Podcasts are a popular medium for consuming episodic audio content, similar in vein to radio. Our devices automatically download new episodes and delete those we’ve heard. Yet, if we let them accumulate, these episodes can easily fill our storage.


Podcasts App

Since podcasts were introduced to the world in 2005, iTunes has remained their primary host on the Mac. iTunes continues to be a multimedia app, unlike the separate media apps on iPhone and iPad, including Podcasts that was first released in 2012.

Podcast Preferences

When you visit Podcasts for the first time in iTunes, you’ll see the default settings: syncing your subscriptions and downloading new episodes as they become available. Episodes you’ve heard will also get deleted automatically.

Listen Fully

Only when you listen to episodes in their entirety will Podcasts/iTunes delete them from your library, as it has with the first couple episodes of my friend Rachel Kaplan’s excellent new podcast, pictured above.

If you stop short of the very end, you may end up with an archive of episodes you thought you’d already finished.

Device Preference

Are you an avid podcast listener who only consumes them with one particular device, like your iPhone? If you never listen on your Mac, you might still discover that those default settings have caused lots of episodes to accumulate undesirably.

Consider changing your default Podcast settings to refresh manually, not download new episodes, and/or limit to those of a certain age. Then, delete from iTunes all the episodes you don’t want to store on your Mac. You’ll retain preferences and episodes on other devices.

Podcast lovers may easily have 20GB or more of old episodes they’ve partially played or thought they fully heard. How much space did you save by deleting content you already consumed or no longer wanted?