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. Including a recent problem where the app keeps crashing for millions of users.

Google Music 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 music 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. Around 50,000 per user. It is a good service but as we said above, it’s not without issues. Whether music won’t upload, songs aren’t playing, the app keeps crashing 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 rounded up some of the most common Google Music problems and any potential fixes, workarounds, or other ideas. Let’s 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 but it never starting streaming.

The first thing that comes to mind is your data connection. Make sure you are properly signed in and have a solid connection like WiFi. Another idea is heading to settings in Google Music and changing the quality for mobile streaming. A lower quality will stream easier on our phone 4G LTE connection with carriers.

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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.

In June a massive outage crashed Google Play Music for millions of users. If you cannot open the app at all without it crashing, you need to update the app on the Google Play Store. Google pushed a big bug-fixing update out on June 27th, and you can click here to download it right now.

However, there are other potential reasons for problems. Is someone else streaming music on the account? Only one device can stream music at a time, so keep that in mind. 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 drop-down 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 or resync 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. Basically this re-syncs your device with the cloud and missing songs should reappear. 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 like 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 the same account you used to purchase the song. 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 and some songs are censored when you play them back. No one wants that, so here’s how to fix it.

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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 process, Google matches many of the songs and adds them to your account instantly, rather than copying the exact file. Sometimes you’ll get censored versions. Unchecking this before you start uploading will fix this problem.

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 and right inside settings on the app.

In the past, we were unable to do this on the smartphones 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 your payment gets 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 again, 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. If you recently received a new debit card from your bank make sure to update your Google Account payment method.

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.

5 Comments

  1. Jacques Steffen

    02/27/2017 at 10:49 pm

    Hi, it took me forever to sort all my music by artist and initialy it worked fine on google music, but after the latest update, the app removed songs from artist folders, created its own folder and bundled that mix together under one of my artist files. This relates to me opening the artist folder and finding a mix of various songs taken from other artist files.
    How do i resolve this when if my phone is connected to my PC it shows up fine, but on the phone itself it’s a total mess?

    Reply

  2. Learjet

    03/18/2017 at 1:50 am

    I love Google Play Music, but damn is it ever a chore to upload music. I have my entire music collection, consisting mostly of albums that I either have or compilation albums that I made myself. Much of the time when I upload an album (especially a self-made compilation) it misses a track or two, so I have albums that are only partially complete. As a workaround, I’ve found that if I take the songs that aren’t uploading and then convert them to another format, they will upload, but I also have to make sure all the tags and information for the songs matches the others in the album EXACTLY. I have spent probably 100 hours over the years doing this. It’s a LOT of work and very frustrating. I wish I could just drag and drop or copy and paste songs from one album to another because the way I have to do it now is a real clusterf*ck.

    PLEASE fix this Google. I try to recommend Google Play Music to friends, but when they run into those problems, they give up, understandably. It shouldn’t be so work-intensive. It’s ridiculous, especially for me, because I’m a stickler for having everything perfectly organized.

    Reply

  3. CHAD

    03/21/2017 at 11:53 am

    All of my songs that I’ve recently uploaded are playing back in high speed like the chipmunks.

    Reply

  4. Elliot

    06/26/2017 at 7:32 am

    My phone keepsGoogle Music keeps getting disables

    Reply

  5. somon

    07/10/2017 at 4:29 am

    Google play music is the best solution for music lovers, thanks for list for fixes of this app.

    Reply

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