How to work around the current Podcast app crashing bug

How to work around the current Podcast app crashing bug

Apple's Podcast app is currently crashing for many people whenever it tries to connect with iTunes. It can still play previously downloaded episodes, but when it tries to refresh or stream, it crashes. However, there does seem to be a workaround that's getting past the crashing bug for a lot of people. It may look convoluted but it worked for me and hopefully it'll work for you!

How to stop the Podcast app crashing bug

  1. Pull up from the bottom of the screen for Control Center
  2. Tap the Airplane mode icon to turn of the internet connection (presumably to prevent Podcasts from trying to contact iTunes).
  3. Pull to refresh on the main Podcasts screen (presumably that clears whatever bad bits got stuck).
  4. Pull up from the bottom of the screen for Control Center again.
  5. Tap the Airplane mode icon to turn the internet connection back on.

Podcasts should now be able to connect to iTunes again and let you stream or download shows as normal.

Note: Some people are reporting additional issues, even after this gets it working again, so pay close attention, especially if you're on a data connection. Better bored than sorry.

It's probably safe to assume Apple is aware of the issue and working on a proper fix for everyone. But in the meantime, if Podcasts is your player of choice, give this quick fix a try. It worked for me so hopefully it'll work for you. Let me know in the comments!

Thanks to @gaz_col for the tip!

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

How to work around the current Podcast app crashing bug


Podcast app is working fine for me on iPhone (iOS 8) and iPad (iOS 7). It was giving me an error on Apple TV earlier today but now it's fine.

Thanks this really helped! I was just trying to listen to the imore show and it kept crashing!

Sent from the iMore App

My Podcast app automatically starts downloading several podcasts every time I open it, does anyone know how to fix this?

It would appear to be resolved now :-/ they sure make it hard to stick with them

Sent from the iMore App

Issues like this are why I stopped using the Podcast app a few months ago. Failed refreshes, wouldn't download episodes even though there were new episodes, couldn't delete viewed episodes from iTunes, all sorts of things eventually made the app unusable. Like 96kiloblips above, I switched to Pocket Casts, it works perfectly all the time, has never missed an episode. Great app and evidently still much better than Apple's own app.

Thank you very much for quickly making a ‘How to’ post, for something that was obviously going to be just a temporary problem. Willingness to do the extra things like that is one reason I like iMore and the Mobile Nations at large.

Or, if you like your music and podcasts in the same app, and do all your syncing with the iTunes app, use Harken For iPhone.

I haven't had any issues with the podcasts app. I use it everyday flawlessly. Although I don't like how it caps off at 10 episodes. I subscribe to a podcast that gets over 10 episodes a day, so I often miss out on some episodes. I haven't been able to figure out a way around this.

Sent from the iMore App

I'm guessing Apple realized that, despite their best efforts, some people were still using Apple's podcasting services. Sounds like the only step left is for them to actually force uninstall the Podcast app. Since OS6 and OS7 both made the podcasting experience worse, I'm guessing that canceling podcasting altogether may be the only avenue left for OS8.

Not that I am bitter or anything. The one good thing about Apple removing features is that it made me spend the 2 bucks to go buy a decent podcast App. I just hate that it only plays podcasts, but cannot mix music in as well

I had the problem just how (under 7.1.2, as it happens). Rene's fix didn't, but airplane mode was the key. I canceled a pending download (still crashed) and finally replaced the "now playing" podcast with another one that I happened to have downloaded. That was the key.

So thanks. My next step would have been to delete & reinstall the app, which presumably would have required resubscribing to everything, a real PITA.

I downloaded the podcast app, or tried to. App Store shows it downloaded, but when I tap OPEN, nothing happens. Also no trace of the podcast icon anywhere? Am I missing something? I read all the comments about it crashing, but I can't seem to get it to download at all? Any help appreciated!!