iPhone Life magazine

How do I download movies or TV shows?

All iOS devices; requires an Internet connection


Watching movies on your iOS device can be a satisfying experience (especially on the iPad). However, when you buy your device, there’s nothing on it. You need to download movies and TV shows using iTunes. Here’s how you do it:


Download through iTunes on your Mac or PC:

  1. itunesmoviesOpen iTunes and click on iTunes Store in the left column.
  2. Click on Movies or TV Shows at the top of the screen.
  3. Browse and click on the movie or TV show you want to rent or purchase.
  4. Click on the Buy button. iTunes will ask you for your Apple username and password. (Click on Create New Account and follow the prompts if you don’t have one.) iTunes will download the movie into the Movies folder or the shows into the TV Shows folder in your iTunes library. The number displayed next to the folders indicates the number of movies/shows you’ve downloaded.
  5. Connect your device to your computer.
  6. Click on the name of your device on the left-hand panel to open it.
  7. Click on Movies or TV Shows in the top navigation bar.
  8. Check the box that says Sync Movies (see image) or TV Shows.

  9. Click on the Apply button to sync the movies/TV shows. After your device finishes syncing, the movie/show will appear in your device, under the Movies section.

Transfer movies (or TV shows) from your iTunes library to your device by using the Sync Movies feature.

Download through your device:

  1. socialnetworkOpen iTunes.
  2. Tap on Videos, and tap on Movies or TV Shows on the top navigation bar. (On the iPad, the navigation bar is on the bottom of the page.)

  3. Browse and tap on the movie or TV show you want to rent or purchase.
  4. Tap on Buy or Rent. (Rent is only available for movies.) Your device will prompt you to enter your Apple username and password. Create an account if you don’t have one.
  5. The movie or TV show will download straight into your device and will show up in your Videos app.

Purchase or rent movies with a couple of taps.


Don’t accidentally delete your movies


If you download a movie or TV show directly to your iOS device, and then connect the device to your computer, you’ll be able to sync the movie/show back to your computer. Note that if you delete a movie or TV show from iTunes on your Mac or PC while your iOS device is connected and then sync the device, iTunes will delete the movie or show from your device. iTunes will ask for confirmation of this action the first time. However, if you’ve checked the box that says, “Do not ask me again,” iTunes will delete the file from your device without asking for confirmation in every subsequent deletion.


If you don’t want this to happen (i.e., you want to delete a movie/show from your computer but not from your iOS device), then disconnect your device from your computer before deleting the item on your Mac or PC. When you reconnect and sync, iTunes “sees” that the movie/show is on your device, but not on your computer, and it will ask you if you want to transfer the files from your device back to iTunes on your computer. If you do, click on “Transfer”; if you don’t, click on “Don’t Transfer.” Be aware that if you click on “Don’t Transfer”, the movies/TV shows will be erased from your iOS device.