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Apple Podcasts won’t download on iPhone/iPad? Here’s a fix

podcast wont download

Listening to podcasts on iPhone’s native Podcasts app is usually excellent and, like on so many other podcasts platforms, you can download episodes to your phone for offline listening. However, some users report that Apple podcasts won’t download on iPhone or iPad. If you’re among them, check the instructions we provided below.

Why is my Apple podcast not downloading?

If your Apple podcast is not downloading, check the network, tweak app settings, or reinstall the Podcasts app. If that doesn’t help, Check Content & Privacy restrictions or Reset All Settings.

1. Restart your iPhone/iPad

Start by restarting your iPhone or iPad. There are a plethora of issues that get sorted out after a reboot. This should address the problem.

Of course, you need a network connection for Apple Podcasts to stream or download individual episodes.

2. Check the network settings

Any network-related troubleshooting should start by confirming that your network is working for other apps. Test other apps that rely on the internet connection and see if the content is loading as intended.

If you identify a widespread issue, try to fix Wi-Fi issues with these steps:

  • Disable and re-enable Wi-Fi.
  • Forget the network and connect again.
  • Enable the Airplane mode and disable it after a minute or so.
  • Reset Network Settings. Open Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Reset > Reset Network Settings. Once there, you can reset network settings and try connecting again.podcast won't download

On the other hand, if everything works but Apple Podcasts still won’t download on your iPhone, try fixing it with these steps:

  • Enable Cellular Data in Podcasts settings. Open Settings > Podcasts. Enable Cellular data. This, of course, applies if you use cellular data to listen to and download podcasts.
  • In the same settings menu open Cellular Downloads. You can set Always Ask just to double-check if Podcasts will give you the prompt or not.
  • Enable Sync Library if you want to keep listening to podcasts you started on other devices with your Apple Account.podcast won't download

3. Check Content & Privacy Restrictions

Not many users will meddle with Content & Privacy Restrictions which means that these options are probably not a cause for this Apple Podcasts issue. However, it’s worth checking it out if you do have this option enabled. There are many limitations and policies you can change but, for the sake of troubleshooting, we recommend disabling Content & Privacy Restrictions completely.

Here’s how to disable Content & Privacy Restrictions on your iPhone:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Screen Time.
  3. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  4. In the next screen, toggle off the Content & Privacy Restrictions podcasts won't download

If you don’t want to do that and rely on this feature, make sure to open Allowed apps and allow Podcasts. Also, open Content Restrictions > Music, Podcasts, News, & Workouts and check the Explicit option to allow podcasts that have explicit tags to play.

4. Reinstall Podcasts

The good thing about many built-in apps on iOS is that you can safely reinstall them and tackle bugs and issues that way. Based on many reports, users managed to download podcasts normally after they removed and added the app again from the App Store.

With that in mind, here’s how to reinstall Podcasts on your iPhone or iPad:

  1. Tap and hold on to the Podcasts icon on the Home Screen or in App Library.
  2. Tap Remove App.
  3. Select Delete App and then confirm.
  4. Open App Store, look for Podcast, and install the app podcasts won't download

5. Reset All Settings

In the end, you can try resetting all settings but we, more or less, tackled all possible angles with the previous steps. You can also report the problem to Apple and they hopefully fix it with the next update. Learn how to reset all settings on your iPhone and give that a try, too.

And, with that said, we can call it a wrap. Thank you for reading and, if you have any questions or suggestions, make sure to share them with us in the comments section below. We look forward to hearing from you.

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in February 2022. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.

Picture of Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Managing editor at Mobile Internist. @lemmingspain My fascination with mobile technology, particularly Android and iOS, began years ago and continues today. I'm captivated by the constant evolution in the smartphone industry and its impact on our daily lives, always anticipating the next big innovation. That’s the main reason why I found myself writing instructive content on the subject for users who are not as familiar with all the bells and whistles.
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