Can I Listen To Podcasts Without Using Data?

by | Podcast Apps

Absolutely! Protect your data allowance by downloading new episodes on Wi-Fi in advance, turning off automatic downloads and notifications on your device, and checking the settings for each podcast app.

Wi-Fi downloading is the most important. It’s not only the easiest to organise, but the one that saves you the from using data when listening to podcasts. But if you’re on a Save-my-Data campaign, why waste even a kilobyte you’d prefer to use for browsing social media?

Related: 10 Best Podcast Apps for your Listening Pleasure.

Leverage Wi-Fi to Listen to Podcasts Without Using Data

The trick here is to consider which podcasts you like to listen to when.

If you listen to certain shows while waiting for your children outside school or in the gym, plan ahead and download episodes to your phone when you have Wi-Fi access. For Spotify you’ll need Premium to do this, or you can check our workaround.

Simple solution? Yes, but it outwits the data gobbler.

So – as well as leveraging Wi-Fi to avoid using data, you should do the following housekeeping on your device.

How to Stop Your Device Using Your Data Allowance For Podcasts

podcast playing on phone headphones

Use Wi-Fi to download the episodes in advance and avoid using your mobile data.

This is an important step. For example, even at home, some iPhones when locked and not charging will save battery power by shutting off Wi-Fi “listening” and use cellular data to download podcasts. Adjusting phone settings and podcast app settings is therefore crucial.

Here’s how to do it on Apple and Android devices.


Go to Settings > Mobile Data. You may want to leave the main Mobile Data checked for other reasons. But scroll down to the list of individual apps and switch off data use for Podcasts (which is the Apple app) and any other podcast apps you use.

Do the same in Settings > General > Background App Refresh for your podcast apps. You don’t need the next episode to arrive until you’re on Wi-Fi again.

And then switch off Settings > Notifications for your podcast apps. You said “without using data”, right? Even a notification uses data.


Open Google Play Store > “hamburger” menu > Settings – and tap Auto-update Apps. Then select “Over Wi-Fi Only”.

If you only want to disable the updating of your podcast apps, then after tapping the hamburger menu, select My Apps and Games and uncheck auto-update for each of your podcast apps by tapping the three-dot icon top right.

To turn off Android notifications, follow these instructions.

The final housekeeping task on your device is to go to each podcast app in turn and look at their own settings. Some will have choices about data, and, to be safe, you need to read them carefully.

Do Podcasts Consume Data?

If you follow these tips you’ll use battery power rather than data. But if you stream to your phone from the host servers, you’ll probably use 40-70MB according to audio quality for each hour of listening. Just keep an eye on your data allowance.

So – Can You Listen to Podcasts Without Using Data?

A resounding yes. You can avoid all data use so long as you

  • download only when on Wi-Fi, and
  • check your phone and podcast app settings thoroughly to avoid them stealing your data behind your back.
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