Prevent Apple’s Updated Podcasts App from Eating Your Storage

Originally published at: Prevent Apple’s Updated Podcasts App from Eating Your Storage - TidBITS

There are numerous complaints about Apple’s latest update to its Podcasts app, but its nastiest surprise may be gigabytes of unexpected downloads. Here’s how to turn off the downloads and recover your space.


Well, Overcast may be fine, if you only subscri-follow audio podcasts. You got problems there with video podcasts.

It’s simply a disgrace that this app (along with Music syncing and Apple TV on the Mac) are still so problematic at this point in time. We don’t need tweaks in the app like “follow” instead of “subscribe”, we need big fixes. There’s no other way to put it.


Thanks for this, Josh. On my own 256GB iPhone I hadn’t really felt the pressure either, but when I looked and saw 34GB of podcasts that I was sure must have been deleted because of previous settings choices I made, it really floored me. My photo library is that large, but it’s the kind of content I would use again, and in different contexts.

Apple, as it has done in many areas of tech, brought podcast technology to the forefront and made it accessible. The Podcasts app stands in contrast to that shining achievement. Thanks for the tip on Overcast.


Another concern with the Podcasts app.

Thank you Josh. I rarely listen to Podcasts, but there are some I used to “follow” (Personally, I hate that word), & sure enough, all episodes were downloaded onto my iMac. All gone now, thanks to you! :+1:

I folowed @schwartz recommendation Overcast looks good. I subscribed to the same podcast I had in Podcast app. And then I removed the Podcast App. When you do that all data is deleted too.

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Slightly off topic, do you have a suggestion for a podcast app for intel Macs (Overcast seems to be for Apple M1 chips only)?

I don’t think Overcast is available for Macs at all. Its home page only says iPad, iPhone and Watch. Maybe you can run it on an M1 using the mechanism for running iOS apps, but that doesn’t make it a Mac app.

I’m currently using Mimir on my Mac. It’s not what I would consider perfect (nothing is), and there are some features that can only be unlocked via a paid subscription, but I find it useful even on the free tier.

Unfortunately, what I really loved - the Podcasts tab in iTunes - isn’t available from anybody anymore.

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David C
Thanks for that, I’ll check it out.

Overcast has a Web app that works okay.

Hi Josh

Thanks for the recommendation It took me a while to sort this out and to realise i needed to start from my iPad. Also how to subscribe to my paid Patreon podcasts, but I made it in the end! Yes it’s good, I’m going to see how I get on with it.
Many thanks

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The last several updates to the Podcasts app seem increasingly hostile to serial podcasts. Following the TidBITS recommendations, I switched to Overcast and deleted the Apple Podcasts app (and sent Apple feedback telling them so – I’d give Apple’s app one star, but don’t see that option in the App Store).

The iOS included podcasts app was formerly an advantage over Android, where you had to find something in that app store, but not with the latest versions.

What’s the term for Reverse-Sherlock? A 3rd-party opportunity?

A Moriarty.

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It’s been a while since I’ve ventured into Androidland, but I’d say iOS still has an advantage in terms of podcast clients. The Android selection is or was pretty bad. Pocket Casts is about the best option in terms of cross-platform compatibility.

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Just looking at Overcast, realizing that the search box is dark gray with black text. How idiotic is that?
I hope it’s a night shift feature going away during the day, otherwise this would stop my interest in Overcast right there.

That sounds like a config issue at your end, I have a light grey to define the search box, with black text.\

It looks like you may need to restart Overcast after switching between appearance modes. In light mode, the text is black on a light gray field with plenty of contrast; in dark mode, the text is white on gray, again with contrast. However, if you switch appearance modes for the iPhone and access Overcast, the text fades into background. Force quitting Overcast and restarting it rechecks the iPhone’s appearance mode and sets things right. I suspect that the mode is also checked when the main window is regenerated after listening to a podcast, but I didn’t check that.

fearghas – You are right: it’s gone during the day – maybe it was a nightshift thing??