Do you keep having download issues while using Apple podcasts on iPhone? Sometimes tapping the download icon next to an episode might not do anything. Or, your download preferences may not start as expected.
Minor bugs and glitches, insufficient permissions, and corrupted network settings are the most common reasons that can prevent Apple Podcasts from downloading your podcasts locally on your iPhone.
Below, you’ll find nine troubleshooting tips that should make Apple Podcasts start downloading your episodes properly again.
1. Force close and reopen the Podcasts application
Temporary issues in the Podcasts app may prevent it from downloading podcasts to your iPhone. Eliminate this by forcibly quitting and reopening the app.
Start by opening your iPhone’s application switcher. If your iPhone supports Face ID, just swipe up from the bottom of the screen and pause for a moment to view it. Otherwise, double-tap the Home button instead.
Then select the Podcasts app card and drag it up to force it to close. Wait a moment and reopen the app.
Go to Settings> Podcasts and make sure the switch next to Cellular data is on. Also, you need to make sure the switch next to Block cell phone downloads is turned off.
3. Check the status of the Apple system
The Podcasts app may also experience download issues if there are server side issues. You can check if this is the case by going to Apple’s System Status page.
If you see issues listed next to multiple services like Apple ID, Apple Music, or App Store (there is no specific list for Podcasts app), wait a while until Apple is bringing things back online.
4. Restart the iPhone
Restarting an iPhone is a common troubleshooting method that can help resolve temporary issues with your iPhone in general.
If your iPhone uses Face ID, press and hold the volume down and side buttons for a few seconds. Then slide your finger to the right to turn off the device. Press and hold the side button again to restart it.
If your iPhone uses Touch ID, just press and hold the side button and swipe your finger to the right to turn off the device. Press and hold the side button again to restart it.
5. Manage download settings
If you’re having trouble with automatic episode downloads, in particular, you need to confirm that the Podcasts app’s download preferences are set correctly. Start by opening the Settings app. Next, tap Podcasts and scroll down to the section titled Episode Downloads.
Tap Refresh every and set an appropriate automatic download timeout. Then tap on Download Episodes and choose between Only New and All Unplayed options.
You can also manage the automatic download preferences for each subscribed show. Select a show in the Library section of the Podcasts app, tap the three-dot icon at the top of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Download Episodes. Then change the settings as you like.
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6. Change the Wi-Fi DNS servers
Try changing the default DNS servers for your active Wi-Fi connection. Usually, setting up OpenDNS – which is an extremely popular DNS service – can help resolve connectivity issues that prevent the Podcasts app from working properly.
Go to the Settings app, tap Wi-Fi, tap the i-icon next to the active Wi-Fi connection and tap Configure DNS. Then enter the following DNS servers in the locations below and hit Save.
7. Allow the app to refresh in the background
If the Podcasts app is having trouble performing downloads in the background, confirm that it has permissions to use the background app refresh feature on iPhone. To do this, go to Settings> Podcasts and make sure the switch next to Background app refresh is on.
8. Unload / reinstall the application
If you continue to have download issues with the Podcasts app, try unloading and reinstalling it. Go to Settings> General> iPhone Storage> Podcasts. Then tap on Offload App.
Finally, go to the home screen and tap the Podcasts app icon to download it to your iPhone again.
9. Reset network settings
You should consider resetting your iPhone’s network settings if you continue to experience persistent download issues with the Podcasts app. You won’t lose any data, but you will have to set up your Wi-Fi connections from scratch.
To reset your network settings, go to Settings> General> Reset and tap Reset network settings.
Start downloading your podcasts
Hope the above fixes helped you fix Apple Podcast download issues on your iPhone. If you have any other fixes or suggestions in mind, drop a comment and let us know.
Want to try out a feature-rich app for listening to podcasts? Check out these five awesome Pocket Podcast alternatives for iPhone and Android phones.
Last updated on December 31, 2020
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