Why Spotify won't exit if you hit the close button

Martin Brinkmann
May 27, 2013
Music and Video

I have been running Spotify on one of my Windows systems for a while now, mostly for testing purposes using a free guest account since I do not listen to enough music per month to justify paying for a streaming music service.

The Spotify client has one annoying behavior: it won't quit when I hit the close icon of its window, use Alt-F4, or right-click on its taskbar entry and select close window.

The only apparent option to exit Spotify completely is to right-click the software's taskbar icon and use the Quit Spotify option that is displayed here.

This is not really intuitive and requires too many clicks in my opinion. Are there ways to close the Spotify client faster? You bet they are, and I have them all for your.

Before I do, it is probably a good idea to find out why Spotify makes it more difficult than it should to close the client. There is no official confirmation for this, but since Spotify uses P2P technologies to power some of its streams, it relies on users keeping the client open. Even if you pay for Spotify, your computer is being used to upload data to other Spotify users.

You can use a bandwidth monitor to check how much upload bandwidth Spotify is using on your system.

Pro Tip: If you believe that Spotify is using too much upload bandwidth, try limiting the bandwidth that the client can use.

Closing Spotify

1. From within the client

One of the easier ways to close down Spotify completely is to use the File menu on top and select Exit there. You can use the keyboard shortcut Alt-F, then X for that to terminate Spotify completely on your system.

2. Using the system tray

spotify exit

Right-click on the client's system tray icon and select the exit option from the menu here. You can also disable the taskbar icon here if you want by checking "hide from taskbar when closed". This minimizes the Spotify software to the system tray when you click on the close or minimize buttons in the program window.

3. Command line magic

terminate spotify

You can use taskkill.exe to terminate the Spotify process. The command to do so is c:\windows\system32\taskkill.exe /f /im spotify.exe. I have uploaded a bat file for you that you can add to your desktop or to another location. To close Spotify, simply click on it to do so.

Download: (Download Removed)


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  1. John Lance said on February 6, 2020 at 12:13 am

    I found I had to use this to terminate all child processes and instances of the Spotify program/app on my computer.

    taskkill.exe /F /T /IM “Spotify.exe”

    If I use Spotify on my old Q6600, the main process (along with some child processes) absolutely fails to terminate for some reason by any means of normal provision. I have to open the task manager to find the remaining processes or use the command line given above. This form of the command force quits all processes spotify starts up including the main one.

    I now have that set up as a clickable link on my desktop.

  2. Matilda said on January 19, 2020 at 6:26 pm


  3. Tom said on May 27, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Thanks Martin for the interesting link. I had never thought about this in detail and had assumed that the connection was only between my pc and the mothership at spotify’s base. How about a follow up blog on this type of p2p streaming and the security implications. It seems to me that you are not bothered by this p2p linkage and I am glad to hear this but to me as a layperson, it sounds I am opening up my pc to potentially anyone.

  4. Tom said on May 27, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Martin, interesting article and I had noticed the same too but had not given it much thought. I rather like the program, however your comment on P2P streaming concerns me. Can you elaborate on that please. How is Spotify using my pc and bandwidth for their streaming purposes when I am not listening to any radio or songs? What data is being uploaded to other Spotify users apart from my choice of music when listening to a particular song, radio station or playlist?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on May 27, 2013 at 8:27 am

      Tom, this link should help you out: http://pansentient.com/2011/04/spotify-technology-some-stats-and-how-spotify-works/

      Basically, all desktop clients use P2P technology to stream songs in the local cache to other Spotify users who requested those songs.

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