Where is Google Play Music stored on Android?

Google Play Music is a music streaming and library service from Google. It allows users to upload up to 50,000 songs to the cloud, stream purchased music from the Google Play Music store, and stream a large catalog of songs on-demand. On Android devices, Google Play Music stores cached music files, downloaded songs, and uploaded music in various folders on internal storage or an SD card. Understanding where Google Play Music stores music files can help users manage their storage space.

Google Play Music was launched in November 2011 as an extension of the Android Market music store [1]. Over the years it has grown into a robust cloud music platform, offering streaming, downloads, uploads and organization of a user’s music library. When using Google Play Music on an Android device, the app stores music files in specific locations that users can manage if needed [2].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Play_Music

[2] https://www.androidpolice.com/2020/10/24/google-play-music-to-youtube-music-making-the-switch/

App Data Storage

By default, the Google Play Music app data is stored in your device’s internal storage. This includes the app itself, along with any cached data, offline music, and user settings.

On Android devices, the app data for Google Play Music is typically stored in a folder location like: /sdcard/Android/data/com.google.android.music/files/

The exact path can vary across different Android versions and device manufacturers. But generally the app data is contained within the Android/data folder on internal storage.

There is no simple way to change the default storage location for Google Play Music’s app data. However, certain Android devices allow you to set an SD card as adoptable storage, which can serve as expanded internal storage for apps like Google Play Music to utilize.

According to this Android Stack Exchange post, even when using an SD card for extra storage, the Google Play Music app data remains stored on internal storage by default.

Downloaded Music Storage

When you download music from Google Play Music on an Android device, the files are saved in a hidden folder that can be difficult to locate. By default, downloaded music is stored in the following location:


This folder is considered hidden system data, which is why it does not show up in your regular file browser. The ’emulated/0′ part refers to your primary internal storage on the device. If you have adopted external SD card storage, the path may be ‘/storage/extSdCard’ instead.

To access this folder and view your downloaded Google Play Music files, you will need to enable ‘Show hidden files’ in your Android file manager app settings. Alternatively, you can use a file manager like ES File Explorer that shows hidden files by default.

The downloaded music files are stored in common formats like MP3, FLAC, etc. Each file is named beginning with the song title and artist. This makes it easier to identify tracks once you access the folder.

While not easily accessible, this system folder provides a persistent storage location for any music you download for offline playback through the Google Play Music app on Android. Just be sure to enable viewing of hidden files to find it.

Cached Music Storage

When streaming music through Google Play Music, the app will cache or temporarily store parts of songs and albums on your device for quicker access. This cached music is stored in the app’s allocated storage space on your Android device and not in your main storage or SD card.

According to some Reddit users, the Google Play Music app allows you to store up to 3GB of cached music for free. The app will automatically manage this cache to make room for newly accessed songs.[1] After 3GB, you may need a subscription to store additional cached music.

The cached music allows you quick access to songs you’ve recently listened to without needing to stream them again. It serves as a temporary offline playback option. However, the cache gets cleared periodically by the app automatically as new songs are cached.

Unlike downloaded music which gets saved permanently on your device storage, the cached songs are transient and may get deleted by the app to manage storage space. So caching provides quick access but not permanent offline storage like downloads.

Music File Formats

Google Play Music supported a variety of common music file formats. According to the Google Play Music Wikipedia page, supported file formats for upload included: MP3, AAC, WMA, FLAC, Ogg, or ALAC. The Minitool article on Google Play formats also confirms the service supported MP3, AAC, FLAC, OGG, and WMA files.

These common audio formats allowed users to upload their existing music libraries to Google Play Music. Supporting MP3s in particular was important, as MP3 is the most widely used digital music encoding format. By supporting MP3s and other popular formats, Google Play Music could import music from iTunes, Windows Media Player, and other libraries.

In addition to supporting uploads, Google Play Music also offered high quality 320kbps MP3 downloads when users purchased music through the service. According to a Google support thread, downloaded files were provided as standard MP3s.

Music Storage Location

To find where Google Play Music stores music files on your Android device, first open the Settings app and select Storage. Here you can see how much space is being used by different apps and data on your device.

Music downloaded or cached by Google Play Music will be located in either the “Apps” or “Audio” sections of storage. Tap on Google Play Music to view details on the storage space used. Downloaded or cached tracks are typically stored in the folder Music/Google Play Music.

The specific location can vary across Android versions and device models. On many devices, downloaded tracks are saved to internal storage in the Music folder, specifically in Music/Google Play Music. For devices with SD card storage, you may find downloaded tracks in the Android/data/com.google.android.music folder on the external SD card. Cached tracks are usually saved to internal device storage.

To move your downloaded music files to a different location, connect your Android device to a computer and locate the folder with your audio files. You can then copy them to another folder or external SD card. Just be sure to scan that new folder in Google Play Music’s settings so it can access the files in their new location.

Storage Space

Google Play Music allows users to store up to 50,000 songs in their personal music libraries for free, providing ample storage space for most users’ music collections. According to Google’s previous Terms of Service, all users were given storage of up to 50,000 files when they signed up for Google Play Music. This allowed them to not only stream music through the service but also upload their personal MP3 song files to the cloud.

With 50,000 songs, even users with extensive personal music libraries should have enough free storage on Google Play Music. For context, 50,000 songs would require around 250GB of storage space, assuming an average of 5MB per MP3 file. This is far more than most people’s personal collections will require. According to a Quora thread, Google Play Music’s 50,000 song limit is quite generous and allows enthusiasts to upload their entire music libraries without worrying about hitting storage caps.

In summary, Google Play Music provides each user with 50,000 free song uploads, which translates to around 250GB of storage space – plenty of capacity for even large personal music collections. This allows Android users to securely store their music in the cloud and access it anytime.

Moving Music Files

If you want to move your downloaded or cached music files from Google Play Music to different storage on your Android device, follow these steps:

1. Open the Files app on your device and navigate to the folder where Google Play Music stores files. This is usually in a folder called “Music” or “Play Music” located at internal storage/Android/data/com.google.android.music/files or external SD card/Android/data/com.google.android.music/files (cite: https://www.theverge.com/21254766/google-play-how-to-transfer-music-youtube-playlists-uploads-library).

2. Long press on the music files you want to move and select them.

3. Tap on the menu button in the upper right and choose “Move”.

4. Navigate to the location you want to move the files to, this could be internal device storage, an SD card, or cloud storage like Google Drive.

5. Tap on the folder to select it as the destination and tap “Move” to complete transferring the music files.

The files will now be moved from Google Play Music’s storage to the new location. You can delete the original copies if you want to free up space.

Clearing Storage

If your device is running low on storage space, you may want to clear the cache and data for Google Play Music to free up space. Here are the steps to clear the app storage on Android:

1. Open your Settings app and go to Apps & Notifications.

2. Scroll down and tap on Google Play Music.

3. Tap on Storage & Cache.

4. Tap on Clear Cache to clear the app cache. Tap on Clear Storage to delete app data and free up all the storage space used by the app.

Clearing the cache will delete temporary files stored by the app but won’t delete your music downloads or data. Clearing the storage will remove all app data including your music files, playlists etc. So only clear storage if you want to completely uninstall Google Play Music and remove all music from your device.

You can also manage your downloaded music storage under Settings > Storage > Other Apps to see how much space Google Play Music is using. And you can delete downloaded songs individually from the Google Play Music app.

Clearing the app cache and data may help if you are having issues with Google Play Music freezing, crashing or other problems. It essentially gives the app a fresh start. Just be careful not to accidentally delete your playlists and downloads if you want to keep them.


In summary, Google Play Music stores downloaded and cached music files in the internal storage of your Android device. The specific file path can vary between different phones and Android versions, but is generally located in the data/data or Android/data folders. Music is stored in common formats like MP3, FLAC and OGG. The total storage space taken up will depend on how many songs you have downloaded for offline listening. If storage space is limited, you can move music files to external SD card storage or delete cached/downloaded files to free up space. Overall, while the exact location may be hidden from users, rest assured the Google Play Music app securely stores your music library on your Android device for easy offline listening.

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