How to sync podcasts with Apple Watch

By , Apr 28, 2015

podcast on watch

While you can sync music from your iPhone library to your Apple Watch, there is currently no way to sync podcasts, which is something Apple will likely address in a future update. In the meanwhile, podcast listeners must still be tethered to their iPhones to enjoy podcasts on the go with the help of Overcast, which apparently is the only podcast app with support for Apple Watch at this time. But again, it’s not really a solution as you have to have your iPhone nearby to listen to podcasts via Overcast on Apple Watch.

However, there is a workaround that allows you to sync podcasts with Apple Watch. Like all workarounds, it’s not very straightforward, and to be honest, a bit cumbersome, but if you want to listen to podcasts on your Apple Watch without an iPhone, this is currently your only option. In this post, we’ll show you how to sync podcasts with your Apple Watch.

How to listen to podcasts on Apple Watch

Step 1: In iTunes on your computer, download all the podcasts episodes you want to sync with your watch.

Step 2: Once downloaded, click to select the episodes you want to sync, right click on them, and select Get Info.

podcasts on watch

Step 3: In the Get Info windows, go to the Options tab.

Step 4: In the Media Kind dropdown menu, select Music, and click OK. This little trick here is what allows us to tell iTunes that these podcast episodes aren’t podcasts; they are music files. iTunes will then treat them as such, and bring them to your Music library.

podcast music watch

Step 5: These podcasts should now show in your Music library, along with all the songs you have in there.

Step 6: Plug your iPhone to your computer via the USB cable, and sync your Music library. Of course, you don’t have to sync the whole library if you don’t want to. You can manually select which files to sync. Once synced, the podcasts should now be in your Music app on your iPhone.

Step 7:  On your iPhone, open the Music app, go to the Playlists tab, and create a new playlist. I call mine Podcasts to make it easier to identify.

add podcasts music watch

Step 8: After creating the new playlist, the Music app lets you browse your library to add tracks to it. I suggest going straight into the Recently Added tab where your podcasts should show at the top. Select the podcasts episodes by tapping the ” + ” icons and tap Done when you’re finished. You now have a dedicated Podcasts playlist on your iPhone.

Step 9: Now we need to sync that playlist with your Apple Watch, so go to the Watch app on iPhone > Music > Synced Playlist > Podcasts. Note that your Apple Watch has to be charging in order to sync music from your iPhone to your watch. Depending on the length and the amount of episodes you’re syncing, it could take a few minutes.

sync podcast playlist watch

Once you’re done, you will be able to enjoy podcasts directly from your watch. If you have paired your watch with a Bluetooth headset, you can now listen to these podcasts on the go, without the need of your iPhone.

Again, this is just a workaround. Apple will likely allow to sync podcasts in a more straightforward manner in the near future. In the meantime, this will have to do.

For more tips like this, make sure to check out our Apple Watch guide.

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  • Merman123

    Apple just had one of the biggest product launches in the last couple of years, and people honestly expect iDB to just post “one big post” lmao. C’mon. Don’t be ridiculous and be understanding.

    Keep em’ coming guys 😉

    • We don’t intend to stop. I always suggest people who don’t want to see a specific type of posts on iDB to just scroll down the page. It’s as easy as that 🙂

      • M L

        WHOA!!! That is a lot of work!!! 😛

  • Chang in Charge

    The watch only allows you to sync one playlist?

    • That is correct. One playlist at a time

      • Chang in Charge

        Have you synced anything Sec? I tried syncing two albums worth of songs to the watch and it took forever.

      • Yes it takes some time. It took about 4-5 minutes for 3 albums yesterday

  • I’m surprised that Apple still hasn’t released an update for their native Podcasts app to make it compatible with the Watch. I’ll give them a few more days before switching to Overcast. So far I’v been way too lazy to re-subscribe to all my podcasts and then re-download all remaining episodes.

  • Joonyaboy

    So maybe I missed it but can you just stream podcasts from the iPhone at the moment? One of the sole reasons I want an AW is to listen to podcasts.

    • Joonyaboy


    • What do you mean by “stream podcasts from iPhone?”

      If you’re asking if you can control podcasts that are on your iPhone from your Apple Watch, then no, you can’t.

      But as noted, I’m sure Apple will bring a podcast app very soon.

      • Joonyaboy

        So the podcast can’t play from the Apple Watch speaker?

      • Nope, not without this workaround. I’m still waiting for Pocket Casts to get into the Apple Watch game, but my guess is they’re holding out for the native watch app SDK.

  • Josie

    So I assume you can not get this to work if iTunes Match is enabled?

    • derkunde

      Why not? You will have to sync the file from iTunes because it won’t be matched/uploaded though. The iTunes wifi sync feature should work too.

  • Diogo Pires

    Great tip Seb! I sincerely hope that the watch 2 brings improved speakers…