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Saturday, September 25, 2021

Don’t like Podcasts automatically downloading episodes? Disable it!

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Podcasts app in iOS14Source: Luke Filipowicz/ iMore

Whether you’re looking for the latest in tech news or want an immersive storytelling experience, podcasts are a great form of entertainment. In fact, you can probably find a podcast for pretty much any topic you can think of these days, including our own iMore Show. While there are a lot of great third-party podcast app alternatives, you can also just stick with Apple’s own Podcasts app too — after all, it’s built-in on the best iPhone and iPad.

However, if you’re using the native Podcasts app, you may have noticed that it’s automatically downloading episodes of a podcast that you’re following. Even if you have the largest iPhone, episodes require space, and having a lot of automatic downloads going on in the background without your knowledge can add up and take up a good chunk of storage that you may want for other things.

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Here’s how to turn off automatic downloads in the Podcasts app on iPhone and iPad.

How to turn off automatic downloads for the Podcasts app

  1. Launch Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Podcasts.
  3. Scroll down a bit and tap the toggle for Enable When Following to OFF (gray).

    How to turn off automatic downloads for the Podcasts app on iPhone by showing: Launch Settings, tap Podcasts, tap the toggle for Enable When Following to OFFSource: iMore

What happened to subscriptions?

If you’ve been using the Podcasts app for a while, you may have noticed that you no longer “subscribe” to a podcast, but instead you “follow” it. That’s because Apple recently introduced Podcast Subscriptions, which is launching later in May 2021 in over 170 countries.

Now, when you subscribe to a podcast, you’re getting exclusive bonus content, and the cost of the subscription is up to the content producers. With the new Podcast Subscriptions feature, content creators can offer sponsor-free versions, exclusive episodes, and even early access to content for subscribers.

Don’t worry though — Podcast Subscriptions are optional, so you don’t have to worry about having to pay for all of your current favorites. You’ll be able to pick-and-choose what podcasts you want to subscribe to for bonus content. And if you do subscribe to a podcast, Podcast Subscriptions does support Family Sharing, so you can share that single subscription with up to six other people.

For those who are wondering how much these Podcast Subscriptions will cost, well, that’s entirely up to the creators. If the creators already have some kind of membership program for listeners, then it may be similar, though Apple will be taking a 30% cut from these subscriptions, and creators have to pay $20 a year to get access to Podcast Subscription features.


Do you have any questions about how to turn off automatic downloads in the Podcasts app on iPhone and iPad? Or any other questions about how to use Podcasts? Let us know in the comments below.

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