How to Download Podcasts With iTunes

iTunes makes it easy to download podcasts automatically or manually.

Physics podcast
" Minute Physics Video Podcast" ( CC BY 2.0) by  Wesley Fryer

A huge collection of podcasts is available through the iTunes Store. Listening is as easy as finding the podcast you want and subscribing to it.

When you subscribe to a podcast in iTunes, new episodes can be downloaded automatically so that you never miss a beat. You can also browse through and download individual episodes, meaning you don't have to subscribe to a podcast to listen to an episode.

All podcasts and respective episodes are neatly organized in iTunes and are easy to find. They're found in the Podcasts section.

How to Download Podcast Episodes

There are two ways to download podcast episodes through iTunes. You can set up automatic downloads so that new releases automatically appear on your device. The other method is to manually download specific episodes.

Screenshots showing how to set up automatic podcast downloads in iTunes
Configuring a Podcast to Download Episodes Automatically.

How to Automatically Download New Podcast Episodes in iTunes

To have iTunes automatically download new podcast episodes, open the podcast's settings and confirm that new episodes should be downloaded.

  1. Subscribe to the podcast if you haven't already. (Steps for doing that are found at the bottom of this page.)

  2. Open the Library section of iTunes to find the podcast you've subscribed to.

    If you don't see any podcasts, make sure the drop-down menu in the upper left corner of iTunes is set to Podcasts and not Music, Movies, or TV Shows.

  3. Select the podcast for which you want new episodes to be saved to iTunes.

  4. Select the menu button indicated by a gear in the upper right corner of the iTunes screen. Next to Download Episodes, select On.

How to Manually Download Podcast Episodes in iTunes

If you want to choose which podcast episodes to download, simply select the download icon next to the episode in question.

Screenshot showing how to download a single podcast episode
Downloading One Podcast Episode.
  1. Open the podcast page from the Podcasts section in your iTunes library.

  2. Switch the podcast display tab from Unplayed to Feed.

  3. Select the download button indicated by a cloud with a down arrow to immediately begin downloading it to iTunes. Alternatively, you can open the episode menu indicated by three horizontal dots and select Download Episode.

How to Download Episodes from Non-Subscribed Podcasts in iTunes

You can also download individual podcast episodes even if you aren't subscribed to the podcast.

Screenshot showing how to download a podcast episode in iTunes without subscribing
Downloading a Single Podcast Episode Without Subscribing.

To do that, first follow the steps at the bottom of this page to find a podcast, but instead of subscribing to it, select the Get button under the Price column next to episode you want to download. It will be stored where all your podcasts are located: in the Podcasts library.

Screenshot of a podcast playing in iTunes
Playing a Downloaded Podcast in iTunes.

How to Play Podcasts in iTunes

Every downloaded podcast episode is stored in the same place in iTunes. To find them, open the iTunes Library and select Podcasts from the drop-down box in the upper left corner. To play any podcast you've downloaded, just double-click the episode entry.

You can play podcasts from both the Unplayed and the Feed tab of the podcast display page. However, any episode that has a cloud next to it (the download icon) means that the podcast episode isn't yet downloaded, so double-clicking to play will also start downloading it.

How to Subscribe to Podcasts in iTunes

Screenshots showing how to subscribe to podcasts in iTunes
Subscribing to a Podcast in iTunes.

To subscribe to a new podcast in iTunes, you have to access the iTunes Store.

  1. Select Store from the menu at the top of the iTunes main page.

  2. Select Podcasts from the drop-down menu in the top left corner.

  3. Select a podcast from the list or search for one in the search bar in the top right corner of the iTunes window.

  4. Select the Subscribe button to subscribe to a podcast in iTunes.