Spotify overlay on Windows 11 not responding

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Spotify app on Windows 11 works well for streaming music through the computer. You could install Spotify on Windows 11 through the Microsoft Store. It is available for free. Spotify app allows audio controls through the Spotify overlay, right over the Windows 11 taskbar. Some users have faced issues with the Spotify overlay on Windows 11. The overlay stops responding or seems to freeze. You are unable to use the play or skip settings on the Spotify app. The Spotify overlay does nothing, and the full page of Spotify does not load.

This issue with Spotify overlay is similar to other media players. Media player overlay may also freeze. You may be unable to use the media player settings through the overlay on top of the taskbar.

How do I fix Spotify overlay not responding on Windows 11?

The issue with Spotify app’s overlay not responding on Windows 11 is, seemingly, a Windows 11 bug. This has got more to do with the way Windows 11 handles file explorer than the Spotify app itself. Some people have tried to raise the issue with Spotify. However, the issue is also seen and recorded on the media player overlays on Windows 11. Similar issue affects Spotify and media play overlays on Windows 11. It is definitely about Windows 11 and the approach it uses to improve performance through memory space allocation.

You may be aware of the blank overlay on the search icon on the Windows 11 taskbar. Spotify’s overlay issue is also similar to the blank overlay right on top of the search icon on Windows 11 taskbar.

To fix the Spotify app’s overlay not responding on Windows 11, we will following the steps below:

  1. Launch the Windows 11 task bar. You can use the shortcut of Win Key + X + T to bring up the task manager window on a Windows 11 computer. Alternatively, you can open the task manager on a Windows 11 computer by searching for ‘Task Manager’ on the search box of Windows 11 computer. You could even open it using the Ctrl + Alt + Del combination.
  2. Once the task manager is in open view on your Windows 11 computer, please look for the folder icon of Windows explorer.
  3. Please right click on the Windows explorer icon, and choose the option to restart the task. The screen grab below shows you the Windows 11 task manager and the Windows file explorer with the right click context menu.
Windows 11 task manager - restart File explorer on Windows 11.

This will restart the Windows file explorer and the Spotify overlay will start responding.

If you have a frozen overlay of media player on your Windows 11 computer, you may follow the same set of guidelines and restart the Windows file explorer. This will force the media play overlay to respond as well.

Some users consider this issue to be of Spotify’s origin. And, hence they proceed with uninstalling the Spotify app from Windows 11 computer and re-installing it from the Microsoft Store. We would just like to confirm that re-installing the Spotify app won’t resolve the issue. The issue may arise sporadically even after re-installing the Spotify app. So, there is no need to uninstall the Spotify app from Windows 11. Therefore, it would be wiser to wait for the issue to be resolved through a Windows update. Until that time, a workaround in the form of force restart of the file explorer has to be the best choice available for now.

Why does Spotify overlay freeze on Windows 11 computer?

There is no official confirmation of the frozen Spotify app overlay on a Windows 11 computer. We do know, though, that this may be on account of the memory leak issue that affects Windows 11 memory management. The issue seems to affect quite a few users, on an intermittent basis. Spotify’s blank overlay issue on Windows 11 is likely to get fixed as part of a future Windows 11 update. The fix would have to come as a larger fix on the file explorer issues on Windows 11 computer.

The issue is a hassle, at most for now. Resetting the file explorer is a hassle again. But, using the shortcut key combination of Win key + X + T and then forcing a manual restart can become a quicker fix for the issue. It appears that the Spotify’s overlay thread just hangs and does nothing on the screen. A force restart of the file explorer resolves the memory management issue, and causes the Spotify overlay to become responsive.

It may be a good idea for Windows 11 users to pass the feedback to the Microsoft development team. Customer feedback is central to product improvements and bug fix programs for Windows 11.


Spotify’s dead overlay on Windows 11 desktop is a known issue that may affect Windows 11 users intermittently. This looks like a continuation of the blank overlays on top of the taskbar of Windows 11. Restarting the file explorer through the task manager on a Windows 11 computer will resolve the issue. It will force Spotify app’s overlay to become responsive to audio controls.

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Rajesh Dhawan

Rajesh Dhawan is a technology professional who loves to blog about smart wearables, Cloud computing and Microsoft technologies. He loves to break complex problems into manageable chunks of meaningful information.