How to Remove Spotify - The Definitive Guide

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Cliff H. writes:

" Dear Dennis

I can't seem to figure out how to remove Spotify from my computer (it's best known as a music streaming app commonly used on smartphones, though I'm using it on my Windows PC). Online forums suggest I am just one of thousands enraged by the behavior of Spotify, which insists on launching in my web browser whenever the PC is restarted. It seems there is no way to uninstall Spotify, even though I've unchecked Spotify from the Windows Startup. I have tried third-party startup solutions such a ccleaner, etc, but nothing has been able to remove Spotify from my PC! If you can crack this one for us, you'll be a serious contender for the next Nobel PC Prize! "

My response:

Based on what I've read online, there are quite a few complaints about Spotify being difficult to uninstall. As such I'll provide numerous ways to remove Spotify from your PC. In summary, the steps are as follows:

  • Cancel Your Spotify Account
  • Remove Spotify from your PC
  • Remove the Spotify App Data Directory
  • Reboot the Computer
  • Remove Spotify (from your web browser) if needed

Please follow these steps in order, as they are cumulative.

First, Cancel Your Spotify Account

If you have no intentions on ever using Spotify again, you'll most likely want to cancel your Spotify account so there's no chance that Spotify will continue to send you promotional / marketing emails even after you uninstall it. Canceling a Spotify account is not very straight forward, and requires filling out a form.

You can cancel your Spotify Account in one of two ways:

  1. If you have Premium subscription: go to the Spotify subscription page; look for the 'Subscription and payment' heading and click the 'cancel your subscription' link. Next, Select a reason for canceling your subscription, then click Continue. Next, click "Cancel my subscription"; enter your password for your account, then (you guessed it!) click "cancel Spotify premium subscription".
     
  2. Alternatively, you can cancel your account using the Spotify contact form. To do so: go to the Spotify's homepage on your web browser and sign in. Scroll down and look for the "About" in the bottom left of the screen. Look for "Customer Service and Support" and click the Contact Form link. A new page will open with 3 drop-down menu choices. For the first one, choose "Removing / Cancelling Spotify"; for the second, choose "Delete/Close my Spotify account", and for the third, choose whichever you want. Now in the text box, give a reason for canceling the account and click the submit button. Give it a few days and your account should be deleted.

Proceed to uninstall Spotify from your computer.

How to Remove Spotify from your PC

The next step is to remove the Spotify main executable, which can be done one of two ways: using the Control Panel, or by the command line.

By Control Panel

  1. Go to the Windows tray bar (by the clock) and look for the green Spotify icon with black radio waves. If it is in the tray bar, right click it and choose "Exit".
     
  2. Next, click Start, then click on Control Panel.
     
  3. Look for and click "Add or Remove Programs" (for Windows XP), or "Programs and Features" (for Windows Vista, 7, 8).
     
  4. The Add / Remove Programs window will appear; search for and left click on Spotify to select it, then right click it and select "Uninstall".

Alternatively, by Command Line

If Spotify does not appear in the Control Panel you can try to remove it using the command line. To do so:

  1. Click Start, then type in "cmd" (no quotes) and DO NOT press Enter. The "command prompt" should appear in the Start menu list. Right click the "command prompt" and select "Run as Administrator".
     
  2. A black Command Prompt window will appear. Type in the following into the command prompt:

    "%appdata%\Spotify\Spotify.exe" /uninstall

If you receive an error stating that "The system cannot find the path specified," you either typed in the command incorrectly, OR the Spotify main program executable is not installed on your system. Verify that you typed in the command properly and try again. If still no dice, proceed to the next step.

Remove the Spotify App Data Directory

After you've removed Spotify from your computer, you will want to remove the data folder so there's no way it can launch the next time you boot your computer. To do so:

  1. Ensure that the Spotify program is not running. Go to the Windows tray bar (by the clock) and look for the green Spotify icon with black radio waves. If it is in the tray bar, right click it and choose "Exit".
     
  2. Next, click Start, then click My Computer (or "This PC" for Windows 8).
     
  3. A Windows Explorer window will appear. In the "Path" field (to the left of the Search field), type in "%appdata%" (no quotes) and press Enter. Windows will take you to a directory similar to C:\Users\YOUR-USER-NAME\AppData\Roaming.
     
  4. Scroll through the list of folders and look for the Spotify folder. Left click the Spotify folder to select it, then right click over top of it and select Delete. This will send the Spotify folder to the Recycle bin. Once it's in the Recycle Bin, it can no longer be executed. You can now permanently delete the Spotify folder in Step #4.
     
  5. To delete Spotify from the Recycle Bin, go to the Recycle Bin on the desktop, right click it, and select Empty Recycle Bin.

Reboot the Computer

At this point Spotify should be removed from your computer and unable to start, though there may be harmless Windows Registry entries and possibly references in your web browser. To test to see if Spotify has been removed, reboot your computer (click Start, then Shutdown, and choose Restart).

After the computer has rebooted, check the Windows Tray Bar (near the clock) and look for the green Spotify icon. If it's not there, you've most likely removed it. The next thing to do is to open up your web browser and see if Spotify has been removed from there as well.

If it is, proceed to the next step.

How to Remove Spotify (from your Web Browser)

There are many complaints online that Spotify embeds itself deeply into the web browser even after the main executable has been removed from the system (or its main executable cannot be found). There are two ways you can remove Spotify from the web browser: by disabling add-ons / extensions, or by performing a clean install of the browser.

How to Disable or Remove Add-ons and Extensions in your Web Browser

In Firefox (for example), you can go to the Tools menu and then select Add-ons. The Add-ons window will appear; look at the Extensions, Plugins, and Services tabs (on the left of the screen) and scroll through each list to see if you can find anything related to Spotify and disable / uninstall it. You can do the same thing in Chrome and Internet Explorer, though the steps won't quite be the same. After disabling / uninstalling Spotify extensions / add-ons in the browser, you will need to restart the browser to verify that Spotify has been removed.

If Spotify is still popping up in your web browser, proceed to do a clean install of the browser.

How to Perform a Clean Installation of your Web Browser

To perform a clean install of Firefox (for example), do the following:

  1. Backup your bookmarks, first. To do so: click Bookmarks from the menu and then choose Show all bookmarks. A new window will appear; select Import and Backup from the top of the window, then choose Backup. Save the file to your desktop for easy retrieval.
     
  2. Uninstall Firefox via the Control panel. Click Start, then click Control Panel, then look for "Add or Remove Programs" (for Windows XP), or "Programs and Features" (for Windows Vista, 7, 8). Scroll through the list and look for "Mozilla Firefox"; left click it to select it, then right click over top and select Uninstall.
     
  3. Remove Firefox's "appdata" folder. Click Start, then My Computer, then in the Path field, type in "%appdata%" (no quotes) and press Enter. This will take you to a directory similar to C:\Users\YOUR-USER-NAME\AppData\Roaming. Look for the "Mozilla" folder, left click it to select it, then right click over top and choose Delete.
     
  4. Download Firefox from Mozilla's website and reinstall it.
     
  5. Import your bookmarks from the backup you made in Step 1. To do so: launch Firefox and then click Bookmarks from the menu and then choose Show all bookmarks. A new window will appear; select Import and Backup from the top of the window, then click Restore, and Choose File. Navigate to your Desktop where you saved the backup and select that file.

Your bookmarks should now be restored and Firefox will be brand new, without any extensions (and without Spotify).

Additional Assistance: Removing Spotify

These instructions are exhaustive and explicit. If the instructions are over your head, or if you still cannot remove Spotify, you are welcome to contact me for remote desktop support and I will remove it for you as a service.

Got a Computer Question or Problem? Ask Dennis!

I need more computer questions. If you have a computer question -- or even a computer problem that needs fixing -- please email me with your question so that I can write more articles like this one. I can't promise I'll respond to all the messages I receive (depending on the volume), but I'll do my best.

About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of Infopackets.com. With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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