Even since the Podcasts app’s emergence, there have been different problems like Podcasts stopping, not opening at all, and sometimes it doesn’t play anything. However, one of the most common issues with Apple Podcasts is the storage problem.
Apple Podcast offers one of the best podcast services but has problems. After the iOS 14.5 update, users have been reporting that Apple Podcasts are taking up a lot of storage, not leaving room for storing other apps, images, and files.
So, why does Apple Podcasts take so much storage, and how to reduce it? Let’s find out.
Why Does Podcasts Take Up So Much Storage?
The most common culprit for Podcasts taking up storage is the “automatically download episodes” feature in Apple Podcasts. When you’re subscribed to a host, every time a new episode comes, the application will install that episode automatically. Having more subscriptions will result in more storage usage.
Thankfully, it’s easy to stop automatic downloads by just going into the Apple Podcast app setting. The same goes for Google Podcasts and Spotify.
Another reason why Podcasts take up so much storage on your iPhone is that you might have to install many podcasts you don’t need anymore. Previously installed podcasts will keep taking storage even after you’re listening to them.
So, now that we know the main culprit behind Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts taking so much storage, let’s talk about how you can reduce it.
How Do I Reduce Podcast Storage on My iPhone?
You can reduce podcast storage on your iPhone by stopping automatic podcast downloads, deleting unwanted podcast episodes, and removing all podcast episodes from a show. Another solution is to set episode limits, which will keep the storage used within a limit.
The same goes for Google Podcasts and Spotify. On Google Podcasts, you can set the automatic removal of podcasts after a certain period, which keeps the storage free. Lastly, with Spotify, you can remove all downloads from the settings to free up the storage.
If you’re more into streaming than listening, remove the podcast episodes. Otherwise, you can turn on episode limits to ensure that your podcast episodes will still get downloaded, but only to a limit.
Google Podcasts has the best approach since it allows you to set a date after which the podcasts will be removed. For example, you can set the date to 24 hours to 90 days after you’ve listened to a podcast.
Now, let’s fix the excessive podcast storage on iPhones.
1. Stop Automatic Podcasts Downloads
Stopping automatic podcast downloads on iPhone and iPad will allow you to free up space for the future. You can unfollow each show individually or go into a specific setting and turn off automatic downloads. You can turn it off from the settings if you still want updates.
This process only works for the Apple Podcasts app and works on both iPhone and iPad. Here’s how you can stop automatic podcast downloads.
1. Open Apple Podcasts and tap the Library tab at the bottom.
2. Click on Shows and tap a show that you want to turn off downloads.
3. Now tap the ellipsis option in the top-right corner and either “Unfollow” or click “Settings.”
4. Once in settings, you’ll see the “Automatic Downloads” option under the “DOWNLOADS” menu.
5. Turn “Automatic Downloads” off, and you’ll see that newer episodes won’t be downloaded.
2. Remove Played Downloads
One of the best ways to keep your podcast storage usage to a minimum is to turn on the “Remove Played Downloads” option in Apple Podcasts. This option automatically removes podcast episodes after you’ve listened to and completed them. It’s a great way to avoid the storage buildup that takes over your phone.
Like Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts automatically remove downloaded downloads 24 hours after they finish playing. Here’s how to enable this option.
1. Open Apple Podcasts and click on the Library tab at the bottom.
2. Click on Shows and tap a show from which you want to remove the played download.
3. Click on the ellipsis button again in the top-right corner.
4. Now, click on settings.
5. Once in the settings, scroll until you see “Remove Played Downloads.”
6. Click on it and turn on the “Remove Played Downloads” option.
Now all the downloaded episodes in this Podcast will automatically delete 24 hours after they have been played.
3. Remove Unwanted Podcasts Episodes
Having a pile of music or podcasts you don’t even listen to takes your data. It will stop you from downloading important files at one point. Hence, removing unwanted podcasts that you don’t listen to will make it easy to free up some storage.
This method is ideal if the podcast episodes are already downloaded. If you have a lot of space, you can wait for them to disappear after you listen to them automatically. However, deleting some downloaded podcasts will allow you to reclaim the used storage if you run low on space.
Here’s how to delete unwanted podcasts downloads on iPhone or iPad:
1. Go to Apple Podcasts and click on “Library.”
2. Once you’re in “Library,” click on “Downloads.”
3. You’ll see a list of downloaded podcasts.
4. Swipe left to the downloaded Podcast, and you’ll see an icon for “Save” and “Delete.”
5. Delete the episode, and you’ll free up some space.
However, this method is ideal for when you have a few episodes downloaded to your iPhone. But what if you have a lot of episodes from various artists? What do you do in that case?
Here’s how to mass delete podcasts from your iPhone:
1. Go to Settings and click on “General.”
2. Click iPhone Storage and find the “Podcasts” option and click on it.
3. Scroll down till you see a list of podcasts that you’ve downloaded.
4. Now, swipe left until you see the red delete button.
5. Click on the button and confirm it to delete a full podcast.
Now you’ve successfully removed a downloaded podcast catalogue from an artist.
4. Set Episode Limits
To minimize storage use, you can set episode limits using the Limit Download feature in the Apple Podcast app. There are two types of Limit Episodes; the first is an individual limit of Podcasts, while the second is universal. We recommend limiting downloads universally since it saves a lot of time.
While the Apple Podcast app does provide a limited download feature, it will only take effect on one artist. However, by going into iOS settings and Podcasts settings, you can set limited episodes.
Here’s how to do it:
- Go to Settings and find Podcasts.
- Tap Podcast, and in the Podcasts settings, you’ll find a feature called “Limit Episodes.”
- Limit episodes to your preference, and you’re good to go.
Moreover, you can set the download preference to your liking by going into individual podcast settings. For example, you can choose “Download Only New Episodes.“
Generally, you should keep this feature off, but if you want to download episodes while not getting your storage full, you can change the download preference and limit episodes.
5. Remove Completed and Unfinished Episodes on Google Podcast
If your Google Podcast takes too much storage on your iPhone, you can remove completed or unfinished episodes. Google Podcasts makes it easier to manage storage options, and you can easily limit storage use. There are two options in Google Podcasts, “Remove Completed Episodes‘ and “Remove Unfinished Episodes.”
With “Remove Completed Episodes,” you can set the duration on when the app will automatically delete podcasts after you’ve completed them.
Similarly, “Remove Unfinished Episodes” allows you to delete episodes that have not been completed. This feature would’ve taken out a lot of stress if it was in Apple Podcasts.
Here’s how to set the duration:
1. Go to Google Podcasts and click on your profile picture.
2. Click “Podcast Settings,” and you’ll find a list of features & preferences.
3. Scroll down to the “Downloads” section until you see “Remove Completed” and “Remove Unfinished” episodes.
4. Now, set the duration according to your liking, and your iPhone won’t eat a lot of storage from podcasts.
Apple Podcasts have been known to be buggy ever since its release. From streaming and downloads to storage-eating problems, users are frustrated with Apple. While Apple does roll out updates, some problems are human errors.
The podcasts app eating a lot of storage can be fixed manually, and we’ve covered a whole list of how to reduce Apple and Google Podcast storage on your iPhone.
I’ve always been passionate about tech (specifically audio). Even as a kid, I’ve been tinkering around with different techs like mobile phones, audio devices, gaming devices, and much more. I started listening to Rap, Rock, and Metal music at 12, which developed my love for headphones, speakers, and more.