Audible Only Playing Sample? [7 Reasons with Fixes]

If Audible is playing a sample of an audiobook instead of the full version, it could be due to several different reasons.

You may not be eligible to access the full version of the title or the audiobook download may be corrupted. Other reasons include storage issues, Audible app issues, or problems with your device.

This article lists all the major reasons why Audible will only play the samples and instructions on how to fix these issues.

Why is Audible Only Playing Samples? 7 Possible Reasons with Fixes

Reason 1: You May Have Been Logged out of The Audible Account

Reason 2: You are Not Eligible to Access the Full Audiobook

Reason 3: Audiobook Not Showing on Your Device

Reason 4: The Audiobook is Corrupted

Reason 5: Not Enough Storage on Your Device

Reason 6: You No Longer Have Access to The Title

Reason 7: Problem With the Audible App or Device

Reason 1: You May Have Been Logged out of The Audible Account

One of the most common reasons for Audible playing samples is because you are signed out of your Audible account. It is not possible to access titles that you own if you are not signed in.

Solution: Sign in to The Audible Account

To sign back into your Audible account

  • Open the Audible app and tap on the Profile icon at the bottom navigation bar
  • Tap on the Settings gear at the top right of the screen
Audible settings

  • Scroll down and tap on the Sign in
Audible sign in

  • Tap Continue or Sign in again and sign in using your account information
Audible sign in 2

Once signed in, you can access the full version of audiobooks that you have in your account’s library. If Audible keeps playing samples after you are signed in, move to the next step.

Reason 2: You are Not Eligible to Access The Audiobook

Audible samples allow you to get a taste of the audiobook. Once you have purchased a title, you get access to the full version. The book appears in your account’s library section where you can download the book with a single tap to listen.

If Audible is only playing a sample of a book, it could be because

  • You do not own the book
  • Your Audible subscription is expired (preventing access to the Audible Plus catalog titles)

Solution: Make Sure You are Eligible to Access The Book

To make sure that you are eligible to access the full version of an Audible book.

  • Go to the Audible website and sign in to your account
  • Click on your Account Name > Account details
Audible account details

  • You can see your Membership details here to make sure you have an active Audible membership

  • The Purchase history section shows all the audiobooks that you own

Ensure that you have an active membership to access the Plus Catalog titles. The Purchase History section shows if the book you are trying to listen to is purchased.

Tip: You can view your orders, preorders, membership charges, and refund history for 3 months, 6 months, and a full year from the Purchase History section.

If you are on Audible’s mobile website

  • Tap the hamburger menu (3 horizontal lines) and sign in
  • Tap on your account name to go to the Main menu. Tap on Purchase History here
Audible mobile site
Audible purchase history
  • Next, tap on Refine to view your orders, pre-orders, membership, and refund history detail
Refine

This is a simple way to check the purchase history and membership status.

You need to make sure two things here

  • The title you are trying to listen to has been purchased.
  • If it is a Plus Catalog title, you have an active Audible membership to access the Plus Catalog

It is also important to make sure that the book is downloaded on the device. You can download the book in the Library section with a single tap.

Reason 3: Audiobook Not Showing on Your Device

You may come across a situation where the audiobook that you are trying to listen to is not visible in your account’s Library section and you are only able to play the sample.

Sometimes purchased titles take longer to appear in your library or your purchase may not be confirmed yet.

Solution: Get the Purchased Audiobook in Your Account’s Library

Here are some of the things you can do to get the purchased titles in your account’s library section.

1: Refresh the Library

You can refresh your account’s library on Android devices by following the steps

  • Open the Audible app and tap on Profile from the bottom navigation
  • Tap on Settings gear icon at the top right

  • Next, tap on Help & Support

  • Tap on the menu (3 dots) on the top right of the screen and tap on Full Library Refresh from options

After refreshing the library, check your title from All section [Library > Titles > All]

To refresh your library on the iPhone Audible app

  • Open the Audible app and tap on the Profile icon
  • Tap the Settings gear icon on top right
Audible settings

  • Tap Library > Refresh Library
refresh library

To check if the title has appeared in the Library section, tap on Library from bottom navigation. Tap Titles > All Titles to show all titles.

Once the title appears in the Library section, you can download it to listen.

2: Check if The Title is Archived

The title you are trying to find may be archived. You can go to the archive folder from Library > Collections > Archive

You can unarchive a title by tapping on the 3 dots in front of the title and then tapping Remove from Archive.

The title will be visible in your account’s library section after it in unarchived.

Related Article: How to Unarchive Books on Audible

3: Sign Out and Sign Back

Signing out and signing back in can help and show your latest purchases in your account’s library section.

  • Tap the Profile option
  • Tap the Settings gear on the upper right corner
  • Tap Sign out

Also, check and make sure the marketplace at the bottom is the same that you use. If not, you can change it by tapping on it.

After signing in, check if your title now appears [Library > Titles > All Titles]

Tip: You can also try the Sorting & Filtering feature [Library > Titles > All. Tap the sorting and make sure Recent is selected]. This will bring the latest content to the top.

Reason 4: The Audiobook is Corrupted

It is not a very common reason but your audiobook download can become corrupted and you may experience playback issues including

  • Audible only playing sample
  • Audio stops/ skips
  • Missing content
  • Background noises or poor sound quality

You experience these issues if the download is not complete or corrupted.

Solution: Delete and Redownload The Title

The first obvious solution is to delete the audiobook and redownload it. To delete the Audible book on your iOS and Android devices.

  • Tap on the Library section from the bottom navigation bar
  • Find the title that you want to delete and tap 3 Dots infront of it

  • Tap Remove from Device

The audiobook will be deleted from your device.

Related Article: Audible’s Remove from Device and Archive Features

Note: Deleting a book removes it from your device but the book cover is still visible in your account’s library, featuring a small downward-facing arrow.

You can also remove the book cover from the account’s library by tapping the overflow option (3 dots) in front of the book and tapping Remove from Library

Once the title is removed from your device, you can search the book from the Discover tab to re-download.

There are some other options to make sure there is no problem with your download

  • Sign out and sign in again
  • Refresh your account’s library
  • Try another device if possible

You can now listen to the full and freshly downloaded version of the book and hopefully, it will work.

Reason 5: Not Enough Storage Space on Your Device

If you are still wondering why is Audible only playing sample after all of the above fixes, it may be because your device is running out of storage.

If you are a regular audiobook listener, you will be amazed at how fast your Audible library grows and eats up most of the storage space on your device.

Solution: Free up Storage Space on Your Device

There are several things you can do to free up storage space on your device including

  • Only download audiobooks that you are currently listening
  • Download at standard quality or in parts
  • Delete the finished books
  • Clear app cache
  • Move audiobooks to the SD card (if it is supported on your device)

I have shared 8 tips to free up storage space on your Audible device to help you with storage issues.

Reason 6: You No Longer Have Access to The Title

If you have problem listening to a Plus Catalog title, this could be due to the reason that you are not allowed to access the title anymore.

Solution: Ensure You are Eligible to Access the Title

The title may not be available because you have paused/cancelled your Audible membership. The Plus Catalog titles can only be accessed with active membership.

To check your membership status, go to Audible’s website on your computer. Click on Account Name > Account Details

Here, ensure that you have an active Audible membership and it is not paused. You can resume the paused membership or reactivate a cancelled membership to continue listening to the Plus Catalog titles.

If the problem persists, it is important to know that Audible sometimes removes some audiobooks from the Plus Catalog for different reasons. You always get a heads up message from Audible if a Plus Catalog title in your Library is being removed.

You can search the title and if the title is available to be purchased, that shows that the title is no longer in the Plus Catalog and you will need to purchase it to continue listening.

If no purchase option is available, Audible no longer has the right to carry the title.

Reason 7: Problem With The Audible App or Device

If you have tried all of the above options but Audible keeps playing samples, the culprit is either the Audible app or the device.

Solution: Update/ Reinstall The App, Try Another Device

First, we will make sure that we have the latest version of the Audible app. If not, update the app.

  • On iOS Devices, open the App Store > tap your Profile icon > find the Audible app from the list of updates and tap on the available update
  • On Android Devices, open the Google Play Store > tap on the Profile icon > My apps & games. Locate the Audible app to update

If an update is not available, delete and reinstall the Audible app on your device. You will have the latest version of the app after reinstalling.

The latest versions of device OS/app also solve most of Audible’s crashing problems.

It is also a good idea to try another Audible device to make sure the problem is not with your device. You can try listening to the title online on Cloud Player.

Sohail Ahmed

I love Audiobooks and this blog features my first-hand experience with all major audiobook apps and services … Know More

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