Tech

How to Download Podcasts

You can stream many podcasts, but downloading means you aren’t signal dependent

What to Know

  • Podcasts can usually be downloaded from their official site or through your preferred podcast listening app.
  • Podcasts are typically in standard audio files formats and will be in your browser’s downloads section.
  • Some podcasts, such as those on private networks, may not be downloadable without a subscription.

In this article, we’ll look at how to quickly download podcasts. You likely can do this in the podcast apps you already use.

How Do I Download a Podcast to an Android Device?

The best way to download podcasts on Android is by using Google Podcasts, although Android has several podcasts apps. We’ll stick with Google Podcasts, but these steps will broadly apply in most other apps.

In Google Podcasts, search for podcasts in the Explore tab. It will be at the bottom in the center, with a magnifying glass icon. At the top of the Explore tab is a search box where you can type in the name of your podcast.

The search finds individual episodes. Tap on the most recent episode, then the title of the podcast at the top, which will take you to the podcast’s page in the app.

Next to each episode you’ll see an arrow enclosed in a circle. Once you tap the download button, the podcast will begin downloading.

An episode screen and the main page of a podcast on Google Podcasts

In apps other than Google Podcasts, you’ll likely see a three dot button next to the episode title. Tapping that will expose the download button and other options.

The download button will turn green when the podcast is finished downloading.

Removal Prompt for an episode in Google Podcasts

When you’re done listening to the podcast, press the download button again and you’ll see an option to remove the download.

How Do I Download a Podcast to an iPhone?


Much like Google Podcasts, Apple’s official Podcasts app is your best option. iOS has a great selection of podcasts apps if the Apple app doesn’t meet your needs. For these instructions, we’ll stick with iOS’s default app as it’s already installed on your phone.

In the Podcasts app, search for a podcast using the search bar at the top of the app.

When you find the podcast you’d like to download, press the three dots next to the episode title. “Download Episode” will be the first option in the menu.

Once the download is complete, you’ll see an icon of an arrow inside a grey circle next to the episode.

The episode download menu in the Apple Podcasts app

When you’re finished with the episode, press the three dots again and select “Remove Download.”

Removing a download in Apple Podcasts

Can You Download and Save Podcasts?

Yes. When you listen to a podcast on your mobile device, the files typically stay there after playing them. Each app (and there are many) may have a different setting for storing played and unplayed podcasts, so make sure to customize your app’s settings to reflect how you want the app to behave.

The same advice applies to desktop operating systems like Windows and macOS. macOS has a dedicated app called Podcasts and works similarly to its mobile counterpart. If you don’t want to use a dedicated app, you can typically go the website of the podcast (typically each podcast has a site to, if nothing else, explain what the podcast is about, who the hosts are, etc), find the episode you are looking for and click the appropriate button to download the file. That file would be stored on your computer until you delete it.

A podcasts's website with the download button highlighted

Some podcasts may be exclusive to a platform and are only downloadable or listenable through that platform’s app. You may also need a subscription to download the podcast. The vast majority of podcasts are free for you to listen to without a subscription.

FAQ

  • How do I download podcasts on Spotify?

    Once you find a podcast on Spotify, you can download episodes from its page. Click or tap the Download icon (a downward-pointing arrow inside of a circle) to save the episode. Spotify stores items you download in the app.

  • How do I download NPR podcasts?

    Because NPR podcasts are available on all major platforms, you can download them from there. Alternatively, you can get them directly from NPR’s website.

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