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How to use Spotify on Apple Watch: how to it set up, offline playback and more

Our guide to music on your Apple Watch

An example of Spotify running on an Apple Watch
(Image: © Spotify)

After a shaky start, Spotify on Apple Watch has become brilliant. There’s an excellent offline option for subscribers that you can use to download songs to your Watch, playing them over Bluetooth to your headphones or earbuds. 

And if you’ve invested in one or more smart speakers you can use your Apple Watch Spotify app to play songs, podcasts or playlists on specific speakers. 

In this guide we’ll show you how to set up the Spotify app on Apple Watch, how to use Spotify on your watch and how you can get Spotify downloads on your Apple Watch. As we’ll discover, it’s really very straightforward.

Keep reading to learn how to set up the app on your Apple Watch, how to use it, and what missing features we can expect in future updates.

How to install the Apple Watch Spotify App

Spotify on Apple Watch

(Image credit: Spotify)

You’ll need your iPhone for this. First of all, install Spotify on your phone if you haven’t already done so. Once you’ve done that, locate your Watch app, open it, and scroll down until you see Spotify. 

Its location will depend on how you’ve set your iPhone Watch app: if you’ve got it automatically installing Apple Watch apps you’ll see it in the Installed on Apple Watch section; if not, it’ll be further down under Available Apps with a big Install button next to it.

Using the Spotify app on Apple Watch: the main screen

Spotify on Apple Watch

(Image credit: Spotify)

There’s a lot going on here despite the small size, so let’s look at what’s happening in this screen. In the middle you have the play/pause and skip controls, and above that there’s a progress bar showing how far into the song or podcast you are and how many minutes and seconds are left. 

Above that there’s the song/playlist/podcast title and artist name, and to the right is a little volume indicator. You can adjust that by turning the Digital Crown.

There are two icons down the bottom, one for adding/removing favourites and one Spotify Connect icon for choosing which device to play your audio on. This icon changes according to the selected output, so here it’s an image of our iPhone but if we’d selected a smart speaker we’d see a speaker.

Using Spotify Connect on your Apple Watch

Spotify on Apple Watch

(Image credit: Spotify)

One of our favorite Spotify features is Spotify Connect, which you can use to play audio on specific devices. When you tap the icon you’ll see a list of available devices on your local network; simply tap the one you want to play your music on. 

You’ll see your Apple Watch at the top of the list. Use that one when you want to listen on your earbuds or AirPods.

Using Spotify on Apple Watch: recently played and downloads

Spotify on Apple Watch

(Image credit: Spotify)

If you swipe right on the main screen you’ll see the Recently Played screen, a scrollable list of everything you’ve listened to recently on Spotify. 

At the top you’ll see two links: Your Library, which as you’d expect takes you to your Spotify library, and Downloads, which takes you to the music you’ve downloaded to your Apple Watch.

Download Spotify music to Apple Watch with the iPhone app

Spotify on Apple Watch

(Image credit: Spotify)

Here’s a good one for runners and anyone else who prefers to leave their iPhone at home: if you subscribe to Spotify you can have up to 10,000 minutes of audio downloaded to your Apple Watch for offline listening.

You can’t download directly from the Watch app: to do it, you need to select a playlist in the Spotify iPhone app and tap on the three little dots. You should now see the Download To Apple Watch option. Tap that and it’ll start transferring the playlist to your Apple Watch.

Spotify on Apple Watch: other controls

Spotify on Apple Watch

(Image credit: Spotify)

If you swipe left on the main screen you’ll see the track artwork, the shuffle and repeat controls and the rest of the songs in the current playlist.

Not all of Spotify’s Apple Watch features are visible. Siri support means you can control Spotify with your voice, for example by saying “Hey, Siri! Play my running playlist on Spotify.” 

You can also ask Siri to like the current track, control volume, play and pause, and get Siri to play specific albums, artists or playlists.

Carrie Marshall


Former lion tamer, Girls Aloud backing dancer and habitual liar Carrie Marshall (Twitter, Google+) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to .net, MacFormat, Tap! and Official Windows Magazine as well as co-writing stacks of how-to tech books. "My job is to cut through the crap," she says. "And there's a lot of crap."