How to Avoid Being Banned on Soulseek

Soulseek, sometimes shortened to slsk,  is, at least compared to other Peer-2-Peer networks, a tightly knit community of music enthusiasts and their treasured collections.  It's a great place for acquiring music and you may even find you'll make a friend or two, but most won't tolerate you for long unless you share.  If you've been 'banned', and you're not sure why then you're probably not sharing any files. You may think you're sharing files, but chances are you're not and don't even realize it. Adding yourself to your "User list" will allow you to quickly check and see if you are sharing files, and allow you to see how they look to others in the community.  You can also see how your "User Info" appears, and use the "User Notes" to make notes to yourself.   To rule this out as the reason for being banned, try these few steps.


Right click anywhere in the background of your ‘user list’, and select “Add user”.

(your ‘user list’ is the upper portion of the right hand section of your slsk window)

Type your username in exactly.

Everyone has a unique ID which is “case sensitive.”

You will appear in your own user list with a blue icon beside your name (indicating you are online).

The number of files you are sharing is shown to the right of your username. If no number appears, and you have not added other users to your list, then you won’t have others to compare yours to.

Right click on your username and select “Browse files.”

This will bring up a new window.

If it says “No files shared”, you are definitely not configured to share and are probably being banned without even knowing it.

Go to the Options menu and select “File Sharing Configuration” to share your files.

Click “Add shared folder” and a window into your computer will appear.

You will have to navigate to your music files (usually your “My Shared Folder” or “My Music Files” unless you have chosen another location). Select a folder where you have been storing your music. Repeat if you have more than one folder. You can share many folders, from different locations, but you have to add them individually. Once you have done this, you need to let slsk reset itself.

Disconnect using the Connection Menu, and then reconnect the same way.

Now wait a moment for slsk to index your files, and a number will appear next to your username.

Browse your own files again to see how they appear.

Some people write messages about sharing in the titles of folders, others organize their files by type or alphabetically. No matter how you organize your files, it’s a good idea to browse your own files this way. You will see if you are sharing files you didn’t want to share (like program files) and you can make sure it looks the way you want it to. Return every once in a while to catch any problems.


  • Soulseek users often have their own, idiosyncratic rules for downloading from them. It’s a good idea to always check a user’s “User Info” prior to beginning any download. Just right click on the file name (from a search) or user name, then select “Get User Info” from the pop-up menu. If you do not want to do this (it can take a lot of time–some users seem to want to write books in their User Info), a fairly safe policy is to not download more than one album per day from a particular user. If that user has a lot of material that you’d like to download, add them to your user list so you can easily find them in the future. See the next step for how to do this.
  • To add others to your ‘user list’, right click on any searched file or transfer, and select “Add to List”. You can just as easily remove people from this list. If you find someone with music you want, or a good connection to yours (in the D/L speed or K/sec columns) it’s a good idea to add them to your list for future reference
  • The images are for Windows XP but it will be useful for you read even if you have a previous version of windows.


  • You can right-click to “Get User Info” which opens up a window where people often leave rules with which to honor when downloading from their computer. Not everyone does this, but it’s a good habit to get into.
  • Never queue up more than an album or two from a single user at once. Doing so is discourteous and selfish. Since Soulseek is first-come, first serve, queuing up too much may prevent others from downloading from that user.

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