fills it. Keep that in mind if you’ve tried using Google Music on a lot of devices. Oddly enough, the biggest problem we see is with people that have more than one Google Account. Hit the dropdown bar on the left side, and make sure you’re signed into the right account. Once done, music should start playing.

Duplicate Tracks

A problem I’m all too familiar with, is duplicate tracks. Between adding my collection from a MacBook, Windows PC, downloads and transferring iTunes, I have tons of duplicates. I had the program sort music by song in alphabetical order, and one-by-one deleted doubles. It took forever.

Sadly Google doesn’t have a solution to this yet. We expect one will arrive at some point, but for now, we’re out of luck. I’d suggest deleting the entire library on Google Music and re-uploading it from the original source. Just make sure your computer or iTunes doesn’t have doubles, and you’ll be fine.

Last but not least, one Reddit user created a solution, but it takes some technical know-how. So use caution, and give this link a try.

Missing Tracks

Are you missing tracks in Google Music? Some might be on your music player but missing on the phone. This usually is just a glitch with the sync service, and a refresh will fix it.

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Open Google Music and tap the 3-lines at the top left. This slides out a menu, in which you’ll navigate to Settings. Select settings and right near the top under account is some information about subscriptions, then a big “Refresh” button. Tap this, and sync will reinitiate. This will also fix any payment problems for those trying to stream music.

Songs Won’t Upload

Another thing we get asked about often is songs not uploading through the Google Music Manager. This can typically be broken down to one of three problems.

  • Library is Full (Music Supports up to 50,000 songs)
  • File Format Not Supported
  • Music Bought on Another Account

When people have problems uploading music it’s typically one of the above problems. Well, unless you’re on a PC and it’s trying to upload from iTunes but doesn’t have the right target to draw music from.

Google Music allows up to 50,000 songs, but we doubt very many users are over that limit. Which brings us to the biggest problem. Format. Make sure music is in a format likeĀ MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, FLAC and others. Google Music doesn’t support windows WAV files, AIFF or RI file types. They are rare, but it happens.

Last but not least make sure you’re trying to upload music on and from the same account it was purchased. Those with family sharing or other accounts often accidentally run into this.

Censored Music

This isn’t too big of a problem anymore, but we still see complaints about it. Say you uploaded 5,000 songs from your computer to Google Music Manager, but playing them on your phone they are censored. No one wants that.

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Inside Google Music go to Settings > Scroll down to block Explicit songs in radio and make sure it’s unchecked. Once you do this, try hitting Refresh again. During the upload Google matches many of the songs and adds them to your account, rather than copying the exact file. Sometimes you’ll get censored versions. Unchecking this before you start uploading will ensure no songs are censored.

This will also prevent the streaming service from blocking explicit songs while you are listening to tunes and beats.

Too Many Devices

We briefly mentioned this earlier, but it’s something many run into. Having too many devices connected to Google Music, and it won’t let you add more. Google reportedly did away with the “limit” a few years back, but I still have the problem myself.

By default it allows five smartphones to have access to Google Play Music, and 10 devices overall. This is for security, and piracy, among other things. For whatever reason if you’ve hit the limit, simply go into settings and find the option labeled “Manage your devices”. This will show every device connected to Google Music. If there are old smartphones, tablets, or devices no longer being used simply hit the X and remove them. It’s that easy. Right inside settings.

In the past we were unable to do this on the actual device, but now it takes less than 15 seconds to de-authorize devices and get back to enjoying music.

Payment Issues

Last but not least are payment issues. Those who had a free trial or recently signed up for Google Music All Access or a family plan, could face this. I pay a monthly fee to enjoy all Google Play Music has to offer, and many others do too.

If a payment is declined, cannot be processed, or a card is “not eligible” you may need to fix something. Most of the time it simply has an outdated card on file for the Google account in terms of payments. This is an easy fix. Subscribing to Google Pay Music is $9.99 a month and everything goes through the Google Play Store. Meaning simply make sure the credit card or PayPal account on file is accurate, then retry in music.

Read: How To Add or Edit a Debit Card on the Google Play Store

Alternatively, sometimes a payment just doesn’t go through. Try it one more time, or restart the application and hit subscribe once more. If all else fails you may need to reboot your device or contact your bank. Most of the time everything works fine, as long as the payment source in the Play Store is up to date.

Everything above aside, Google Play Music remains one of the best options in the mobile market. We have access to millions of songs, our own music, personalized radio stations and more. Give our suggestions above a try, and enjoy the app. If you have any other problems, drop us a comment below and we’ll try to help.