How to Download and Watch Movies on Your Smartphone or Tablet

Take your movies with you on your iOS or Android device

When you download a movie, its digital file saves locally to your device so you can watch it as often as you wish. You don't need a continuous internet connection to play it as long as you don't delete it from your phone/tablet storage or computer hard drive. Here are a few ways to download movies legally.

Download Free Movies From Your Cable TV Provider

Many cable TV providers, such as Comcast/Xfinity, offer a movie service. When you use the official mobile app on your smartphone or tablet for that cable TV service provider, you can download an ever-changing selection of movies, and then watch them at your leisure. 

Depending on your cable TV service provider, the steps to follow will vary. As an Xfinity/Comcast subscriber, for example, follow these steps using your smartphone or tablet.

This service is included as part of your monthly cable service, and no extra charges apply.

  1. Download and install the free Xfinity Stream mobile app from the App Store (iPhone/iPad), Google Play Store (Android), or the app store associated with your mobile device.

  2. Launch the app, and sign in using the username and password that's associated with your Xfinity cable TV service account.

  3. Select the Menu icon that's located in the top-left corner of the screen.

  4. Choose Movies from the Browse section.

  5. Press Filter in the top-left corner of the screen).

  6. From the Filters menu, tap on the Available for Download option to see the current list of movies that can be downloaded (as opposed to streamed).

  7. Choose a movie.

  8. Select Download

​When you're ready to watch the downloaded movie, tap on the app's menu icon. From below the Saved heading within the menu, choose Downloads, pick the movie, and press Watch.

Download Free Movies From Netflix

If you're already a Netflix subscriber, many of the movies offered by the primarily streaming video service can also be downloaded to your smartphone or tablet using the official Netflix mobile app. Follow these steps to find and download movies:

  1. Download and install the official Netflix mobile app onto your smartphone or tablet for an iOS device or for an Android-based device.

  2. Sign in using your existing Netflix account username and password.

  3. If you have multiple sub-accounts set up for individual family members, from the Who's Watching? screen, tap on your name or nickname.

  4. Select the menu icon that's displayed in the top-left corner of the screen on a tablet.

    On an Android device, you want to tap Categories.

  5. From the main menu, tap on the Available for Download option.

  6. Choose the content you want to download by tapping on the graphic associated with a movie (or tap on the Search icon, and then enter a movie title or keyword associated with what you're looking for).

  7. From the movie's description screen, press the Download icon.

​Once the movie file has been downloaded and stored on your movie device, to watch it, press the menu icon, and choose My Downloads, or an an Android device tap Downloads. Press Play within the graphic associated with a movie listing.

Download Free Movies From Amazon Prime Video

If you're an Amazon Prime Video subscriber, use the Prime Video mobile app to find, download, and watch movies on your smartphone or tablet. Follow these steps:

  1. Download and install the (Amazon) Prime Video movie app for an iOS mobile device or for an Android-based device.

  2. Sign in to the app using the email address and password associated with your Amazon Prime account.

  3. From the app's main screen, select the Movies option.

  4. Tap a graphic for a movie you're interested in.

  5. From the movie's description screen, press Download. Keep in mind, not all movies offered by Amazon Prime Video for streaming are also available for download.

​To watch a downloaded movie, return to the app's main screen, press Downloads (displayed at the very bottom of the screen), and choose a graphic related to a movie listing. Press Watch Now to begin playing the movie.

Download Movies From the iTunes Store to Your iOS Mobile Device

Movies available from the iTunes Store (operated by Apple) can be purchased or rented, one movie at a time. There is no monthly subscription fee associated with this service. All Apple mobile devices come with the iTunes Store mobile app pre-installed. 

If you're an Android mobile device user, movies can be acquired, downloaded, and ultimately viewed using the Google Play Store and a compatible media player app. The steps to follow vary slightly from what's outlined here for iOS mobile devices.

To use iTunes Store, you must set up a free Apple ID account, and either link a debit/card-card to the account, or purchase a pre-paid iTunes Gift Card to add funds to your account.

Follow these steps to acquire, download, and watch movies via the iTunes Store:

  1. Launch the iTunes Store mobile app. 

  2. Select the Movies icon (displayed at the bottom of the screen).

  3. Tap the graphic associated with the movie you want to purchase or rent. Alternatively, use the Search tool to find a movie.

  4. From a movie's description screen, press the Buy or Rent icon. (Not all movies can be rented.) The price for the purchase or rental is displayed within the Buy or Rent icon.

  5. When prompted, provide your Apple ID password to confirm your password decision. On some Apple mobile devices, you can use the Touch ID or Face ID sensors to confirm your purchase or rental.

​To watch the downloaded movie on your iPhone or iPad, use the TV app that comes preinstalled on your mobile device. 

Purchase a DVD or Blue-Ray Movie, Get the Downloadable Version for Free

More and more movie studios are offering a free digital download whenever you purchase a DVD or Blu-Ray version of a movie. Instructions for downloading the movie to your computer or mobile device are included within the disc’s packaging.

Likewise, there are also other online-based movie services that offer movies to download, including Movies Anywhere, Vudu,, and most major movie studios (including Paramount and Warner Bros.).

Mind the Space

The digital file associated with a movie requires storage space on the device you’re using. The file size will depend on the resolution of the movie, as well as its length. Plan to allocate between 2GB and 3GB of storage space for each Standard HD resolution movie, and upwards of between 4GB and 6GB for a 1080p or 4K resolution version of a movie.

  • How do I download movies on Hulu?

    To download media on Hulu, open the Hulu app and select Downloads > choose a movie or series > select the download icon to start downloading. Be aware that downloads aren't an option for ad-supported subscriptions—you'll need to have either a No Ads or a No Ads + Live TV Hulu membership.

  • How do I download movies from Disney Plus?

    Downloading videos through Disney Plus is a straightforward process, but it's only available through the Disney+ app. Choose the content you want to download and select Download from the information page. Saved videos will appear in the Downloads section of the app.

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