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Spotify’s swallowing your disk space – and you can’t stop it


Users furious at company's decision to remove cache size limits

Spotify has angered many PC users by removing the option that allows you to limit how much disk space the software was allowed to consume. The streaming service stores a local cache of music on users’ PCs, normally containing their most recently played tracks or music they’ve requested to be stored offline (a feature only available to Premium subscribers).

An update to Spotify earlier this year removed the option to determine where this cache was stored and to limit its size, leaving users who run the software on laptops or tablets with limited capacity SSDs fuming. “I’ve unsubbed yesterday because of this,” wrote one user on the Spotify forums. “I can’t believe how incompetent your software engineers or whoever thought of this idea to take away KEY functionaliites like cache variability and installation paths.”

Like everyone, I have an SSD as my primary drive and [it] has a very limited space in it,” writes another customer. “With all my music save [sic] offline, Spotify is eating up almost 30% of my SSD space without my knowledge!”

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An update to Spotify last week returned the feature that allowed people to select an external drive as the location for the cache. But the option to limit the size of the cache remains missing in action, meaning those who run Spotify on Windows tablets or laptops that don’t have an external drive permanently connected are going to lose disk space. 

When we tweeted about the absence of the cache limiter over the weekend, the @SpotifyCares account replied that the company is “always adding/removing features for testing purposes. We’ll pass the feedback on to the right folks.”

Users can manually clear the cache folder themselves – the default location is C:\Users\Yourusername\AppData\Local\Spotify\Storage and you will need to switch on the Hidden Items view to see it – but this can cause playback performance problems. 

Spotify’s Android app allows users to clear the cache from within the app’s settings, but that’s not an option available in the PC software, nor in the iOS version of the Spotify app. 

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