Why Do Podcasts Stop Playing On iPhones & iPads? (Solved)

When a podcast randomly stops playing there can be multiple reasons. You can get podcasts to play without Wi-Fi (Offline), but often this can be the issue if you haven’t downloaded the episode. But there are many other possible reasons.

Let’s dive into the most common reasons.

Why Do Podcasts Suddenly Stop Playing on Apple Devices?

The most-common reason podcast apps stop playing is because the internet connection is interrupted. Make sure you’re on a stable connection. It may also stop if another app is starting to play a sound or if your headphone volume has been turned down accidentally. 

Can you listen to podcasts without it stopping?

Uninterrupted playback of your podcasts is easily achievable when you know what causes the problem.

There are common reasons why users experience pauses in the playback of their favorite podcasts and they can be broken down into three categories:

  • Device issues
  • Issues with the app 
  • Connection to the internet 

One way to ensure your podcasts do not stop playing is to download your podcasts for offline use. 

What causes a podcast to pause on an iPhone?

Having your podcast pause whilst you are in the middle of a great story, informative show,  meditation, or entertaining comedy can leave you feeling frustrated.

So what are the common causes that lead to your iPhone halting your listening experience?

  • It’s very likely your phone lost its wifi connection or cell signal – this stops the phone’s ability to stream what you are listening to.
  • You may have downloaded a podcast, but unfortunately due to a bad download, the file has not been downloaded in its entirety.
  • The account you are using to listen to your podcast is being accessed simultaneously from other devices.
  • Too many apps running in the background may slow down your phone causing unexpected pauses in playback.
  • A multitude of cache and temp files that have not been cleared.
  • You may not have updated your iPhone.
  • There may be a bug in a new update that you downloaded on your iPhone.
  • When your iPhone goes into low power mode.
  • It could be that the headset you are using is causing a malfunction.

Check also our guide to why Apple Podcasts may be slow

Can iPhones download podcast episodes for offline listening?

Any reputable podcast app worth your time should allow you to download podcast episodes offline. So, the next question you might have is how to do exactly that.

Let’s take a look at the most popular apps available right now and show you how easy it is to download your favorite show. 

Remember, to download a podcast for offline listening you must be connected to the internet.

Apple Podcasts

  1. Open the Podcast app on your device.
  2. Use the search function to find the podcast you’re looking for (you discover a new podcast by clicking a category on the sidebar).
  3. Tap the (…) button.
  4. Select Download Episode.
  5. You can also toggle automatic downloads from your device by selecting: Podcasts > Preferences > General > Turn on automatic downloads > Enable When Following.


  1. Open Spotify app on your device.
  2. Search for the podcast you wish to download in the search bar or select Podcasts from the Browse all section.
  3. Tap on the podcast you wish to download.
  4. In the top right tap the (…) button.
  5. The first option you will see is Download. Tap that and then after a few minutes your episode can be found in your library.

Currently, Spotify does not feature an auto-download function for podcasts.

Google Podcasts

  1. Open Google Podcasts on your device.
  2. Tap the podcast series that you are interested in.
  3. Next, tap the episode you want to listen to offline.
  4. Then tap Download.

To set automatic downloads of your favorite shows on Google Podcasts follow these steps:

  1.  First tap Home.
  2. Tap the profile icon in the top right-hand side of your screen.
  3. Then go to Podcast Settings and under Downloads select Auto-download.
  4. Using Global Settings you have the choice to auto-download: brand new episodes for shows you are subscribed to or episodes that are queued.
  5. From Your subscriptions select which podcasts you wish to have on auto-download.


  1. Open the Stitcher app on your device.
  2. Find the episode you wish to download and then select it by tapping the title.
  3. Next to the play button of the episode you have selected you will find the option to download, click that and it will soon be available for offline listening.
  4. You can find all of your downloaded podcast episodes in the download section under My Podcasts.

Auto-downloads are a great time saver to ensure your podcasts will be ready for you when you’re offline. Here’s how to do it on Sticher:

  1. Have the Sticher app open on your device.
  2. In the top left-hand corner of your screen find the gear icon and tap it to open Settings.
  3. Find Download Setting and select auto-downloading.
  4. Choose the options All or pick the shows you wish to have set to auto-download, ensuring you never miss the latest episode.

Pocket Casts

There are two distinct ways to download your podcasts whilst using Pocket Casts.

  1. The simplest way is to open the episode card and from there tap the download arrow. Once you’ve tapped this your episode will immediately begin to download.
  2. To download straight off the list view just head to your Profile tab then select the gear icon, tap General, Defaults, Row Action, and then Download.

If you are wanting to Auto-Download your podcasts on Pocket Casts all you need to do is go to the podcast’s page and select the gear icon, then simply turn Auto-Download on.

What can I do if the podcast app keeps crashing on my iPhone?

Having an app crash whilst in use on the iPhone can be extremely frustrating, but when you are in the middle of a podcast, it can be a nightmare.

Thankfully there are some great tips available if your podcast app is repeatedly crashing.

  1. Make sure you don’t fill your iPhone’s memory to the brim. Podcast apps need plenty of memory in order for them crash-free.
  2. Update your phone’s iOS.
  3. Switch to a private network if you are currently using a public network.
  4. Ensure that you have sufficient battery. If your iPhone switches to low power mode it could result in an app crash.
  5. In General Settings, make sure background app refresh is set to on. This allows apps to refresh their content on wifi or a mobile network automatically whilst you are playing your podcast, ensuring it does not crash.

Do iPhones pause podcasts automatically once in a while?

iPhones do not have an automatic feature that pauses podcasts after a certain duration. What they do have is a way to set this feature up on your device. To do this follow these simple steps and you have your iPhone pause your podcast after a certain time.

  1. Open your podcast app and get your desired podcast ready to play.
  2. Now, on your iPhone open the Clock app.
  3. Select Timer.
  4. Next select When Timer Ends.
  5. Choose Stop Playing.
  6. Then set the timer accordingly, keeping in mind how long you want to listen to your podcast.
  7. Return to your podcast app and press play.
  8. Your podcast will now pause automatically once the timer reaches zero.

This is a great feature for those of you who love to listen to a podcast before you go to sleep. Many podcast apps such as Spotify have an inbuilt feature to do exactly the same thing, although you may find that the feature is more limited.

iPhone’s Clock app allows you to set the timer to the second meaning you have full control over the automatic pause function.

How do I keep Podcasts from going to sleep on iPhones?

Podcasts should not normally go to sleep on iPhones.

However, some users have experienced a problem with the playback of podcasts when their iPhone enters locked mode. This gives the impression that when the phone’s screen goes dark as if it’s going to sleep, the podcast similarly follows suit.

Despite this being an unusual problem and it can be solved simply by uninstalling the app that you are using and redownloading it. 

Why do podcasts stop playing on Spotify?

Spotify is many people’s number one go-to for their podcasts. However, as with all great apps, sometimes you may encounter problems.

Below are some of the reasons why your podcasts stop playing whilst using Spotify:

    • It could be that you have an abundance of temporary data. To clear this temporary data just try switching on and off your phone and then turning it back on.
    • Maybe your Spotify app is outdated. Try updating the Spotify app via the app store.
    • Low power mode may interfere with playback on Spotify. Just go to your settings and disable Low Power Mode.
    • Pausing issues are a common problem if Spotify cannot access enough data on your device. By disabling data saver mode this problem can be a thing of the past.
    • Someone may be using your account on a different device. If you are experiencing pauses in your playback it may be that someone has access to your account and is trying to use it at the same time as you. If this is the case you should change your password immediately.
    • The most common reason for a podcast to stop playing on Spotify is of course if you are in a place without a stable internet connection. 

Please also read our article with troubleshooting tips for problems with Spotify on iPads and tablets.


Spotify Keeps Pausing [Best Fixes]

How to Use Apple iPhone’s Hidden Timer Feature to Stop Music, Podcasts Automatically

Manage your podcasts in Google Podcasts

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