Spotify stopped working? – how to fix the problem

Due to a foul-up by securty firm Symantec, users of Norton anti-virus products found that Spotify had mysteriously stopped working today. The reason was that the security product had falsely identified the program – Spotify.exe – as a Trojan Horse and quarantined it.

It is possible to restore the program to its rightful place but it is a bit of a pain. Note that there is some risk in doing so as the law of averages means that some people with compromised PCs may have copies of the program that are infected by a Trojan, and this could include you. Anti-virus programs would normally attempt to clean the original program by removing the Trojan from it, warning if this is impossible. In our case Spotify.exe had itself been mis-identified as a Trojan, so it was safe to restore.

Norton’s official advice is to reinstall Spotify but ‘free’ users who don’t have the install files or their registration details may find it is no longer possible to register for the free version of Spotify. (Premium users can invite up to 10 friends to register for the free service.)

To restore the spotify.exe, simply follow these steps. Note that you need to wait until Norton have fixed the problem and your antivirus has been updated or it will simply quarantine the file again:

  1. Double-click on the Norton icon in your System Tray (the bar on the bottom right hand corner of your screen, next to the clock)
  2. Click on Quarantine. You should now see a list of Security History events that resulted in a file being quarantined
  3. Near or at the top will be a message that a Trojan Horse has been removed, click on this so it is highlighted
  4. Now click on the More Details button at bottom right
  5. You should now be looking at a Security History Alert Summary saying “Trojan horse detected by Auto-Protect”
  6. Clicking on the underlined words Risk Details will open a new window. Clicking on the Details tab should show that the supposed Trojan is spotify.exe. (If it doesn’t, go back to the Security history and lok for another Trojan removal event.) You can now close this window
  7. Back in the Security history window, the final step is to click on the Restore button on the right

You should now see a screen a bit like this:

NIS screenshot - Spotify restore

And you should now find that normal Spotify service is fully restored.