iTunes 11.4 not syncing/refreshing podcasts? How I resolved it

In general, I try to avoid Apple products when I can, but I do use and enjoy and iPod Nano for podcasts.

With the recent update to 11.4 I noticed that my podcasts were not refreshing, either on a schedule or on-demand. I tried restarting iTunes, unplugging the iPod, restarting the computer – nothing. Until I looked in the settings.

Look at this setting:

(Windows version: Edit | Preferences | Store)


Uncheck the highlighted setting. I’m not sure how this feature is supposed to work, but once disabled, podcasts started refreshing correctly again.

50 thoughts on “iTunes 11.4 not syncing/refreshing podcasts? How I resolved it

  1. JC

    I have been all over the iTunes help forums this evening looking for a solution to this, and there’s nothing there. Thanks for figuring this out and posting it! Solved the problem for me immediately.

  2. Cory

    I have the same problem; and like JC have been searching all over for a solution — seems like lots of people are having odd issues with their iTunes podcast subscriptions since the 11.4 update.
    Regrettably, the fix above did nothing to correct my podcast refresh problems.
    Will keep looking…

  3. Kathryn

    This makes NO logical sense, much less intuitive, but it did work. Thanks! It’s been making me VERY cranky for days.

  4. Marko

    Thanks so much, you’re my hero! Been suffering with this on and off for months. My fix was a computer reboot, but this works great. Now if only it would stop iTunes from randomly downloading the last two years worth of random podcasts…

  5. Dave

    Nice catch, thanks. I get this problem frequently; usually resolved by restarting iTunes but today there was no getting my podcasts to refresh, until I found your tip. Disappointing, since I do use that feature of syncing across devices; I have multiple laptops, and the option to keep my podcasts subscriptions in sync on all of them is convenient. Or would be, if it worked.

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  7. Andrea

    My podcasts were downloading but not synching. With my ipod connected, I clicked on the ipod link and it opened a list down the left side. When I clicked on Podcasts, lo and behold! There was a box for me to tick to synch podcasts. Only took me a while to find it!

  8. Mike

    I wish this had worked for me, but alas, no.
    What DID work was equally simple:
    1) (optional) at bottom of left-hand list of podcasts, click “Defaults”, set your preference under “Limit Episodes.” I just did this (chose 10 most recent) so it wouldn’t download a billion podcasts.
    2) click the podcast icon from the left-hand list to highlight it
    3) in the main panel, click the (!) icon in the podcast’s masthead
    4) you should get a message (at least I did) saying that refreshing was suspended because I hadn’t listened in a long time
    5) It asked me if I wanted to resume. Click yes.

    You have to do it individually for each podcast, but at least it’s working now. Hope it works for you guys.

  9. Chuck Binzel

    Wow, Thanks, looks like I finally got the search terms right. I’ve been looking on & off for months.
    I reverted my iTunes to 11.2 when this first happened and have been rejecting all updates since.

    I play almost all of my podcasts on my ipod, so leaving them in the cloud meant not getting them
    without manually stepping through them to see what didn’t download.

  10. Steve

    Awesome… July 2015 and the problem happened to me… Unchecked that button and everything is downloading. Thanks!

  11. Kerry Mason

    I spent quite some time downloading a number of recommended podcasts only to find they all disappeared once I copied them to my iPod. Thank you so much for posting this solution, box is now unchecked so hopefully this won’t happen again! I also avoid using Apple products when possible, for reasons like this!

  12. Baron

    Wow almost a year later and this is still a problem. Podcasts stopped downloading for me but this fixed it.

  13. CuriousArt

    Thank you so much! The latest download caused this problem for me. I don’t know how you figured this out, seems completely backwards, but I really appreciate it!

  14. JRE,BertKreisher,DougStanhopepodcastfan

    thought my pod was on the fritz. really hoping this works.been about a month getting real pissy about the sitch.

  15. David Abrames

    Just updated to version 12.3 and this problem started. Looked everywhere for an answer and happened to stumble across this little nugget of info and what do you know it fixed my problem. Maybe someone from Apple needs to look at this and fix the bug. Or at least change the text to read “If your Podcasts don’t update un-check this option”.

  16. Mike

    Thank you! I encountered this problem out of the blue for the first time ever today (in iTunes, no less!!!) – Googled it and luckily found this site – and it worked for me too!

  17. Gary Shaw

    thanks for providing this fix. I haven’t downloaded 12.3.3, but just unchecking those two
    boxes fixed the problem. ITunes used to be so intuitive and reliable. Not sure what
    has happened.

    thanks again.

  18. Tara

    Thank you so much! Would never have figured this out. Just happened this morning, and I had not downloaded an update. You’re my hero. And I agree, the language seems bass-ackward.

  19. Pat

    Yesterday’s update screwed mine up. Thank you so much for solving this. It’s interesting to see how it screws up different people at different times. Thanks again.

  20. Kathy Pine

    Never had this problem before. Couldn’t find any helpful info from Apple…shocking, I know. Thanks, Dude!!!! I found this and thought, “why would that work?” It did, you’re awesome.

  21. Gen

    Thanks SO much … you’re brilliant! This hadn’t been a problem for me before downloading the latest version of iTunes, but it’s been driving me to distraction.

  22. Saran

    I have lost days of my life over this! I’m old, so thats a real worry…:-) This worked immediately I have no idea how the settings got changed, it just suddenly stopped getting my podcasts. Thank you so much for an easy to follow solution…Yay!.

  23. Matt

    Everyone in the comments is basically saying the same thing I’m going to say – but yes, this solved my problem immediately, when nothing else out there seemed to address this. Thank you for posting!!

  24. Larry Schwarcz

    I’m sorry to report that this did not fix it for me.

    I have iTunes 12.6 on my Windows 10 system with an iPod Nano 5th Gen.

    I did notice that when I sync, iTunes resets all of the podcasts on my iPod as “unplayed.”

    Seems odd that Apple does so many things so well and yet still seems to ignore the details like this. I could list a whole bunch but that would be very off topic here.


  25. Dan Morris

    This worked for me as well, thanks!

    I sync an iPod to iTunes; I vaguely believe that in my case, the problem started when I sync’d that iPod to another PC (while traveling for a few days), then brought it back to my main PC. I’m using iTunes 12.7.


  26. Stephen G Strange

    Does NOT work for me. Any ideas?

    If I go to where you suggest, I see no boxes checked. I’ve tried checking them – closing the program, shutting down, powering up, opening the program, and then unchecking the boxes. Waste of time – it still didn’t work.

    I had just downloaded itunes when the problem cropped up. I need help

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