How to Turn Off Smart Shuffle on Spotify

Spotify’s smart shuffle feature has proven to be quite controversial since its introduction. While some users find that it improves their listening experience by avoiding song repeats and providing more variety, others feel that it removes too much control and randomness from shuffling.

If you fall into the latter camp and want to return to a purely random shuffle, Spotify does provide the option to turn the smart shuffle off. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to disable smart shuffle on both mobile and desktop.

Understanding Spotify’s Smart Shuffle

Before jumping into the how-to, it helps to understand exactly what Spotify’s smart shuffle aims to do.

Smart Shuffle Basics

The main goals of Spotify’s smart shuffle algorithm are:

  • Avoid repeating songs
  • Provide more variety and discovery in shuffle playback
  • Consider things like song popularity, freshness, and your own listening patterns when shuffling

It does this by limiting repeats, spacing out songs by the same artist, weighting towards recommended songs for your taste, and more.

Understanding Spotify Smart Shuffle

Pros of Smart Shuffle

For some listeners, smart shuffle offers a better experience:

  • More likely to play undiscovered gems and new recommendations
  • Prevents hearing the same songs over and over
  • Balances popular songs with deep cuts

Cons of Smart Shuffle

On the other hand, smart shuffle has drawbacks for some users:

  • Removes true randomness – feels more like a radio
  • Weighting towards recommendations can skew away from what you want
  • Limits ability to hear favorite artists/songs in long shuffle sessions

So it comes down to personal preference. If you want to regain full control and randomness, disabling smart shuffle is straightforward.

How to Turn Off Smart Shuffle on Mobile

The process to turn off & turn on smart shuffle Spotify on mobile apps is quick and easy:

How to turn off smart shuffle on Spotify iOS:

  1. If you have an iPhone or iPad, open the Spotify app
  2. Navigate to any playlist, album, or artist page
  3. Tap the “Shuffle” button near the top of the screen to enter shuffle mode
  4. Tap the down arrow next to “Shuffle
  5. Toggle the “Smart Shuffle” switch off

Now shuffle will be completely random for that session.

How to turn off smart shuffle on Spotify Android:

  1. Launch Spotify on your Android device
  2. Go to a playlist, album, or page you want to shuffle
  3. Tap the “Shuffle” button to enable shuffling
  4. Tap “Smart Shuffle” to disable the feature

The shuffle icon will appear gray when the smart shuffle is off.

How to Turn Off Smart Shuffle on Mobile

That’s all there is to it! This will disable the smart shuffle for the current listening session. To make it permanent, you can set shuffle to default to off in Spotify’s settings.

How to Disable Smart Shuffle in Desktop App

The Spotify desktop application also makes it easy to turn off Spotify smart shuffle on PC:

On Windows/Mac

  1. You can open Spotify on your computer by clicking the desktop icon
  2. Go to a playlist, album, or other page to shuffle
  3. Click the “Shuffle” button near the top of the screen
  4. Click on the downward arrow next to “Shuffle
  5. Uncheck the “Smart Shuffle” option

Now Fix Spotify Shuffle will revert to complete randomness.

Alternatively, you can right-click a playlist and select “Shuffling > Turn off Smart Shuffle” from the dropdown menu.

Repeat these steps whenever you want full random shuffling. It will remain off for that device until you re-enable smart shuffling.

How to Disable Smart Shuffle in Desktop App

How to Permanently Disable Smart Shuffle

The above methods turn off smart shuffle temporarily for the current session. To completely disable it on your account across devices:

  1. The Gear icon can be found in the top right corner of the screen and click on it.
  2. Select “Settings” from the dropdown menu
  3. Scroll down and click on “Playback
  4. Check the box next to “Enable Smart Shuffle” and uncheck it.

Now shuffle will default to random on all your devices. You can always re-enable smart shuffling in the future if you want.

How to Permanently Disable Smart Shuffle

Alternative Ways to Regain Shuffle Control

In addition to fully disabling smart shuffle, there are a couple of other ways to tweak shuffle behavior on Spotify:

  • Remove songs from the algorithm: Hide songs you don’t want to be considered from the smart shuffle algorithm via the … menu
  • Group similar artists and songs: Put all songs/artists you want to be shuffled together in playlists or albums
  • Downgrade to Spotify Free: Smart shuffle is not used on Spotify’s free ad-supported tier

So you have options beyond completely turning off smart shuffling. Try different settings and shuffling approaches to find your optimal Spotify experience.

The Pros and Cons of Smart Shuffle

As evidenced above, Spotify’s smart shuffle feature evokes passionate opinions on both sides. Understanding the key pros and cons can help you decide where you stand.

Potential Benefits of Smart Shuffle

  • More variety: surfaces different songs and artists you may not hear otherwise
  • Discovery: helps you find new recommended songs and artists you’ll like
  • Balanced playback: intersperses popular songs with deep cuts and new tracks
  • Avoids repeat songs: prevents hearing the same music over and over

Potential Drawbacks of Smart Shuffle

  • Less randomness: shuffle feels more like a personalized radio station
  • Skews away from your favorites: smart algorithm may limit songs you want to hear
  • Less control: removes the pure randomness of classic shuffling
  • Repeats artists: you may hear the same artist multiple times

So in summary, smart shuffle aims to provide more balanced, personalized variety – while classic shuffling offers complete randomness. Cater your preference by toggling the smart shuffle setting on and off.

pros and cons of shuffles

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How come I cant turn off shuffle on Spotify?

Spotify does allow turning off shuffle, but you have to tap the “Shuffle” button and then disable “Smart Shuffle” in the menu. This isn’t obvious so many think shuffle can’t be disabled.

Why did Spotify add a smart shuffle?

Smart shuffle was added to provide more variety in shuffled playback. It avoids repeats and incorporates recommendations and factors beyond randomness.

What happens when you turn off smart shuffle?

Turning off smart shuffle makes shuffling completely random again rather than influenced by algorithms.

Does free Spotify have smart shuffle?

No, Spotify’s free tier does not use the smart shuffle algorithm so shuffling is random.

Does Spotify premium have smart shuffle?

Yes, smart shuffle is included in Spotify’s paid premium subscriptions. It can be disabled in settings.


In conclusion, Spotify’s smart shuffle feature aims to provide more variety and discovery in shuffled music playback. However, some users prefer the pure randomness of classic shuffling.

Thankfully, Spotify provides the option to easily disable smart shuffling in both its mobile and desktop apps. Toggling the “Smart Shuffle” setting off reverts shuffling to be completely random for that session. Smart shuffle can also be turned off by default in Spotify’s settings for your account.

With the steps in this guide, you can easily switch between modes and tailor Spotify’s shuffle functionality to match your listening style. The choice is yours!

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