“Block Spotify Ads” on MacOS in 2019

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It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a Spotify tutorial for MacOS. Usually it’s because most ad blocking methods/exploits are more common for Windows. But my most recent technique for blocking Spotify ads on Windows had me thinking.. Why can’t the same “trick” work on MacOS? Sure enough it can. In this tutorial we’re going to be looking at how we can “block Spotify ads” on MacOS in 2019.

Block Spotify Ads MacOS 2019




The aim of this adblock trick is to install an older version of Spotify on MacOS. The reason for installing an older version is because it will enable the use of blocking ads via the host file. But the issue that needs dealing with is the way Spotify auto-updates to the latest version.

I recommend you watch (or read) the tutorial completely before you attempt any of the steps. This will help give you a better understanding of what’s actually happening.

Things You Will Need

These written steps are simplified. For a more specific tutorial please watch the video linked above.

  1. If you already have Spotify installed on your system, you need to completely remove it. Download and install AppCleaner for MacOS. AppCleaner will completely remove Spotify and all related files scattered throughout your system.
  2. Open up your host file using TextEdit and make sure its clean. If you’ve never edited your host file, or attempted to block Spotify ads before, you should be fine.

    The host file is located:
  3. Open up the Terminal app in MacOS. Once it has opened type in the following command echo $TMPDIR and press enter. It should return a path directory that resembles something like /var/folders/…

    Copy that entire path directory and open it up.

    Once you’ve navigated to that directory, look and see if there is a folder called sp_update. If that folder exists, delete it and make sure you remove it from your trash. If you don’t have the sp_update folder, then great, you’re good to go.
  4. Open up the Automator app in MacOS, you can use Spotlight to search for it. Once Automator opens, choose Application as your document type. On the left hand side select Utilities, followed by double clicking Run Shell Script.

    Paste in the following script:
    mkdir -p $TMPDIR/sp_update && chmod 000 $TMPDIR/sp_update

    Test the script by clicking the play icon.

    Save the script by clicking File and Save from the menu. Set the save location to your Applications folder and name it Block Spotify Update.

    Open up System Preferences and select Users & Groups. If you press the Login Items tab, you should be able to add the Block Spotify Update app to the list. This will make sure its automatically started each time MacOS boots.
  5. Go back to your host file and paste in a clean copy of the Spotify ad hosts. These can be found in the link above. To properly edit your host file, copy it to your desktop and open it with TextEdit. Once you’ve pasted in the host URLs, save and replace it with the original one in the directory.
  6. Download and install Spotify v1.0.74.

You should now be able to enjoy Spotify ad free on MacOS.

Before people ask, yes you will still be able to access all the latest music, despite using an older version of Spotify.