Kim Barloso

How to download movies to iPad and iPhone in different ways


There is a preconception that you can only download a movie to your iPhone through the App Store, which has no free media content. Today we will tell you how to perform this operation without causing damage to your budget and without resorting to jailbreaking. All methods are completely legal and do not lead to the removal of your iOS license.

Ways to download movies on iOS:

  1. Through iTunes (paid)
  2. Download from computer (free)
  3. Browse through cloud (free)
  4. Browser Safari (free)
  5. Download torrent (free)

What you must know

If you decide to download movies on iPad or iPhone, then you need to know the conditions under which they will run and show up correctly on the screen. There are only two of these conditions:

  1. Your iPhone or iPad must have a media player built-in to iOS.
  2. The format of the downloaded /files must be readable by this program.

The native media player for Apple devices is iTunes. All other software of this kind will only run in its shell. It is one of the few programs that you can download for free. Its functionality is not limited to playing audio and video /files. With it, you can create your own library and organize it as you wish. And also to make actions on file exchange between different devices or network services - this is exactly the feature that makes it possible to legally download movies and other media content to your iPhone for free.

The range of supported formats of downloadable video /files is quite wide, although many users find it insufficient. The following encodings are legitimate:

  • H.264. Allows streaming Full HD video at 720p. Files with .m4v, .mp4 and .mov.
  • Motion JPEG. 1280x720 resolution, 35 Mbps bit rate. Files with the extension .avi.
  • MPEG-4. Obsolete encoding, used on CD-ROMs for computer players. A resolution of 640x480 pixels. Stream rate 2.5 Mbps. Files with the extensions .m4v, .mp4 and .mov.

For downloading movies for iPad in other encodings, format converters are required.

Read also : How to download video from Youtube to iPad

How to download movie to iOS/Mac OS via iTunes

All Mac OS devices have iTunes installed. You can download movies in MP4 format. You can use either the free or the paid method.

Films are available for purchase and download from the iStore. It offers new releases, top movies in excellent quality. The price of movies, on average, is $10-15 (equivalent to two tickets to the cinema).

1. Open the iTunes application on your Mac OS.

2. Log in to iStore.

3. Navigate to the "Movies" section.

4. Select the movie you would like to purchase.

5. Click on the movie title to enter the description and click on the button with the price.

5. After the purchase, the film will be available for download and sync with your iOS device.

How to download movies to your iPad/Mac OS for free

If you decide to download movies to your iPhone instead of buying them, there are four possibilities:

  1. From your computer.
  2. Go to cloud services.
  3. Apply a torrent tracker, a kind of public free-access file storage.
  4. Use the Safari browser file manager for the iPad or iPhone.

Loading a movie from computer

At iTunes plays a key role in the process of downloading and managing media content. If you want to download movies to your iPad, its installation is a must for the success of the venture.

In our opinion, the best way for those who have difficulty to manipulate the touchpad subtly. For this, iTunes must be installed on both devices. This utility is OS independent, it will work on Windows, MacOS and iOS. Install iTunes on your PC.

2. Connect to the device by wire or by Wi-Fi.

3. Search for the iPhone icon in the upper left corner (this should have a "Movies" folder already created in the Media Library sidebar), the "Synchronize" tab appears.

4. Place a checkmark and the link "Select Folder" will be activated. Clicking on it will bring up the content window of your computer.

5. Find the folder containing the downloaded file using the Finder or Explorer. You can select the entire folder or open it by selecting a specific file. The /files will be available in the "Downloaded" or "Home Videos".

5.1 Alternatively you can use the "Add to Media Library" command from the iTunes main menu and then synchronize the contents of the media library to the connected iPad or iPhone.

6. Press the "Activate" button in the lower right window of iTunes and wait for the content to be transferred to the iPhone.

Installing a movie on the iPad using the cloud service

It is often the case that you cannot download movies to your iPad because the memory is full. In this case it is possible to use so-called cloud services.

One of them is Dropbox, a file server providing not only storage but also synchronization of /files and the possibility to work with the server using a client program. (There are quite a few other cloud services besides Dropbox, you can compare them here.)

Dropbox provides 2GB of space for free. This is not too much, but you can find 700-800MB /files in .avi format. Dropbox also has an affiliate program. If other users sign up using your referral link, you will get extra space for free. Last but not least, Dropbox subscriptions are cheaper in the long run than the purchase of 1-2 films from the iStore.

How to watch a movie on iPad via Dropbox cloud:

1. Registration on Dropbox service is required.

2. Install the Dropbox app for Mac OS (or PC) and iPad respectively. This step is optional: you can also upload a movie to the cloud using the web interface.

3. Download the movie to your PC/Mac OS using any download method (e.g. torrent).

4. Upload your movie to the Dropbox cloud using your desktop application or using your web browser.

5. Open the video through the Dropbox web interface or download the movie from the cloud to your iPad / iPhone.

Watch movies through the Safari browser

Free iOS compatible software. It is possible to download movies for your iPhone directly. To do this, the Documents application must be installed on your mobile device.

In the lower right-hand corner of the main application window, there is an icon with a compass arrow within a blue circle. By clicking on it, you open the Safari browser, which has its own file manager. Any content can be downloaded via it. For example, on the file-sharing site

In the default settings the /files are stored in the Downloads folder. To launch them, the iTunes window opens the "Applications" tab and the Documents directory is highlighted by a click, then the file explorer opens and you have access to the folder with the films.

The disadvantage of this method is not a very powerful file manager in the browser. Downloading one or two gigabytes can take several hours.

Torrent tracker

One of the few such file managers that does not require jailbreak to install on iOS is iTransmission. It is tightly linked to Safari, to download the tracker via Safari you will need to access the emu4ios website.

  1. Download the tracker file via Safari.
  2. Open iTransmission, go to the Downloads folder in the iTransmission interface and locate the file with the extension .torrent and run it.
  3. Run the video file through iTunes and find it in your download folder.

Download for money or free?

Respecting the copyright is a normal behavior for a civilized person. Therefore, you should not neglect to buy movies for the iPad legally, through the App Store. A bonus will be high quality playback picture and sound. Algorithm of visiting the official Apple Store and acquiring products from it has its own nuances.

Load movies and media content via the iTunes Store application pre-installed on all mobile devices running iOS. The purchase of video rights has two features:

  1. The license can be permanent, then it is a purchase, or temporary - a so-called rental.
  2. The file remains on the iCloud server, accessible through the application preinstalled on all iOS devices with iOS version 5 or higher or iTunes 10.5 or higher.

The free cloud storage capacity is 5GB, also not much more. You can expand it by purchasing gigabytes if you wish. Your account will be automatically debited.

Storing your movies on iCloud protects them from commercial use, you cannot copy or resell them. For anyone who wants to download movies to their iPhone or iPad, two options are offered immediately - purchase or rent. The latter is usually cheaper by a factor of two or three. But there are cases where the purchase, on the contrary, is cheaper. The rental terms are an unlimited number of viewings in 30 days. If you have not rented a film within this period, you can watch it an unlimited number of times within 48 hours.

“Hello. My name is Kim. I discovered that technology, when used with a purpose, can be pretty amazing. To share the wonder of tech, I’ve written for blogs like and With over three years of freelance writing experience in the technology and entertainment niche, I can write a storm about a software app, a cool browser extension, a new mobile device and other geek-centric stuf... “

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Kim Barloso