I found all my podcasts vanished when updating to 11.1.3.
I managed to find them all by searching for one podcast by name in the 'library search' box. It found one podcast but provided a link to '42 more'. I clicked this and all of my podcasts reappeared. I have no idea where they had been hiding but I seem to have all of the missing ones back.
Hope this will help some of you.
tt2 posted a solution (Oct 11, 2013) to prevent this problem from occurring again (in this thread). It was so long ago that you may have missed it. It is apparently a bug caused by syncing podcasts across devices. I turned off syncing and have had no further problems (perhaps there are other causes as well). Anyone with this problem should read the post which I copy below (he also offers other good advice in other posts). It won't recover your podcasts, but it (hopefully) will prevent it from happening again. I was fortunate and could recover the deleted podcasts from a backup.
It's crazy that Apple still hasn't fixed this issue. I doubt if I ever will use podcast syncing again!
Go to Edit > Preferences Store and uncheck Sync podcast subscriptions, settings and stations before attempting to restore or redownload old episodes again.
Also check the default and individual subscription settings to make sure these haven't changed from Episodes to Keep: All.
Then use the Show Old Episode controls so you can get access to the old episodes again.
And please, please, please, everyone make a backup of their libraries.
I too lost a few years of Podcasts after updating itunes about the time this thread was started. I turned off Podcast Syncing in itunes as suggested here and I had no more problems. The Podcasts that were deleted were the ones that were in the itunes library on my computer and not on my iphone. Seems itunes thought they should be deleted since they weren't on my phone. They could at least give you a warning dialog box.
I called Apple last year and was told that was a bug in a previous version of iTunes. They seemed to think it was fixed.
Now just a couple days ago I turned Podcast syncing on in itunes (latest version 126.96.36.199) on Windows 7 to see if I could fix a problem I was having copying Podcasts to my phone. The Apple Podcast app is just plain quirky in general and in the process of experimenting to get things working more smoothly I deleted a Podcast off my phone with he intent of recopying it from itunes. I had only a couple episodes of the deleted Podcast on my phone. After deleting the Podcast from my phone itunes immediately deleted a little over a years worth of episodes from the same Podcast in my itunes library but left a couple years worth of older episodes of the same Podcast.
Seems the deleting bug is still there only it makes no sense at all to me what it is doing. I would definitely recommend turning the Podcast sycing option off as outline above. Itunes seems to delete what it feels like with no warnings and in my experience it deletes the podcast files completely off the computer without a trace of them in the recycle bin or anywhere else.
Dave: There is no excuse for deleting files, ever. That is called malware ...
MALWARE! MALWARE! MALWARE! MALWARE! MALWARE! MALWARE! MALWARE! MALWARE! MALWARE! MALWARE! MALWARE! MALWARE! MALWARE! MALWARE! MALWARE! MALWARE!
The LEAST you guys can frickin' do is have "Do Not Allow Delete" actually function to override the sync. But NOOOOOOOOOO..
6 versions of iTunes since 11.1 and you can't fix one of the most horrible bugs to EVER come into being on a Mac. Bad Apple!
*starts chanting again*
BAD APPLES! BAD APPLES! BAD APPLES! BAD APPLES! BAD APPLES! BAD APPLES! BAD APPLES! BAD APPLES! BAD APPLES! BAD APPLES! BAD APPLES! BAD APPLES! BAD APPLES! BAD APPLES! BAD APPLES! BAD APPLES!
Okay. I'm done venting. ..For now.
The saddest thing about this is that it started last October and I've seen nothing about from Apple, and no recognition in the Apple press.
I got a call from someone at Apple, but never got the documents they promised to send, no follow-up call, and the someone couldn't really answer any questions about iTunes or the changes to it, like:
Why has the Search feature been changed to search universally instead of searching the content selected?
And, why does the Search result lose focus if you click away from it? It didn't for 10 previous versions!
As I've said before, I think the podcast deletion problem is a poorly thought out, and possibly unintended, consequence of using the option to "Sync podcast subscriptions and settings". A good backup is the only defense against this kind of error, but is also required because we can make our own mistakes, and all hard drives fail eventually.
As for the search issue, click the small magnifying glass in the search box and untick "Search Entire Library" to restore the old search behaviour.
Yeah — I noticed years of podcasts were gone when I updated my iPhone back in the fall. I have an all-Apple set up. The problem keeps popping up despite getting all my settings right — I thought... Anytime I touch manual deletion from on my iPhone, even not syncing across devices, iTunes dumps entire lists of poscasts! The "Sync Podcasts Subscriptions and Settings" checkbox was a new discovery, however I'm still not confident. The problem keeps coming back.
And my backups dont help: Yes, I can get the podcasts back in iTunes by dragging and dropping or by using Apple's suggested "Add to Library" command, but all my Played/Unplayed info and Ratings are wiped clean with either approach, since these are in some meta-data thingy somewhere. I tried dragging the following from a backup to see what would happen: "iTunes Library Extras.itdb", "iTunes Library.itl", "iTunes Music Library.xml". This hopless act only screwed up stuff that was fine. Don't try this at home!?!
And why does the iPhone insist on giving me an iCloud option that eats up my Verizon data pland and mucks up my iTunes' podcast lists again?
What's going on Apple?? No one is addressing this issue at all, despite pages of user complaints. Where's Steve?
Oh — He's left the company permanently, on what was good terms. We'll see about that...
Love You, Steve!!!
The backup tip I suggest backs up both the media and the database. In the event of a problem you can either manually restore just the damaged/lost data, or restore the entire thing as a unit, or if your library is portable, connect directly to the backup version of the library. Either way provided you don't update the backup with a "corrupt" version of your library or let it delete data that you wanted to keep then you ought to be able to recover from any single point failure.