Why you can trust ZDNET
:ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.Our process
'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?
ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.
When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.
ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.
I have a number of people who follow me on Spotify. That means they can see what I'm listening to. I like that feature because I spend a lot of time creating playlists (my Run playlist has over 82 hours worth of music) and I like that others can enjoy the songs (or at least see what I'm listening to). Besides, I enjoy introducing people to artists or songs they may never have heard of.
However, I don't always want people to know what I'm listening to every single minute of the day. Here's an example. Let's say I've never listened to a particular artist who is phenomenally popular because their music just isn't my jam. But maybe one day I get curious and want to hear what all the hype is about. I might not want my followers to follow along.
After all, I might have a reputation to uphold. My musical tastes tend to lean toward more complex music. I like a lot of dissonance, challenging chord progressions, and a mixture of time signatures. My favorite artists tend to fall in line with the likes of Rush, Devin Townsend, and Mozart.
With that said, I might not want my followers to see me taking a diversion into the realm of pop music. Don't get me wrong…it's not that I'd be embarrassed. Music is music and whatever you like is fantastic. But say you're a classical composer and you want to listen to the latest song by Pink or Taylor Swift to get an idea of what's moving modern listeners. For that, you might start a Spotify private session.
What is a private session?
A Spotify private session temporarily hides all of your activity from those who follow you. You manually start a private session and can end it at any time. If you don't end the private session manually, it will stop after six hours.
So, how do you start a Spotify private session? Let me show you.
How to start a Spotify private session
What you'll need: The only thing you'll need is the Spotify app installed and a valid account. This can be done from the mobile app or the desktop app, and the process for doing so is the same. I'll demonstrate the private session feature on the desktop app.
1. Open Spotify
The first thing to do is open Spotify. Do not start playing music just yet.
2. Open Settings
Click your profile icon in the upper right corner and click Settings from the resulting menu.
3. Start a private session
Scroll down until you see the Social section of the Settings window. In that section, click the On/Off slider associated with Start a private session.
4. Enjoy your private session
During your private session, you'll see a small, blue lock to the left of your profile icon. That icon will remain until you either manually end the private session or six hours pass. During your private session, none of your followers can see your Spotify activity.
Once you've finished with your private session, you can go back to settings and disable the private session in the same way you enabled it.
And that's all there is to Spotify private sessions.