9 Best Ways to Fix Apple Podcasts Not Downloading

Keep experiencing download issues while using Apple Podcasts on iPhone? Sometimes tapping the download icon next to an episode can’t do anything. Or your download settings may not work as expected.

Minor bugs and glitches, insufficient permissions and damaged network settings are the most common reasons that can prevent Apple Podcasts from downloading your podcasts locally to your iPhone.

Below are nine troubleshooting tips that should cause Apple Podcasts to properly download your episodes again.

1. Force exit and reopen the Podcasts app

Temporary glitches in the Podcasts app can prevent podcasts from downloading on your iPhone. Rule that out by forcing it to quit and reopening the app.

First, open the app switcher on your iPhone. If your iPhone supports Face ID, just swipe up from the bottom of the screen and pause for a moment to bring it up. If not, press the home button twice instead.

Then select the Podcasts app card and swipe up to force it to exit. Wait a moment and open the app again.

2. Allow cellular data

If you can’t download podcasts while not connected to WiFi, you’ll need to confirm that the Podcasts app has the necessary permissions to use cellular data.

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Go to Settings> Podcasts and make sure the switch is turned on next to Cellular Data. Also, you’ll need to make sure that the switch next to Block downloads over cellular is turned off.

3. Check the Apple system status

If there are server-side problems, the Podcasts app can also have download problems. You can check if this is the case by going to Apple System status Page.

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If problems are listed alongside multiple services like Apple ID, Apple Music, or the App Store (there isn’t a specific listing for the Podcasts app), wait some time for Apple to get things back online.

4. Restart the iPhone

Restarting an iPhone is a common troubleshooting method that can help resolve temporary glitches with your iPhone in general.

If your iPhone is using Face ID, press and hold the volume down button and the side button for a few seconds. Then swipe right to turn off the device. Press and hold the side button again to restart it.

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If your iPhone is using Touch ID, just hold down the side button and swipe right to turn off the device. Press and hold the side button again to restart it.

5. Manage download settings

Especially if you have problems with automatic episode downloads, you need to make sure that the download settings of the Podcasts app are set up correctly. First, open the Settings app. Then tap Podcasts and scroll down to the section labeled Episode Downloads.

Tap Update all and set a suitable time frame for the automatic download. Next, tap Download Episodes and choose between the New Only and All Unplayed options.

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You can also manage the auto-download settings for each subscribed show. Select a show from the Library section of the Podcasts app, tap the three-dot icon at the top of the screen, tap Settings, then tap Download Episodes. Then adjust the settings according to your needs.

6. Change the WLAN DNS server

Try changing the default DNS servers for your active Wi-Fi connection. Usually, setting OpenDNS – an extremely popular DNS service – can help resolve connection issues that are preventing the Podcasts app from working properly.

Go to the Settings app, tap WiFi, tap the i-shaped icon next to the active WiFi connection and tap Configure DNS. Then enter the following DNS servers into the slots below and tap Save.


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7. Allow the app to be updated in the background

If the Podcasts app is having trouble downloading in the background, make sure it has the necessary permissions to use the iPhone’s background app refresh feature. To do this, go to Settings> Podcasts and make sure the switch next to Background App Refresh is turned on.

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8. Outsource / reinstall the app

If you’re still having trouble downloading the Podcasts app, try unloading and reinstalling it. Go to Settings> General> iPhone Storage> Podcasts. Then tap Unload App.

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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 network settings on your iPhone if you continue to have persistent download issues with the Podcasts app. You won’t lose any data, but you’ll have to set up your Wi-Fi connections from scratch.

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To reset your network settings, go to Settings> General> Reset and tap Reset Network Settings.

Start by downloading your podcasts

Hopefully the above fixes helped you fix the Apple Podcasts download issues on your iPhone. If you have any further corrections or suggestions in mind, drop us a line and let us know.

Next Up:

Would you like to try a feature-rich podcast listening app? Check out these five awesome pocket podcast alternatives for the iPhone and Android phones.

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