How to Delete Podcasts, a Guide for Listeners and Podcasters Alike

article featured image

We get some interesting questions from podcast enthusiasts and podcasters. Sometimes a podcast doesn’t meet the need you want. Maybe the information is inaccurate, or you feel differently about the topic than you did before. Sometimes, you need to know how to delete podcasts.

As a Listener

This process will vary slightly depending on what listening app you use.

Some listening apps (such as Apple Podcasts) will automatically download new episodes of the podcasts you follow. This can take up space in your device memory. Other podcast apps, such as Overcast, allow you to set up episodes to stream instead of downloading. This is good if you have a solid wi-fi connection. But if you’re listening while traveling or without wi-fi, you may want to download episodes in advance.

These instructions aren’t a good substitute for reading the support articles for your preferred listening app. But, in general, you can delete podcasts by unsubscribing.

Pick the podcast you want to delete from the list of shows you follow. Here’s a screenshot of part of my list, using Overcast. Let’s say I’m finished with Edith and want to unsubscribe. I tap on Edith and hold it.

To delete a podcast from a user's library in Overcast, slide it over and tap the bin.

I slide my finger to the left, then tap on the image of a trash can in red. *Poof.* No more Edith. Most listening apps have a similar option.

What if I want to make sure that there are no downloaded episodes in my device memory? Check the Settings in your listening app. Find the option for Storage, or Storage and Data Use. Even with my app set to stream new episodes by default, I found 5.5MB of downloaded episodes on my phone. Deleting them liberated some space.

As a Podcaster

Have you published episodes that you wish you hadn’t? Or, are you ready to move on to something new? Maybe you want to change to a private podcast. In any case, here’s how to delete podcasts you don’t want freely available on the Internet anymore.

This will vary slightly, depending on your media host.

First, back up your data. Download the episodes from your media host and save them on a separate portable hard drive or thumb drive.

if you have multiple podcasts with the same media host, make sure you are looking at the one you want to delete.

Depending on your media host, in your podcast’s Settings, you have the option to Close Show, Delete Show, or a similar term.

Some media hosts (like Buzzsprout) ask if you want to archive or re-direct your show to another hosting service. if you’re not changing podcast hosts, and your data is backed up elsewhere, follow the instructions to close your show.

Sometimes your media host may keep your show as it is until the end of the month or the billing cycle. Then, the episodes are deleted and the RSS feed is inactive.

How to Delete Podcasts from Directories

Your listing exists in podcast directories until you tell them to remove it. The RSS feed won’t have anything to bring to the directory since you’ve deleted your episodes from your media host.
If you remember our train analogy from the RSS feed article, you know that if your podcast is like a train, a directory is like a train station, the RSS feed is the route your podcast takes to get to the station. To further stretch this analogy: you’ve canceled your train, the episodes aren’t there, but your train station still has a sign up saying that your podcast train is coming to this station.

a podcast train travels to the audience via RSS

So, for example, if your show is in Apple Podcasts, log into Apple Podcasts Connect, select the show you want to delete, and delete it. It will take about 24 hours for Apple to make it disappear. Typically, if you email the Support team for any directory or take steps to report a problem, the directory can help you. They don’t want empty links either.

What if You Want to Delete ‘Podcasts’?

Oh! You meant the app, ‘Podcasts,’ and you wanted to take it off of your device.

Tap and hold the app icon. A pop-up window will appear with “Remove This App.” Tap it. *Poof*: it’s gone. Don’t worry, if you want it back, you can always download it again from the App Store.

What’s Most Important To You, As a Podcaster?

We really do get questions like, “how do I delete podcasts,” or “can I record with two USB mics into one computer.” So, we want to do everything we can to help podcasters and podcast enthusiasts get the answers they need. In fact, you can join us in The PodCraft Community, where we talk about all kinds of podcasting topics. It’s free and easy to use, so you should check that out. Whether your question is big or small, we investigate them all.