Do Podcasts Work Without WiFi? (Yes – Here’s How)

Podcasts have increasingly become popular. However, with the growing number of episodes and new podcasts coming up, you need a way to track them all.

Being able to listen to your podcasts without WiFi is convenient, but is it possible?

Read on to learn if you can listen to podcasts without WiFi.

Here’s How Podcasts Work Without WiFi

It’s possible to listen to downloaded podcasts for offline listening. You won’t need to connect to the internet once you download a podcast. 

For Apple podcasts, you can save an episode and listen to it offline. The option is available in settings, select podcasts, and turn off data/WiFi connection when saving the podcast. 

IPhone and iPad users can install the podcasts app that you can use to download podcast episodes and listen to them without an internet connection. 

Android users can also listen to podcasts without a WiFi connection. Simply scroll over to your favorite podcast by selecting it under episodes.

Tap on the three dots and select the download option.

Additionally,  Android phones have access to RadioPublic, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher. With all these apps, you can download your preferred episodes and listen to them without a WiFi connection. 

Do You Listen to Podcasts Without WiFi?

Although podcasts are designed to work with a WiFi connection, that doesn’t mean that you need an internet connection for you to listen to podcasts, 

You can also use cellular data to browse, stream and download podcast episodes. 

While you may end up using a lot of data, you may also notice a fluctuation in download speed and streaming. Sometimes you can also experience reduced audio quality.

Do Podcast Apps Automatically Download When on WiFi?

No, podcast apps do not automatically download when on WiFi. Each podcast app has its settings and version of automatic downloading. 

Auto downloading happens when you subscribe to a podcast and the app downloads the latest episode automatically to your phone, tablet, or another device. 

If you set your podcast app to download an episode when available on WiFi, it will download and avail it to your device. 

However, failure to indicate that the download should only happen when on WiFi means that your cell phone data will be used to download the latest episode. 

You can reduce this confusion by turning off the auto-download option, and instead turn on the notifications settings for every new episode.  You’ll be alerted when a new episode is available and you can choose to download it when on WiFi. 

On Apple Podcasts, you’ll need to:

  • Open your iPhone and tap on the settings
  • Click on the podcasts and switch to download episodes
  • Select only new

On Google Podcast, you’ll need to:

  • Launch the app and click on your profile 
  • Select podcast settings
  • Tap on the auto-downloading feature to access auto-download new episodes
  • Turn on the option of only WiFi

How Do You Download Podcasts For Offline Listening?

Downloading podcasts for offline listening is easy. 

You can save an episode in the podcast app, which means it will automatically download, and you can listen to the podcast when you want.  Downloaded episodes are added to the saved list in the Podcast app. 

Here’s how to download episodes in the Podcasts app.

  • Open the Podcasts App from your phone
  • Search for your preferred episode that you want to save. 
  • Click on save the episode
  • A pop-up will appear on your screen confirming that the episode has been saved. 

To download podcasts for offline listening on Google Podcasts, you’ll need to:

  • Launch the Google Podcasts app on your phone
  • Look for your podcast that you’d like to save.
  • Click on the arrow pointing downwards next to the episode.
  • The blue arrow will turn green, meaning that the episode is downloaded and can be listened to offline.

Note that Google Podcasts delete any downloaded podcast automatically after 30 days.  You don’t have to remove them manually to save storage space on your phone. 

iPhone users can also download podcasts to listen offline. When using the inbuilt Podcast app for iOS devices, you’ll need to:

  • Open the Podcasts app on your iPhone
  • Scroll to the browse section and select the podcast you’d like to save. 
  • You’ll be able to view the available episodes for that specific podcast. Click on the + icon that is next to each podcast episode.  That will add the episode to your library.
  • Click on the cloud icon to start the download. 
  • Go to the Podcasts app’s library section to view your saved podcasts.

Note that, unlike the Android option, the Podcast app on iOS doesn’t have the download option next to episodes available for offline listening.

Additionally, the app downloads new episodes of shows you’re subscribed to. The settings can be changed by going to settings, selecting podcast, and clicking on download episodes. 

Tap on All Unplayed to download all episodes you have not listened to. 

You can also download podcasts on Spotify by:

  • Opening your Spotify App on your phone or another device
  • Search for the episode you want to download.
  • Click on the three grey dots next to the following section.
  • Tap on the download option. The upside-down arrow below the podcast episode will turn green to show that the podcast has been downloaded. 

You can access all downloaded episodes on Spotify by scrolling to your library and clicking on the Your Episodes section. 

How Much Space Do Podcast Episodes Take Up?

Podcast episodes can take up a lot of space on your phone or tablet.

You may find that the podcast app is taking 1.6GB with 300MB of episodes.  Podcast episodes take up much space as an episode can vary in length. It’s easy to know the amount of space podcasts have taken on your device. 

Open settings and scroll over to manage storage or applications. Find the Podcast application and see the amount of storage it has occupied. 

Sometimes an episode may run up to 45 minutes and you may have several episodes downloaded in your library. 

Fortunately, you can avoid running out of storage space on your phone. 

Some of the tips you can use to keep podcast episodes from taking up a lot of space include:

Set the Episode to Delete Automatically After listening

Delete each episode automatically after you’re done listening. You can have this set on the settings.

On the podcasts section, tap on delete played episodes to turn it on. Note that you can always turn it off if you intend to relisten to your favorite podcast. 

Avoid Auto Downloading Podcasts That Update Several Times a Day

Some types of podcasts update frequently. If you’re listening to such podcasts, set them for manual downloading to save space.

Can You Set Podcast Episodes to Delete After the First Listen?

Yes, it’s possible to set podcast episodes to delete after the first listen. All you’ll need to do is:

  • Access settings on your phone
  • Scroll to Podcast
  • Turn on the option delete played episodes

However, you should note that if you fail to finish an episode, it won’t be deleted. Skipping the end credits means you haven’t finished the episode, and you may end up with several episodes still saved in your library. 

How Much WiFi Does a Podcast Use?

The amount of WiFi used will depend on the time you spend streaming and if you plan on downloading podcasts.  You’ll use more data if you spend a lot of time streaming or downloading a podcast episode.

Note that the amount of WiFi spent will also depend on the app you’re using. You should check the data requirements before streaming.

Streaming a podcast can consume 43 MB for hour-long podcasts on average for low-quality audio. 

Normal quality will use 72MB or 160 kbps, while high-quality audio will consume 115.2 MB or 320kbps per hour.

A few podcast apps allow you to set the podcast quality. That allows you to stream it at low quality and use less data. 

Is it Better to Stream or Download Podcasts?

The choice of whether to stream or download podcasts depends on your preference. 

Streaming is convenient if you have WiFi throughout and don’t need to step out. However, if you’re looking to reduce your data usage and have no access to a reliable WiFi connection, downloading podcasts would be a better option. 

Modern podcast apps have a download option that allows you to download your favorite episodes and listen to them later without an internet connection. 

Downloading podcasts allows you to still listen to them while offline and without a data connection. Additionally, you don’t have to deal with a lagging connection or latency problems that are common when streaming podcasts with a cellular data connection. 

Final Thoughts

While podcasts are designed to use a WiFi connection, you don’t need one to listen to your favorite episodes. You can opt to use mobile data or download the episodes and later listen to them offline.

Hopefully, you now understand the amount of data podcasts use and how to save storage space on your device if you love downloading podcast episodes. 


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