I deleted some previously downloaded podcast episodes in iTunes 9 and I'd like to re-download them. (I don't want to manually re-download them because then they won't show up in the podcast's list in the iTunes Podcast section.)

I've read http://blog.krisgielen.be/archives/54 as well as Way to get old podcasts in iTunes where the suggestion is to delete the iTunes entries for the podcasts I'd like to recover, then hold shift while re-opening that podcast's little triangle icon. Here's the problem though: holding shift and re-opening the triangle tells iTunes to refresh the RSS feed, and it's possible that the RSS feed no longer contains the item you want.

What I'm really looking for is a means of getting the "Get" button (that normally appears on un-downloaded podcasts) to reappear on the episodes I've previously downloaded but deleted.

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  • I'd love to know the answer to this too. Dec 11, 2009 at 12:17
  • Hi Kevin - at the time I wrote the question I did a bunch of digging (I certainly spent more time on fixing this than it was worth!) around the iTunes configuration files. My assumption was that iTunes stores a database (whether it's iTunesPrefs.xml or iTunes Music Library.xml or some other binary file) with this info. I tried to find before-download (meaning the "Get" button appears) and after-download versions of the file. If I found both, I'd tweak the file to change whatever triggered the "Get" button to disappear. No dice, couldn't find the before-download file...
    – Matthew
    Dec 12, 2009 at 1:13
  • Not sure why they would be deleting old Podcasts? why do you think that the old ones will be gone if you refresh, they aren't on any of the ones I've ever DL'd that would be kinda dumb for podcasters to delete their own backlog and force new subscribers to start form some midpoint or something, I think your fears are ungrounded or else the podcaster in question is really messing up their own library. The show all eppys totally works on the seven that I subscribe to.
    – user49467
    Sep 16, 2010 at 3:09
  • They don't delete the old podcasts. They just expire out of the RSS feed as many publishers keep their feeds to a certain number of items. If you look at the TechCrunch news feed for example, it doesn't go back to the start of their service - only a few days or maybe even hours. The older posts expire out of the feed. It's like a FIFO queue.
    – Matthew
    Sep 17, 2010 at 0:24

6 Answers 6


Select and delete the individual podcasts that you know are not there. Then right mouse click on the podcast and select "Show all available episodes". You should be presented with a refreshed list of all the individual podcasts that are available.

For StackOverflow, they are at episode 70 right now, but the available episodes go back to episode 41. That will vary by podcast feed though.

  • @WireGuy - it occurred to me that doing this is the same has holding Shift while clicking on the podcast's triangle as I did in the question. The problem here is that the list of podcasts in the feed upon update will likely be shorter than originally so I won't be able to get the old content. I'm really looking to keep the list of episodes as-is but re-download a podcast that's in the list but who's file is no longer on disk. Essentially getting the "Get" button back.
    – Matthew
    Oct 18, 2009 at 16:03

If it's not in the feed, it's not in the iTunes Store (iTS). According to the publisher guidelines on apple.com: Making a Podcast:

When you submit your podcast, you are notifying iTS that you have a podcast feed that is located in a particular location (the feed URL). If your feed is accepted, iTS simply reads your feed each day and updates the podcast directory with any new or changed information about your podcast. Note that iTS does not cache or make a copy of your feed, nor does it cache or make a copy of your episode files. For podcasts, iTS is acting in a capacity similar to a web directory.

So there's no hidden stored version of the RSS Podcast feed and files in iTunes.

If the podcast you're looking for has a website, you will be stuck manually downloading them, and unfortunately it's likely that when you add them they won't get added to iTunes' "Podcast" category.

I hope there's a workaround, but from my own experience with podcasts and iTunes, it's a no go.

  • @artlung - Good point. In most cases though I'm directly subscribing to the podcast feed from the source site (using iTunes but not getting the feed from the iTunes store), via the "Advanced" menu, then the "Subscribe to Podcast..." menu option.
    – Matthew
    Dec 17, 2009 at 4:17
  • Me too, usually. Wish I had better answer for you.
    – artlung
    Dec 17, 2009 at 5:56

Unsubscribe, then resubscribe to the podcast.

  • Hi Kevin - the problem here is that when you re-subscribe, there's a good chance the RSS feed has been updated and no longer contains the old entries (I touched on this in the question). I'm wondering if there's a solution from the iTunes side. Thanks.
    – Matthew
    Oct 14, 2009 at 21:41

Delete the podcast that you want to get back. Right click, Show All Available Episodes and it will absolutely be there. I tried it and it worked.


Right click on the missing episode and click "show in iTunes" and then click on the free tag next to the episode to re download them.


This answer works:

  1. delete the single podcast
  2. collapse the podcast list
  3. hold the option key and re-open the podcast (or whichever equivalent is there in Windows)
  4. ta-daa

Try this if the above does not work.

  1. Delete the podcast you want to re-download.
  2. Press unsubsribe.
  3. Press subscribe.
  4. Press refresh.

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