Microsoft to Retire Groove for Android and iOS

Posted on May 31, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Groove Music, iOS with 62 Comments

Insiders Get Your Groove Feature in Groove for Windows 10

This isn’t a huge surprise, but Microsoft revealed today that it will retire its Groove app for Android and iOS this year.

Thanks to Neowin for tipping me off to this.

“On December 1, 2018, the Groove Music iOS and Android apps will be retired,” a Microsoft support page notes. “Your personal music files will continue to be available in OneDrive. You can keep listening to those files, and your playlists, with the Windows 10 Groove Music apps on PC, Xbox, or Windows Phone.”

Update: Microsoft provided me with the following statement.

“As we announced last year, we have discontinued the ability to stream, purchase and download music within Groove Music,” a Microsoft representative said. “We’re notifying customers that on December 1, 2018, the Groove Music iOS and Android apps will also be retired and, effective June 1, are no longer available for download. However, customers’ purchased music files will continue to be available and playable on OneDrive. Customers can also play music using other apps or download files to their PC.”

Microsoft’s recommendations for those Groove users who still wish to play their OneDrive-based music on their smartphones is interesting. Some basically amount to “use something else.”

It recommends, for example, “playing your music with Google Play Music or iTunes Match,” which I take to mean “copy your OneDrive-based music to a competitor’s cloud service,” something I just discussed earlier this week. (In fact, I also recommended Google Play Music and iTunes Match as the obvious choices.)

Other options include using “another streaming app,” which links to the Microsoft Store where you can apparently search for yourself, playing your music with the OneDrive app, which can’t be a great experience, and downloading your OneDrive music to your PC, after which you’re on your own. (I guess you could copy it from there to your phone.)

Ah well.


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Comments (63)

63 responses to “Microsoft to Retire Groove for Android and iOS”

  1. Cain69

    Thank god I didn't my eggs in this basket!

  2. Hoomgar

    Good riddance.  Groove was crap from the beginning.  I tried the 7 day free trial and canceled it the next day.  What a complete failure for MS on this one.

    P.S.  This is my personal opinion.  No one need be small minded enough to feel they have to impress me with how I am wrong because....  It's an opinion  :)   See what I did there.  LOL!

  3. moruobai

    What a riot. This is just stumbling from bad strategy to worse since at least the days of Zune. Groove was always half-baked....not unlike Edge! It does not surprise me at all that heads are starting to role and MSFT is shifting direction.

  4. Chris Payne

    Geez louise. I guess this isn't a big surprise, but I'm still caught off guard. Now I guess I have to find an alternative solution... timely article Paul on Apple Music. I may just head in that direction now. Really disappointing Microsoft.

  5. Ekim

    Well that was even faster than I expected. So they say they are retiring the app. What does that mean exactly? That I just can't download it from the store again or it will be removed from my phone when it happens? Why the hell do I keep falling for this shit?

  6. Daekar

    There is an Android app called CloudPlayer that will play your music files stored in OneDrive, Google Drive, and Dropbox, in addition to playing local files. It is better than the Groove app in every way. If you want to keep streaming from OneDrive, that is definitely the way to go. Alternatively, you could sync your tracks down to your phone with OneSync and use whatever local player floats your boat.

  7. ponsaelius

    To summarise. Microsoft is continuing it's strategy of abandoning a consumer ecosystem as it further consolidates it's enterprise dominance. They suggest consumers and tech enthusiasts move to other companies services because it's not a market we want to compete in.

    Thank you and goodbye.

  8. Ogugg

    Is PLEX a good alternative for music Streaming? I use it only for Movie...

    I will also have a look at CloudPlayer, because my music is on OneDrive and I'm happy now with Groove Streaming...

    • plettza

      In reply to Ogugg:

      Cloud Player works really well. It'll play my FLAC and lossless WMA files from OneDrive. However, metadata settings and playlists don't get written back to OneDrive. For example, Cloud Player has a star rating system (and a heart for 5-star songs). When a song is rated, it doesn't get written back to the file, at least not that I could tell.

      Cloud Player won't pickup Groove-created playlists on OneDrive so you've got create new playlists on the phone. These created playlists are not written back to OneDrive. However, I think they've now got a subscription service that syncs this data back to the cloud and therefore can be used to sync between devices. I emailed the company and asked about a Windows UWP client but they said they're working on a web-based client (presumably PWA). All-in-all, the premium version is well worth it but the $4 or $5 a month just sync playlists to the cloud is not worth it. For a few dollars more, I'd simply subscribe to Spotify or Deezer.

  9. gregsedwards

    Foo. Groove will occupy the spot right next to Media Center and Windows Phone on my shelf of Microsoft bitterness.

  10. bleeman

    I'd be inclined to go into a long diatribe about Microsoft on this decision but it's happening so often nowadays that I'll just summarize with an F#$!#!% you Microsoft.

  11. thisisdonovan

    Good grief, Microsoft are simply the worst. It's not worth using any of their services except for windows or office. They put in a half baked effort into everything and then abandon it a couple of years down the line when unsurprisingly their half baked effort doesn't destroy the competition.

    I'm really feeling down about them at the moment.

    • Jorge Garcia

      In reply to thisisdonovan:

      I don't think their efforts are so half-baked...they just always fail to get traction because they don't have any mind-share in mobile...and mobile is everything now. Literally no one under 30 thinks about Microsoft anymore unless they have an office job or are assigned some work that involves MS Office (most of which can be - and is - handled by Google Docs, anyway. Had groove gained some kind of critical mass, it would have been made even better, for sure. It was just kind of a pointless app without a credible MS mobile ecosystem to back it up.

  12. curtisspendlove

    Arg, feeling the wounds of having to lay my Zune to rest all over again. ;)

    Seriously though, I still miss my Zune. Groove, not so much. Google Play Music / YouTube Music is an excellent service. As is Apple Music. Spotify is also right there near the top.

    Good News about Google Play is that you should also be able to access your music uploaded to Google Drive. Though I might be wrong about this. I gave up on storing my own music long ago.

  13. dkb1898

    How long before Groove on Windows is retired and iTunes becomes the suggested app. They should do this even if they keep Groove, and in turn retire Windows Media Player, which really shouldn't be part of Windows anymore with iTunes available in the Windows Store.

  14. fbman

    I still use Winamp to play my music files, All my music is stored my harddrive and synced to Onedrive. I just create my playlists linked to that folder.

    Never liked the groove music app.

  15. James Wilson

    Microsoft services in the consumer space is a disaster (bar office 365). They should concentrate on Windows 10 (the OS), Office 365 and DirectX / Xbox. Get rid of Groove, Films & TV, Mail, Calendar, People, Skype etc etc. Third parties can quite happily fill the gap and people then get to choose what they install.

  16. Ron F

    Seems like the hours I spent uploading my extensive music collection on OneDrive were a waste of my time. Perhaps it is a wise time to move from other Microsoft’s consumer offerings. I may haven’t brought any movies from them but, perhaps, I should ditch my Xbox and buy a PlayStation. As I was considering upgrading to a X, the timing is good.

    By the way, the Uinversity I work for support LibreOffice and Linux. Why not go all the way?

  17. rafaelsolmaker

    Can't say that I'm happy with, neither I'm sad, but a streaming app where you can't buy music anymore is borderline useless to me. Yeah, you can play music from OneDrive, but other players can do it as well.

    Microsoft has nothing to do with music anymore. Let's move on and wait they rebrand it to Media Player or something like in next Windows 10 update. It's the only sane thing to do right now.

  18. jwpear

    Curse you Microsoft!

  19. Ekim

    It's official - I just received the following email from MS:

    Microsoft Groove

    Thank you for using the Groove Music app on your mobile device. On December 1, 2018, the Groove Music iOS and Android apps will be retired. Your personal music files will continue to be available in OneDrive and you can keep listening to them with the Windows 10 Groove Music apps for PC, Xbox, and Windows Phone. You can also keep playing your music on your iOS or Android device. Get more info on how you can play your music on your iOS or Android device.

    As of today, the Groove Music iOS and Android apps are no longer available for download and have been removed from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

    Thank you so much for supporting Groove Music.

    -The Groove Music team

  20. harmjr

    All this great syncing to the cloud is BS thanks MS. YOU SUCK!

  21. crfonseca

    Uh, did they really suggest Windows Phone as an alternative to Groove on iOS or Android?

    You know what that means! Half Life 3 confirmed! Wait, I mean Surface Phone confirmed!

  22. webdev511

    Had to check if I even had this on my Pixel and I didn't. Doesn't matter as I use a Fiio X5 when I want to listen to MY music.

  23. abnerdominguez

    And it had to be the year that I finally decided to start using Groove on Android -___-

  24. feek

    Bummer. I was just trying out an iphone last week, including the groove onedrive streaming. This really hurts the transition from WP.

  25. thespecificocean

    I would be okay with this if they hadn't killed the Groove Music Web App ( along with the streaming service. My conspiracy brain leads me to believe this has something to do with Spotify coming to the MS Store. Just a feeling.

  26. Greenberry Woods

    It'd be nice if Microsoft would release the source code for these apps to Open Source.

  27. jhoff80

    For what it's worth, CloudPlayer is an app available on Android that plays back music from OneDrive (and other cloud services), and works really well. Plus it supports things like Android Auto.

  28. ph-sth

    Can't believe Microsoft would really recommend people download alternate streaming apps and grant them permission to their OneDrive storage. This is nuts, it's not just music that's in there. Time for anyone to knock up a dodgy music player app, offer it for free, no ads, and they can merrily mine the OneDrive storage of anyone who signs up. Nice one, Microsoft.

    Google Play Music is pitiful, I've been avoiding using that for as long as I've been on Android, itself, for me, a poor OS.

    Or there's pay more for Apple. Nope.

    I guess the streaming your personal music collection from the cloud era is over for me.

    This is probably the end of my Office 365 subscription.

    I can't think of any other organisation that's so desperate to get its customers using its direct competitors.

  29. DarkPilot

    I loved this app, Groove even without streaming let me have my music everywhere from my OneDrive. Even if the apps no longer get updated, I hope they at least stay available in the respective app stores.

    Edit: Reading further, the apps will indeed be rendered unusable after December. Damnit.

  30. Chris_Kez

    LOL, so much for my comments the other day about Groove still being a good front-end solution for OneDrive music. If I'm just playing music on my PC I don't really need that music in the cloud. I used Google Play Music for a few months last year and never liked the UI; maybe I'll revisit Plex. Either way I guess it's time to pull down all that music from OneDrive.

  31. Tony Barrett

    It's only a matter of time now until Movies & TV shuts up shop too. Netflix, Amazon Prime and to a lesser extent Play Movies has this well sewn up. No room for MS there either.

  32. T182

    ~sigh~ i was one of the 5 people actually using Groove on my iPhone. What was I thinking?

    • SvenJ

      In reply to T182: Hey I'm one of the others. With that going away, not sure why I would store my music in OneDrive anymore. I have enough room on my PC to just keep it all local. 4TB drives are like $100 these days. Most have the facility to let everything in the house stream from them. Many support streaming from your home NAS to your phone. MS driving away consumers is just getting old.

  33. Cdorf

    That sucks - That was how I played my own music on mobile through OneDrive

    • Gareth

      In reply to Cdorf:

      I hear ya, was a great app on the iPhone

      “it just works”

      so let’s kill it to make it harder for people who use OneDrive still even after they shrunk it’s size

      they really don’t want customers it seems

    • Daekar

      In reply to Cdorf:

      Try CloudPlayer if you're on Android. Works with OneDrive like Groove, but it's better than Groove ever was.

      • huristm

        In reply to Daekar: Do you know if a good music management app? Now that Groove is gone, that means all my personal playlists will be gone too. CP doesn't have a desktop app and doing this on the phone would be far too troublesome. My god my hate for Microsoft is just overflowing right now. Maybe I'll just try PlayMusic. I just wanna give up.

  34. dontbe evil

    damn nadella... now I have to move my mp3 from onedrive, first you killed windows mobile and I had to move to android, now you killed groove on android... whish you to get fired asap

  35. JAMES495

    That is very unfair

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