Apple Podcasts is a good app for finding and listening to podcasts — except when it keeps auto-downloading episodes that you need to delete. The Apple Podcasts app has had a rocky life since its debut in 2012. On the one hand, it being installed on all iPhones (and having its popular rating system) makes it one of the biggest and most important podcast platforms on the market. On the other hand, reviews of it being slow, clunky, and glitchy over the years have put a bad taste in some users’ mouths.
Apple Podcasts is a generally solid user experience in 2022, but that’s to say the app is perfect. While Apple‘s fixed some issues over the years, it’s also introduced new ones. One of the biggest annoyances of Apple Podcasts today is that it automatically downloads podcast episodes once someone saves/subscribes to a new show. Tapping the ‘+’ icon on a podcast page adds it to your Library for easy finding later on — but it also downloads a bunch of episodes from that podcast onto your iPhone. It’s not a huge issue if you only subscribe to a handful of podcasts, but if you’ve saved a bunch of shows to your Library, there may be hundreds of downloaded episodes without you ever knowing.
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If you’d rather not have all of these downloaded episodes, there are a couple of things you can do to stop them. First thing’s first, you’ll want to delete all episodes that are already downloaded. Open the Apple Podcasts app, tap the ‘Library’ button at the bottom of the screen, and tap ‘Downloaded.’ This shows each podcast and how many episodes of each one are downloaded to your iPhone. Tap the three dots at the top right of the screen, tap ‘Remove All Downloads,’ tap ‘Remove Downloads’ on the pop-up at the bottom of the screen, and all downloaded podcasts are instantly deleted.
How To Stop Apple Podcasts From Auto-Downloading Episodes
That takes care of downloaded episodes, but how do you stop future episodes from auto-downloading to Apple Podcasts? This requires a trip to the Settings app. Open the Settings app on your iPhone, scroll down the page, tap ‘Podcasts,’ and tap the toggle next to ‘Download When Saving.’ With this feature disabled, tapping the ‘+’ icon on a podcast now adds it to your Library without auto-downloading its episodes.
This doesn’t prevent you from downloading episodes at all — it just stops them from automatically downloading when you don’t want them to. To manually download a podcast, simply open Apple Podcasts, select a show, tap the three dots next to an episode, and tap ‘Download Episode.’ Auto-downloads can be one of the biggest annoyances of Apple Podcasts, so with these tips in mind, you should be able to turn it into a much more enjoyable experience.