13 Best Sites for Free Documentaries

Easy access to thousands of free documentaries

There are thousands of free documentary movies available online in every category imaginable. You'll find biographies, mysteries, comedies, and documentaries covering everything from sports, activism, and animals to travel, performing arts, and more.

Among all the best places to watch free movies online, below are the top sites that have free documentaries, specifically.

Looking for other kinds of movies? Check out our top picks for websites where you can download free movies and sites that have free films for kids.

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Top Documentary Films

Free documentaries at Top Documentary Films
What We Like
  • Documentaries in many categories.

  • Easy to search and sort.

  • Subscribe for free email alerts.

What We Don't Like
  • Media embedded from other sites.

  • No support provided.

Top Documentary Films has tons of free documentaries online that are available from the public domain. Most are linked directly from YouTube.

These docs are available in categories like Religion, Society, Crime, Media, Conspiracy, Biography, and Nature. The thousands of films available can be viewed in a sortable list, or viewed by the date added, rating, votes, title, and shares.

An account is unnecessary, so you can start streaming these movies right away.

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Documentary Heaven

Documentary Heaven Amish: A Secret Life free stream
What We Like
  • Easy to sort.

  • Browse, check out lists, or search for titles.

  • Thousands of movies.

  • Option to report broken links helps keep these streams online.

What We Don't Like
  • All films embedded from other sources.

  • No support provided.

There are thousands of free documentaries at Documentary Heaven that can be viewed by category, popularity, and Top 100. Movies can also be sorted by rating, newest to oldest, comments, or title. The videos are submitted by anyone, which means there are loads of public documentaries that can be viewed.

There's also a single, one-page list of all the documentaries you can watch here, which makes it easy to read through the categories and titles. Some of the dozens of categories include Mystery, Science, Philosophy, Countries, Business, Drugs, Celebrity, Archaeology, 9/11, Art and Artists, Space, Music, and Spiritual.

Streaming is open to anyone, but you'll need to make a free account to post comments and tag videos as favorites. You can provide your email address to get new documentary alerts sent to you over email, or subscribe to their RSS feed.

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Films For Action

free documentaries at Films for Action
What We Like
  • Hundreds of titles.

  • Films in dozens of categories and languages.

  • Ad-free movies.

  • Keeps a history of what you're currently watching.

What We Don't Like
  • Outdated appearance.

  • Runs on donations.

Films For Action has more than 2,000 free documentaries available for viewing. The site frequently adds new features and content, including opportunities for social activism.

Sort videos to find the best documentaries and sign up for weekly email alerts to get notified about new content. Subscribe to the RSS feed for daily updates.

The site offers a Trending Documentaries section to help viewers select content. The list of videos can be sorted by newly added, views, or rating.

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Freevee documentaries
What We Like
  • Several sub-genres.

  • Over 10 caption languages are supported.

  • Also has TV show docs.

What We Don't Like
  • Easy to accidentally run into paid movies.

  • Requires an Amazon account.

Amazon Freevee (previously called IMDb TV) is a great place for free movies, and there's an entire section dedicated just to documentary movies. All 100% free, supported by ads.

After selecting the documentary genre, you can filter the list by subject to see just those movies, such as Art & Artists, Biography, Crime, History, Science & Technology, Travel, Music & Performing Arts, and more.

There's even a filter for subtitles so you can ensure that the movies will have captions in the language you prefer.

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Documentary 24 most popular videos
What We Like
  • Multiple categories.

  • Suggests random and popular picks.

What We Don't Like
  • Home page is a blog.

  • Outdated social media accounts are unhelpful for staying updated.

Documentary24 has several categories of free documentaries, such as War, Business, Religion, Politics, and Culture. Or, browse videos by tags like Internet, Ships, BBC, Asia, Banks, Africa, Sport, Terror, and others.

The site has a section for the most popular documentaries as well as newly added films. Every category list has useful sorting options like popularity and date, but also by what was most popular in the last 7 days only, and review score.

The portal notes that it strives to offer only prejudice-free and unbiased films.

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Free Movies Cinema

Documentaries at Free Movies Cinema
What We Like
  • Documentaries from the past are available.

  • Movies verified as free to watch.

What We Don't Like
  • Some films are lower quality.

  • Smaller selection than similar sites.

  • Can't sort or filter the list.

More documentary streams are available in high definition at Free Movies Cinema. Videos are mainly hosted on YouTube, but they're embedded and cataloged on this site to make finding them easy.

You'll find old and new documentaries here.

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Popcornflix documentary streams
What We Like
  • No account required.

  • Provides related films.

  • Subtitles for most movies.

What We Don't Like
  • Not just documentaries.

  • Tiny collection of docs.

Tons of videos in all sorts of categories are found at Popcornflix, with more than 25 in the Documentary section. There doesn't seem to be a way to browse the documentaries by category or popularity, but the one-page listing is easy to scroll through and peruse.

There are also series' listed under a documentary section, but they're separate from the movies.

Because no account or registration is needed, you can start enjoying free documentaries in seconds.

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Documentary Tube

Documentary Tube videos
What We Like
  • Dozens of categories.

  • Trending titles listed.

  • Shows view count for every video.

  • Updates often with new docs.

What We Don't Like
  • Cluttered appearance.

Documentary Tube has more than 40 categories of free documentaries, including 9/11, Comedy, Disaster, Medicine, Performing Arts, Beauty, Aliens/UFO, Food/Drink, Gaming, and Love.

Documentaries can also be browsed by Top 100 and by dozens of tags, including Genetics, Terrorism, Death, Poverty, World, Surgery, Sea, Gravity, and Ancient. Sort these videos by popularity or trending status, or use the random button to have a genre picked for you.

There's an RSS feed to stay up to date on additions.

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Pluto TV

on-demand documentaries on pluto tv
What We Like
  • Works with streaming boxes and smart TVs.

  • No user account required.

What We Don't Like
  • Not just documentaries.

  • Search not user-friendly.

Pluto TV streams free TV shows and movies through a computer, smart TV, or mobile device. Get started right away without creating a user account.

To stream documentaries, go to the On Demand tab and scroll down to the Documentaries section. Or, browse the live movie channels, like this one that's dedicated to documentaries.

Pluto TV also has a mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, so you can watch while on-the-go.

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Spread the Word

Spread the Word free documentary streams
What We Like
  • Unique categories.

  • Browse by region.

What We Don't Like
  • Cluttered appearance.

  • Not user friendly.

  • Some links are broken.

Spread the World aggregates documentaries from various sources, categorized by regions such as Latin America and the United States. The site aims to spread information that might be ignored by the mainstream media.

All the documentaries at Spread the Word are listed on a single page as well as under categories such as Consciousness, Global Elite, Societal, War, Inspirational, Ancient History, and Corporatism. There's also an alphabetical featured directory running along the side of the page.

You can subscribe to the RSS feed for updates.

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Free documentaries on Tubi
What We Like
  • App available.

  • Works with many streaming devices.

  • No account required.

What We Don't Like
  • Can't sort or filter the list.

Documentaries are among Tubi's thousands of free movie and TV show offerings, aiming to present groundbreaking, bizarre, and inspiring true-life stories.

The documentaries are in a one-page format you can scroll through. The eclectic offerings include Becoming Barack, 3 Magic Words, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, The Institute, 420 the Documentary, Turtle Power: The Definitive History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Arctic Tale, and Adrenaline Rush: The Science of Risk.

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Free documentaries on Yido
What We Like
  • Feature-rich service.

  • Finds free docs from around the web.

  • Several filtering options.

What We Don't Like
  • Not all resources are free.

Yidio gathers free documentaries from around the web, and provides you with the link to watch them. Videos can be filtered by source, release date, MPAA rating, decade, and other criteria.

There's an app you can use to find documentaries on your phone, but you'll most likely need to install other apps because most if not all the movies on Yidio are actually hosted on other sites.

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Free documentary born into brothels on plex
What We Like
  • Live and on-demand movies.

  • Watch now; no user account necessary.

  • Includes easy access to trailers.

What We Don't Like
  • Can't sort or filter the movie list.

Hundreds of additional documentary films can be streamed from Plex. This service serves as a home media server, but there's also live TV and on-demand movies.

Since Plex is more than just a movie streaming service, it does a great job with additional details and functions. For example, on every movie page is a cast list, from which you can find other movies those people are in.

You can make a user account if you want to build a watchlist.

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