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How to solve the most common Google Play Music problems

Google Play Music is a wonderful thing: almost any song ever recorded, streamed instantly to your device no matter where you are. Except when it doesn’t work. If Google Play Music is waving its hands in the air like it just don’t care instead of getting into the groove, the solutions are usually simple.

1. Google Play Music is not working

We know, you’ve checked your internet connection. But have you really checked it? Occasionally our phones get in a grumpy mood and although they show cellular or Wi-Fi bars, the connection isn’t actually working anymore. A swift restart solves that one.

The next simple check is to ensure that neither you nor somebody with access to your account is trying to use Google Play Music on another device. Google Play Music is designed to work on one device at a time, so if you’re playing tunes on your PC, for example, you won’t be able to play anything on your phone. 

The third thing is also simple: are you using the correct account? You need to be using the same account you used to upload your music or to buy your music. You can check or change the account you’re using in the app by tapping Menu > Settings > Account.

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Learn how to fix Google Play Music right here. / © NextPit

Another common issue is when you’ve changed your account password but haven’t updated it in the Google Play Music app. If you can’t remember what your password is, use the Google Account Recovery page.

If you’re trying to access Google Play Music on a computer, there are two other things to try. First, make sure you’re using a modern web browser – the latest Chrome is best, but Google Play Music works happily on Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer and Edge – and that you haven’t disabled JavaScript in your web browser’s settings.

If that’s OK, make sure you also have the latest version of Adobe’s Flash Player and that it’s enabled: in Chrome, type chrome:plugins in the address bar. If you see ‘Enable’ under Adobe Flash Player, Flash is currently switched off. Click Enable to turn it on.

Still no joy? Google Play Music has known issues with some third-party plugins, so if you’ve recently added something to your browser try disabling it, restarting the browser and trying Google Play Music again. That advice applies to any in-browser media that’s suddenly stopped working. Privacy protecting or ad-blocking plugins can be particularly bad for it, because their blocking can sometimes be a little overzealous.

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Google Play Music needs you to use the same Google Account you used to upload or buy your music / © NextPit (screenshot)

2. Google Play Music is not uploading

If Google Play Music is not uploading all of your songs, it’s usually for one of three reasons:

The song is in a file format Google Play Music doesn’t support

Google Play Music supports the usual suspects – MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, FLAC and so on – but there are limits, so for example uploading Windows Media WMA files is supported via the Windows version of Music Manager, but not other versions of Music Manager. Some music files, such as WAV, AIFF and RA, can’t be uploaded at all.

Your Google Play Music library is full

Google Play Music supports libraries with up to 50,000 songs. Hit that limit and you can’t upload any more until you clear out some space. Do you really need all those David Hasselhoff b-sides?

You bought the song with a different Google account

You can only upload purchased tracks if you’re using the same account that bought them. If you bought a track using a different account, you’ll need to log in to that account and upload from there.

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There are plenty of other music streaming services and apps / © NextPit 

3. Google Play Music is not syncing

Is there anything more frustrating than having loads of songs and playlists in Google Play Music but not being able to get them on your device? One culprit is a problem with the app’s cache: Google suggests clearing the app data and cache, rebooting your device and then refreshing the library. It can take a while to sync after that, especially if you’re syncing a lot of music, but that usually does the trick. If not, a factory reset and then starting again from scratch can help.

Did you transfer your Play Music settings from another phone? If you did, try deauthorizing the old phone, deleting the app data from your current phone and then signing into Google Play Music on your current phone.


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