How to Banish the Ghost of Google Play Music From Your Phone

How to Banish the Ghost of Google Play Music From Your Phone

The Google Play Music service is dead, but the app still haunts many Android devices. Its icon remains on the launcher and its data takes up space in the internal storage, but opening the app simply takes you to a screen with the message “Google Play Music is no longer available.”

Luckily, Google is rolling out a posthumous app update that adds a way to ditch Google Play Music’s presence from your phone forever.

First, you’ll need to download the new Google Play Music app update, version 8.29.9112-1.W. Check your app’s version number and download the update from its Google Play Store page; like all Google updates, the rollout is uneven and some users may have to wait a while before it’s available. Keep checking periodically — it’ll appear at some point.

Once you’ve installed version 8.29.9112-1.W, open Google Play Music one last time. You’ll be greeted with the same “Google Play Music is no longer available” message and a prompt to “Explore YouTube Music” instead, but there’s also a new “Free up space” menu with the following options:

  • Hide app: Removes the Google Play Music app from your app screen.
  • Delete local data: Removes any downloaded music, podcasts, album art, or playlists Google Play Music saved to your phone, and clears the app’s cache.
  • Open app info: Takes you to the app info page in your Android settings. Most of the settings are defunct at this point, but can check how much data the app is taking up on your phone under “Storage & Cache” if you’re curious.

Make sure you select “Delete local data” before hiding the app. If you don’t, it’ll be harder to remove any lingering Google Play Music files from your phone. This is especially important if you downloaded your entire Google Play Music library to your phone prior to the shutdown, but forgot to delete the files after backing them up to another service or device.

Once the app’s local data is deleted, tap “Hide app” and Google Play Music can finally join all of Google’s other discontinued services in the great beyond.

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