Finding the Spotify Desktop Install: A Step-by-Step Guide?

You downloaded the desktop App for Spotify’s music streaming service and are wondering where it is installed on your desktop? We’ve got you covered. Read on to find the answer.

Now that we are past the era of CDs or buying digital music, everyone is looking for their music fix on a mobile or PC. Bigwigs like Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, TIDAL, and YouTube Music are offering a nearly unlimited amount of music for a monthly subscription fee.

To date, Spotify remains the most popular of these services, with 60+ million songs, stellar features, and availability in 180+ countries and 62 languages. The Spotify desktop app connects to your Facebook (optional) and allows you to share and discover music with your friends.

But what happens when you download Spotify on a desktop (PC or Mac)? Where does the Spotify app install and how can you update it?

In this post, we provide a handy guide to answer frequently asked questions about Spotify’s installation process and downloaded content on PC.

How to download the Spotify App for PC?

Let’s start with how to download the app to a desktop if you have Windows 7 (or other phased-out versions). You can do that by following these simple steps:

  1. Go to the Spotify website.
  2. Click on the Download tab in the top right corner
  3. Click on the ‘Download’ button and follow the prompt
  4. Save the ‘Spotify Setup’ application to your preferred location.
  5. Install Spotify and sign up or log in with your Premium or Free account
  6. Enjoy streaming your favorite songs and podcasts

For a video tutorial take a look at this YouTube video.

Where does Spotify install for Windows 10 and 11?

For Windows 10 and 11, there are two ways to download Spotify on PC. You can either download the desktop app from the website or install it via the Microsoft Store. Spotify is installed as Spotify.exe under “Windows App” located in the Program Files.

To download the App, if you haven’t already, go to the Start Menu and click on Microsoft (App) Store. Type “Spotify” in the search bar in the top-right corner of the screen. Click or press the ‘Enter’ key and download the Spotify desktop app for PC from the search results.

Bear in mind that the “WindowsApp” folder where Spotify app downloads are hidden (for security purposes) and you need permission to access or open the folder. Without appropriate permission, you will see an error message that says you don’t have access to the specified device, path, or file.

Where does Spotify download to on a PC?

We’ve discussed where Spotify App downloads to on a desktop or PC. Now, it is time to figure out where the songs downloaded from Spotify are stored. Spotify downloads can be found in the “Downloads” folder on a PC.

Click on the Start Button on the left-bottom corner of your PC. Click “Computer” to open a window that shows you a folder labeled “Downloads.”

These files are in an Ogg/Vorbis format with varying bitrates based on the quality. Normal quality is typically 160 kbps and high quality (the default for Premium users) is 320 kbps.

Ogg Vorbis – Spotify’s streaming format, is an encrypted file extension that is the default file format.

Ogg/Vorbis is not the same as an MP3 file. These songs are cache files that can only be played in a Spotify client. Moreover, Spotify Free users cannot download songs for offline listening.

You can only download music from Spotify to a PC after logging into your Premium account. Generally, you can download an entire playlist or individual songs by clicking on the downward-facing arrow or “download” button to the right.

Note: Don’t move these downloaded songs as Spotify will no longer be able to locate and use them. Moreover, all Spotify content – including downloaded tracks – can only be used with the Spotify app. You don’t own these tracks and cannot use them in any other program.

Where do Spotify songs download on Windows 10 and 11?

You can go to the Settings in the Spotify client to find the location of music downloaded from Spotify. Click on “Settings” and go to Show Advanced Settings>Offline Songs Storage. It will reveal the location where your songs get downloaded.

Where are Spotify’s downloaded songs stored on Android?

Android users with a Spotify Premium plan can download songs and playlists via the Spotify Android App. The downloaded songs will either be stored on your external SD card or in \Phone\Android\data. Offline songs are stored (for cache) on the SD card. Internal storage is used if the external SD card has no free space.

How to install Spotify in a different location?

The Spotify file (.exe) downloads and installs in a pre-determined folder based on the platform and your settings. But you can install Spotify where ever you like.

To install it in a different location, install it on the C drive first. Once installed, go to “App data” and copy the Spotify folder to move it to any location of your choice.

Let’s run over this again with a real-world example. Let’s assume you have installed Spotify on C drive and now want to move it to D drive. Go to the Spotify folder in “AppData” and copy it. Move it (read: Paste the copied folder) to the D drive on your computer. It’s as simple as that.

Note that the existing shortcut icons for Spotify will not work if you move it after it was previously installed in a different location. You must manually update the desktop shortcut after moving Spotify. The simplest way to do this is to delete the old shortcut and make a new one.

Go to the (new) location where you installed Spotify on your PC i.e. the D drive in our aforementioned example. Right-click on Spotify.exe and click on “Create Shortcut.” Drag and drop the shortcut icon file to your taskbar, onto the desktop, or wherever desired.

Where is Spotify on a C drive (on a PC or desktop)

On a desktop, the Spotify app installs to C:\ProgramData\Spotify or will land in “AppData” if you downloaded it from the Spotify website i.e. Windows 10 and 11 users generally download Spotify from the Microsoft store. In that case, it becomes a Windows app. It is downloaded in a hidden “WindowsApps” folder under (C:\) Program Files.

We have already covered the Spotify location for specific scenarios in detail in other sections. Refer to those to know how to locate the downloaded Spotify app on your PC and desktop.

Is Spotify free on a desktop?

Spotify is free on desktop, tablet, and mobile (Android and iOS). You can either use the Spotify Web App or download the Spotify Desktop App and stream music for free. By free, we mean you can use the free version as opposed to paying a monthly fee for a Spotify Premium plan.

Here are two ways you can use Spotify free on a desktop:

Download the Spotify Desktop App on Mac or PC

All users can get a free introductory trial or sign up for a free account. The free service is ad-based and does not allow you to download songs for offline listening. However, you can upgrade to a subscription plan and pay a monthly fee at any point.

A Spotify Premium plan is ideal if you prefer ad-free listening with a list of additional features.

For more information about installing Spotify on Mac take a look at this YouTube video.

Use Spotify for free with the Web Player

The Spotify Web Player is ideal if you don’t want to or cannot install the app on the desktop you are using. This scenario is often the case if you want to listen to Spotify at work. Simply log on to from your desktop.

Click on the “open web player” link and you can enjoy listening to music. This works for free and premium users and works on desktop, mobile devices, and tablets.

The Spotify web player is essentially a website with the exact features as the app.

The UI is identical and you can listen to music and access your playlists from anywhere. That said, you can’t download music or save audio quality settings with the web player.


Lots of Spotify users download and install the desktop app but struggle to find the exact location where the app is installed. Most of these inquiries are from Windows 10 and 11 users who can’t find the hidden, system-protected folder where the app is located on their desktop.

Hopefully, this article has resolved those (and other) queries you may have on the subject. Comment to share your insights with other users.

We will continue to update this article if any changes occur to Spotify’s download and installation process. Happy streaming!

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