How to stream music using Groove on Windows 10

Music streaming is arguably the future of how we get most of our digital tunes. There's a bunch of choices for the Windows 10 user, one of which is Microsoft's own, built in, Groove Music service.

Whether you're into streaming your own music or tunes provided by Microsoft, here's everything you need to know.

1. Sign up for a Groove Music Pass

Groove Music Pass

If you're intending to take advantage of Microsoft's music offering you'll need a Groove Music Pass first. This was formerly known as an Xbox Music Pass, and if you have one of those then you can jump past this step.

If you do need to sign up for one, check out the link below for the full run down on what it is, what it gets you and how you go about getting one.

2. Find new music to stream directly in the Groove Music app

Groove Music

Since the Groove Music app is where you'll be playing all your hot tunes the chances are that you're going to use it the most to find things to stream. There are two main ways you can find new music in the app. The first is the search box and the second is the Explore tab. Both of which are highlighted in the image above.

Search is as broad as you'd want it to be in a music app. Type in an artist, album or song and if it's in the database you'll get results.

Explore is designed to help you discover new music. Top songs, albums, artists and new releases are offered up to help you see what's hot this week.

With artists you can choose to start a radio station based on them or pin them to your Start Menu, while albums and songs you can add to your collection.

Groove Music

To add music to your collection look for the "+" sign in the album listing or next to the song name. This opens up a menu where you can just add it to your main collection or choose a specific playlist. From there you can select any of your albums, songs or playlists from the relevant tabs in the app at any time. So long as you have a data connection, of course.

3. How to take your streaming music offline

Groove Music

Streaming is great but it doesn't work on a plane, or any other place you don't have access to a data connection. Even though you're paying for a streaming service you can still take the music offline.

  • Open up the album you want to take offline.
  • Click on the "More" option towards the top.
  • In the resulting menu, click "Download."

The album will now be downloaded to your PC or tablet and you can take it anywhere you go. You're only allowed to do this on five devices at once, so be sure to keep an eye on that. To check how many you're using go into "Settings" then click on "Manage my devices."

4. Stream albums in Groove from the Windows 10 Store

Windows 10 Store

Groove may be Microsoft's streaming service but it also sells albums and individual songs through the Windows 10 Store. You'll find it all under the Music tab at the top and you can browse and then preview tracks right here in the Store.

If you find something you like, hit the "Play" button highlighted in the image above to be taken into the Groove app to carry on listening. If you want to add it to your collection and/or playlists, follow the steps listed in point two.

5. Stream your own music using Groove

Groove Music

Groove Music and OneDrive can be best pals and the latter will let you stream your own music from the cloud using the former. It's really easy to do, all you need is enough OneDrive storage to hold your personal collection. Importantly you don't need a Groove Music Pass to do this. After all, it's your own music. But once it's in OneDrive you can stream it using the Windows 10 app (as well as other apps on other platforms.)

For everything you need to know check out the link below.

That's about all there is to it. If you want to know more about the Groove Music app for Windows 10, check out our guide at the link below.

For more Windows 10 tips be sure to drop by our dedicated page here

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

45 Comments
  • I am afraid the last option for streaming your own music from one drive's music folder is broken. While it worked in Win 8.1 it is now country dependent in Win 10. "This is not available in your country".    
  • ^^this!! I don't know why Microsoft Services are often discriminate by country. The fact that Groove music isn't available in my country turned me to Google play music.
  • Oh man that sounds horrible.
  • Wow, that's pretty stupid, for a predominantly software based company Microsoft are pretty inept at getting software right these days.
  • If you change your xbox region to US it would work.
     
  • Yeah good to see Linkin Park. Btw Groove is sadly not available in India. They really need to bring it here especially when we don't have Mixradio subscriptions now.
  • Can we change region to us and subscribe?
  • It's probably an issue of effort / return. I've noticed the comments after the deafening "wen in india?!" demands are answered is always, for example in games "Finally in India! Oh, it's not free. Forget it." It costs $9.99/month. If a $0.99 game is a deal breaker then there's hardly any sense making the app, regionalizing it, setting up support, training people, negotiating the music deals and then one Indian guy buys it.  
  • Please don't stereo type an entire nation after reading some comments by a couple of Indian nutbags. Windows(PC) sales is more in India than china (proportionate to actual no. of devices its installed), which means people do pay here.
  • Then maybe they can bring it cheaper here. That's what Apple has done too. Apple music also costs $9.99/month worldwide but in India it costs equivalent to $2/month which is on par with every other local streaming service. Microsoft can do the same thing with Groove in India. As far as apps are concerned very few people have credit cards here and even those who have it find it a process too long for just buying an app. We are happy with carrier billing but its available to only a subset of users. That's the problem. I still remember Symbian days when you just had to press buy, hit a confirmatory yes and voila you bought the app. It's just not that convenient now.
  • Don't compare an apple user to a android or windows phone user. On android. Avg person doesn't pay for apps.
  • Thank you for this artilce ! Do you know if there are some options for families music sharing ?
  • Can we share the music currently being played locally to a Wireless speaker?
  • I seem to only be able to get this to work with bluetooth - wifi streaming does not seem to be supported.
  • What they really need to do is make uploading music in OneDrive easier by using Groove apps instead of making user go to Onedrive folder or web browser. Selective syncing in Onedrive also made things worst when uploading music since you can't make files in Onedrive online only.
  • Just go look at the how to select which folders to download in onedrive article. You dont have to download music folder.
  • Brilliant article Richard. I really like how you guys are offering tutorials. Thanks!
  • How can we sync our playlists? Because that isn't happening!
  • When will we be able to stream on Windows 10 mobile with our groove pass. I am stuck using Spotify while my groove pass is being wasted now.
  • I have been wondering this myself. Not sure the hold up
  • They said click"explore" to use music pass, but if you click that it says feature not ready.
  • R U serious? This writer I can almost guarantee is not a subscriber to XBOX MUSIC/GROOVE. How to get a MUSIC PASS YOURSELF. How to give away MUSIC PASS codes.
  • HoW To Give AWAY MUSIC PASS codes and then subscriber yourself
  • About the plane ✈ use case: I think you still need internet access to verify ownership/subscription status to listen to dowloaded tracks. Maybe your own tracks don't, but definitely the music pass tracks do.
  • I love groove. Great article. My gf and I use it daily.
  • I just hope that they scale the now playing seek area according to the window size. It looks too big when the window size is reduced.
  • Keep these "Windows How to articles" coming. They are an excellent source of information for both the novice and the experienced computer user. In fact, I often send links of your "How tos" to help new users familiarize themselves with various features in Windows 10. Also, I hope MSFT adds streaming without a music pass to Groove, reversing their decision to cancel it on xbox music.
  • With Win 8.1/Xbox Music I used to often use my Surface tablet to stream music to my Xbox One using PlayTo. In Win 10/Groove Music I can't figure out how to do this. Can somebody help me out? I really miss being able to do this! :)    
  • Why don't you just use the Groove app on the Xbox One?
  • I have been doing so, but found it quicker to search for music in the app on my Surface. Do you know if this feature is missing from Groove?
  • this app sucks. Xbox Music was perfect, but Groove sucks. When minimized, my play/pause keyboard key dont work (on my microsoft keyboard, BTW), only when app is in foreground. Sometimes, when I minimize Groove Music, the songs stops. Also, i cant get music pass, everytime I try I get an error.  
  • @Cristoby. I fully agree. I have my music pass. After the recent W10 cumulative update I could finally download music for of line usage. Guess what. Being of line while abroad with no connection it requires login in. That is a step Microsoft needs to take care of fast. By the way, based in the Netherlands
  • I love the interface of Groove Music... But does anyone know why MP3 players wont sync up with it?  It annoys the hell out of me.... I am not subscribed but loaded all my personal music on it.
  • I like the idea of Groove but I am a Spotify user not the full fat £9.99 premium but a £5.99 user. I would be tempted over to Groove if there was a £5.99 option ?? Our am I alone in my thinking ....... Great article tho cleared up some of my questions
  • I pay 31 euros a year for Groove / Xbox music. Got it on Pi day. Got 2 years worth! :) totally worth it. Comes out to 2.50 a month! ;) 
  • delte
  • Why groove still don't have playlists like Spotify?
  • No mention of lack of phone access to full catalog? Can't download any new music from windows 10 mobile, only music already in my collection added from the pc. Huge step back.
  • One point I'd like to clear up, since so much has changed and I've lost track. From OneDrive, does Groove match the track (when it's in their collection) or am I in fact streaming my music track file?
  • I do believe that you are streaming the actual file. You can test it if you have some music editing software, just cut a bit out of a track or change the pitch or something and see. Would try I myself but I'm not sure that I really care.
  • I do love that I can just buy music in the store with that. No need for me using iTunes and being in the USA. YES PAYPAL SUPPORT!
  • When I search in the store for an Artist, I get their albums but not the artist themselves. Anyone else seeing this? It's pretty odd. Your can get to the artist by choosing an album, then the artist link, but I would expect search to provide it in the results.
  • How about streaming FROM Groove Music on my PC TO Groove Music on my Xbox One? Something I've been doing for a very long time now using Xbox Music in Windows 8?
  • I just use Rhapsody. It has done more than groove for well over a decade. But I don't think it's available on the Xbox.
  • Why is the feature of "Play to" not available in the Groove?  I have a hometheater, my computer and phone all on the same wifi.  But I cannot just stream my music from the computer to the hometheater anymore (unless I use Windows Media Player - Cast To Device option).  Its just dumb to rely on OneDrive to Stream the music. It is such a roundabout solution (when it works that is - currently its busy being buggy) instead of just having the option of right-click or pressdown and send to a music player of your choice.  No, I am not going to buy a new Sonos for it.  My Denon is much better than that.