Thoughts and opinions of a technology enthusiast.

iTunes – Restore Deleted Podcast Episodes

I just had a devil of a time trying to restore a deleted podcast in iTunes (this week’s episode of the GGP actually).  The episode in question had failed to download in its entirety and so I decided to delete it, and add in a manually downloaded copy.  Yea, no such luck.

Once the episode was deleted, iTunes refused to allow me to force the correct file back into the right place.  It’s just this sort of “I know better than you” attitude that drives us Windows & Linux geeks CRAZY about some of the OS X applications.

There is (thankfully) a feature of iTunes that will allow me to re-download the episode from the feed. Here it is in three simple steps:

  1. Collapse the feed in iTunes
  2. Hold down the Option (Alt) key and re-expand it
  3. All the available episodes will re-appear, simply “Get” the one(s) you want

I don’t know if anyone else has had this problem, but here’s the workaround just in case.

Thanks to Dennia on My Mac Blog for her nearly 2-year old post which saved the day.

Category: Tech Tips
  • Derek Quenneville says:

    Thank you very much! iTunes often loses recently downloaded podcasts after exiting and it’s such a pain in the ass to download them manually and point itunes at the new files.

    A tip for Windows users: ctrl or alt by themselves didn’t work for me but ctrl+alt+shift did.

    October 27, 2007 at 12:36 am
  • Alex says:

    yes ctrl+alt+shift works for i-tunes on windows, why don’ they have this as a left click option like restore deleted items, or sometime, is not even a common keystroke – crazy

    October 29, 2007 at 1:07 am
  • bodya says:

    For my iTunes is enought Shift+Click on triangle near closed podcast subscription.

    November 2, 2007 at 4:44 am
  • JP says:

    Thanks much! This post saved my day!

    November 10, 2007 at 4:00 am
  • Jim says:

    I concur with bodya (see post 4 above). Shift-Click does the trick in ITunes (Win XP).

    December 8, 2007 at 9:10 pm
  • Randy says:

    Great trick. Oops, now, how do I undo that?

    January 9, 2008 at 2:40 pm
  • kdmurray says:

    @Randy: Undo restoring the podcasts? Um… re-delete them? :mrgreen:

    January 9, 2008 at 11:27 pm
  • Matt says:

    Thanks for the post! I have wondered how to do this for a while!

    January 28, 2008 at 12:15 pm
  • Creechman says:

    Thanks for saving my life! I got cute and deleted most of the available podcast entries on iTunes. Needed a way to get them back to select those to DL to ipod. whew.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:33 pm
  • michael says:

    When I couldn’t get just Ctrl+expand to work, I tried other modifiers at random…seems JUST Shift+expand works in Windows (don’t need Ctrl+Alt+Shift… or any other shift+[other modifer] combo)

    I wholeheartedly agree this should be a right-click option in iTunes! But since when does Apple listen to people? :roll:

    February 27, 2008 at 2:19 pm
  • Nick says:

    You my freind are a lifesaver. iTunes on Vista eats podcasts for some reason, and unless you have synced them to a device or played them between the download and exiting, they are gone. I have been deleting the entire feed (including all other remaining items) and then readding it and redownloading ALL of the items. Lifesaver. Seriously.

    April 2, 2008 at 7:38 pm
  • Perceval says:

    Unsubscribing and re-subscribing to the podcast works too.

    May 12, 2008 at 2:50 am
  • Keith Murray says:

    @Perceval True, but in that case you would lose any saved episodes from your iTunes podcast library. Yes they could be backed up, but there’s no way to merge the backed up episodes with the new ones once the feed is re-added. :)

    May 12, 2008 at 8:05 am
  • Jerry says:

    Thank you so much for this tip!

    This bug (yes, I see it as a bug, not a feature, Apple) was extremely annoying.

    May 18, 2008 at 6:15 am
  • Josh Davis says:

    Thanks! And thank you, Perceval and bodya, too!

    July 10, 2008 at 9:32 pm
  • Billrob says:

    Thanks for the tip, this helped me a ton.

    December 6, 2008 at 6:10 pm
  • marko says:

    Thank you so much for this hint, K!

    Collapse, then alt-click? In iTunes that may count as such an “advanced” feature that must be kept hidden from the naive user. Any usual player app would at least have a menu item under “Advanced” or a help entry. I call it a bug, just as Jerry does.

    Try to imagine what the programmer thinks who implemented this live-saver at Apple. Why didn’t they add the feature to the context menu or something?

    December 7, 2008 at 9:09 am
  • _Antonio_ says:

    Thanks! You helped me! I’ve deleted, for mistake, a podcast and with this post i’e restored it!

    February 3, 2009 at 5:03 pm
  • Paul says:

    It doesnt work for me I click Shift and the little trianglr next to the podcast description and I see that it has the little symbol by it for a sec and then does nothing. Am i doing something wrong?

    March 12, 2009 at 2:10 pm
  • Keith says:

    @Paul it’s Alt-click, not Shift-click. :)

    March 12, 2009 at 3:11 pm
  • John Q says:

    Hmm, I’m using a Mac (Leopard) and the option-click trick didn’t work for me at all. is there some restriction on when it can be done? Perhaps no other podcasts downloading or somesuch?

    March 16, 2009 at 10:51 am
    • Keith says:

      @JohnQ: As far as I can tell, the only restriction is that the podcast must be collapsed (arrow pointing sideways) when you do this. Then when you click the arrow, it will expand the list, and within a few seconds it should pick up the shows that aren’t in your library.

      March 16, 2009 at 9:45 pm
  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you very much.

    March 16, 2009 at 6:40 pm
  • Albert says:

    Thanks for the notification, I never knew about that until now.

    May 16, 2009 at 11:39 am
  • james says:

    Thanks for your idea, which I googled. I found the control shift + click + keys worked on my itunes. This has been driving me nuts as well.

    August 15, 2009 at 9:24 am
  • korbindallis says:

    tried the shift + click and alt + click method it didn’t work so this is what i did

    unsubscribe to the pod cast

    the pod casts showing should be the ones that u have on you hard disk and itunes (had a problem with the ones i deleted manual form the pod cast directory in explorer it showed in itunes podcast list but was not physically there in the directory) in that situation delete the listed podcast showing in itunes list

    Now only ur podcasts that u have downloaded are there in the list

    now just subscribe

    done finally

    February 16, 2010 at 12:55 pm
  • Walter says:

    OMG wasted hours trying to figure out how to do it, finally found your solution, thanks man.

    March 11, 2010 at 3:15 pm
  • webdesign meppel says:

    Thanks a lot! Made my evening :-)

    August 10, 2010 at 3:19 pm
  • Jim says:

    Thank you for this useful tips. I thought that when you delete something from itunes, you can never restore it back. This will be helpful for me when that happens again to me.

    August 19, 2010 at 5:57 pm
  • Len M says:

    Keith’s Comment regarding itune episode restore was brilliant. Thanks a million.

    August 20, 2010 at 11:57 am
  • Nick says:

    Thanks for posting this fix for iTunes. I actually ran into the same exact problem and didn’t want to update my iTues and came across your blog. Thanks for posting this!

    October 2, 2010 at 6:19 am
  • linutemp says:

    “Needed a way to get them back to select those to DL to ipod. whew.”
    Are you sure that this is so?

    December 14, 2010 at 11:48 am

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