I'm trying to make a custom calendar notification on my mom's Samsung Galaxy S3 (Android 4.1.1) because the built-in ones are too short for her to hear. This article says I can move a music file to the notification folder in MyFiles.

So I bought a song from Google Play and looked for the file on her phone. Wasn't there. Checked every folder, but no luck.

Did some more searching and found this article from Google Play troubleshooting how to get songs to show up on your phone. Absolutely none of the menu options even existed on my mom's phone, so it was completely unhelpful.

Tried to search for how other people added songs as ringtones from Google Play on their phones. I found quite a few articles addressing it. They all said to add the ringtone from the Music Player app. Checked the Music Player app, and the song wasn't there.

That might explain why the song doesn't exist on her phone, except I can play the song on her phone through the Play Music app. I clicked "Keep on Device," but the song still doesn't seem to exist.

How do I get the song I bought from Google Play to show up as a file on my mom's phone?

However, if anyone provides a quick way to skip all this mess and just make the notifications last longer, that would be appreciated too.

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    The fact that none of the menu options from the help article was on the phone seems suspicious. Does the phone have Google Play Music installed? Is the same Google account that was used for the purchase also configured on the device? Feb 5, 2013 at 19:31
  • Google Play Music is the only app I can find the song on, so yes it is installed. I bought the song from her phone, using the same account my sister uses to buy games, so I'm assuming it's configured on the device. How could I tell if it wasn't?
    – Eva
    Feb 5, 2013 at 19:37
  • If you actually bought it from the phone then I'd assume you're right, otherwise I'm not sure how you would have even been able to buy it. Generally you can check by going into the phone's settings and finding the "Accounts" sub-section. If it's configured it should be listed there (or at the least it will list "Google" as a configured account). Feb 5, 2013 at 19:39
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    This isn't a question, it's a barrage of questions. You'll get better results on this site if you restrict yourself to one question per post. As things stand I have an answer for one of your many questions but can't post it.
    – Dan Hulme
    Jul 31, 2013 at 16:43
  • @DanHulme The list of questions were added after not getting answers to the main question in bold in hopes that I could use the answer to one of them as a clue.
    – Eva
    Aug 13, 2013 at 3:46

12 Answers 12


I found this link helpful for downloading Google Play music onto my Samsung Galaxy SIII.


  • Navigate to Google Play Store
  • Select Music
  • From the left soft key on your phone, select My music
  • From the upper left menu in Google Play (it should say Listen Now), select Playlist
  • Scroll to find the Free and Purchased playlist and select it
  • On the right side of Google Play, below the playlist image you should see a thumbtack in a circle. It will probably be grey.
  • Make sure you are connected to WiFi (to avoid using data) and select the thumbtack. It should turn orange and your download should start.

I have not found a way to download individual songs yet...


I was having the same problem and just fixed it: Under the Google play (app the you purchased it from) search in the music section the song you bought. When your results come up click the one that says purchased and then click listen (I did mine under wi-fi might be able to do it through data). I should give a message saying error, just click try again and it should sync. At least that's what mine did. Good luck, hope it works for you if you didn't already fix it.


In response to: "If anyone provides a quick way to skip all this mess and just make the notifications last longer, that would be appreciated too."

Use the free Rings Extended app to easily choose any audio file (music or clips) for notifications/ringtones - without having to copy anything to specific folders. Just to clarify, this won't show up as an app when installed. However, whenever you try to change a ringtone/notification, "Rings Extended" will show as an option, which you can then choose to open the app for choosing a ringtone/notification.

Additionally, you can use Ringdroid (also free) to cut the required part/length from a sound file (or music track) on the device.

Unfortunately I don't live in an area that allows me to buy music on the Play store so I can't help with that problem.

  • The song doesn't show up as an audio file, so I can't make it a ringtone or notification. I bought the song because I couldn't find any of the built-in ringtones or notifications on the phone, otherwise I would've saved myself $1.99 and a lot of trouble.
    – Eva
    Feb 14, 2013 at 6:29
  • I realize that you have problems with the song but, as I specified in my answer, this relates to your question about making notifications last longer. Using these tools you can use ANY audio file (from anywhere) as a ringtone. So head over to freesound and download a long (and loud, if required) audio clip to the device and use the tools to set it as notification/ringtone.
    – free3dom
    Feb 15, 2013 at 8:14

I think your are missing an important concept of Google Play Music: The songs are kept in the cloud and are streamed on-demand if you want to listen to them.

If you want to keep them on the device for offline listening, you have to check 'keep on device'. Now it should be clear what that option does.

The links you mentioned in your question are all about 'how to get uploaded music (with Google Musicmanager) to appear on your device'. They are not about how to let the actual song file appear on the device.

This 2 questions should help you further:

  • I actually saw the first one. I linked it in my question. As for the second link, that folder seems to be empty. I also mentioned in my question that I had clicked "Keep on Device." I thought it would store the song on her phone, but since it didn't I starting wondering what its actual purpose was. (Which is why I asked question #4.)
    – Eva
    Feb 14, 2013 at 6:36

Go to the folder:


and remember that the songs don't come up with the title as their file name, GM creates its own numeric filename (God knows why, it's annoying).

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    The cache folder is empty :(
    – Eva
    Feb 15, 2013 at 1:31

You can only set songs that are actually on your sdcard... music from the cloud on google music are saved in a database, so you can't access them


If you are having the same problem, I did where you can only play it when the option is set to all music option on the play music app, but cant find it when the option is set to "on device" then here is what you have to do:

Make sure its set to all music, go to listen now. Find the songs that you want to download onto you device and there should be something on the song that allows you to do things with it, like add to queue. Look on that menu and there should be an option saying keep on device, push that and it will start downloading it to your phone and then when you switch it over to the on device music option it should be on that list.

Hope this helped!


When you go to the play music app, on top where it says listen now, change it from "on device" to "all music". Hope this helps.


Do this...it works..copied from a helpful chap elsewhere!

If you go to the Google Play Music site on a browser (PC / Laptop) & navigate to the album you bought, you can select to download the album as a zip of MP3 files, or each individual song. Strange this isn't offered within the app itself. Seems Google may be discouraging us from using alternative music players?


Just verified no option to download purchased songs to local phone storage using a OnePlusOne using google play store. The only solution that works is download to PC and copy back to the phone as noted above.


I got it! What you need to do is go into the Google Play app. At the top where it says "Listen Now" hit the 3 lines on the left corner and it brings in a menu. Select "Settings" Scroll down til you see "Storage Location" Select "External / SD Card, etc" (whatever your phone says - just make sure it doesn't say "Internal") I'm not sure if this next part is necessary but I did it anyway. Check yes to the two boxes "Cache During Playback" and "Automatically Cache" Then hit the the download button, or "Keep on Device" or the symbol (downwards arrow with a line underneath) The file should then be stored here: My Files -> SD Memory Card -> Android -> data -> com.google.android.music -> files -> music -> (numerical code music files!!!) Play them with the normal music player to figure out what they are or upload to a PC and rename them, then move them back to the phone. Ta Da!!!


Go to Settings then Google and make sure sync is on in Google Music. That was my problem.

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