How to Download a Movie

Two Methods:Paid SourcesFree Sources

The internet is quickly becoming the number one place to find movies, both legally and not-so-legally. Whether it’s the latest new release or an old family classic, virtually any movie is available to add to your collection, without the hassle of shipping or heading to your local video store (if you still have one). If you want to get the movies you crave on your computer, read on after the jump to learn how.

Method 1

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    Find an online movie site. The easiest and most worry-free way of downloading movies is to buy them from a reputable source. There are a variety of services that will allow you to purchase movies to view on your computer or other device. Popular services include:
    • iTunes
    • Google Play
    • Amazon Prime
    • Netflix
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    Compare the selections. Different sites will have different prices and titles available. Some services, such as Netflix, charge a monthly fee and allow you to stream whatever you’d like. Others, such as iTunes and Google Play, allow you to purchase individual title, which you can then watch on your computer or phone/tablet.
    • Consoles offer movie stores as well. Both Microsoft and Sony have digital stores that can be accessed through the console or through the website that allow you to purchase titles to view on the console.
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    Set up an account. Before you get started downloading movies and throwing a popcorn-and-B-night extravaganza, you'll need to sign up for an account. Usually this involves nothing more than an email address and username.
    • Some companies, such as Netflix or Amazon Prime, use a subscription method.
    • Companies like Apple or CinemaNow (BestBuy) offer pay-as-you-go rental or purchase, and can be significantly more expensive than subscription services—especially if you love movies—but they also tend to offer more current content, and content from premium cable channels such as HBO and Showtime.
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    Browse the directory of movies. No matter which option you choose, with thousands of movies available on each of these sites, the first thing you'll want to find is a way to narrow your options. Many sites have a genre column, so that you can quickly focus only on topics that interest you.
    • If you're wanting to locate particular movies or actors, there is typically a search field that you can use to find exactly what you're looking for.
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    Download the movie. When you've found a movie to your liking, click the appropriate button. Your movie will download, and depending on the speed of your connection, you could be watching in just a few minutes!
    • For sites that offer options, such as Apple, you'll see both a Buy and a Rent button. Renting typically makes the movie available for 24 hours, while buying adds it to your permanent collection.
    • Many sites will have you stream your purchase through the dedicated movie player that they provide. This will mean that you won’t be downloading any files.
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    Pick your quality. Many services give you the option to choose between SD (Standard Definition) or HD (High Definition). If you are watching on an HD TV, you will see much better picture quality in an HD version, though it may cost more and take longer to download.
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    Transfer the movie to a phone or tablet. Once you've downloaded a movie, you may be able to transfer it to your phone or tablet. If you are using an Android or iPhone/iPad, buying the movie on your respective service will automatically make it available on your device. If you downloaded an actual copy of the movie, you may need to convert it before you can transfer it to a mobile device.
    • This guide will show you how to transfer a downloaded video to your Android phone or tablet.
    • This guide will show you how to transfer a downloaded video to your iPhone or iPad.

Method 2
Free Sources

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    Download and install a BitTorrent client. While many other file sharing protocols exist, BitTorrent is the most effective and popular method for downloading feature-length films. To use this method, you will need to install the client software on your computer.
    • Most of the best clients are available for free. Some of the most popular clients are uTorrent, Tixati, Vuze, Transmission.
    • Be aware of the legality. In most jurisdictions, downloading a movie that you are not purchasing legitimately, and don't already own on another format (such as a DVD), is in violation of copyright laws.
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    Search for the movie on a BitTorrent search engine. After installing your torrent client software, you can download the torrent file for the movie you wish to watch.
    • The best way to find the movie you want is to search for the film using torrent search engine. These sites come and go as they are shut down by law enforcement and then reopened with new servers and a different name.
    • You can also find torrent files using a regular search engine. A torrent file has a ".torrent" extension, and is actually just a text file telling your torrent client where to download the pieces of the movie.
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    Open the torrent file with your BitTorrent client. Double-click on the torrent file to load it into your torrent client. Depending on your settings, the download should begin automatically. You may need to indicate where you want to save the file.
    • Once the file has downloaded completely, leave the torrent software open for several hours to allow other users to download the file from you. Some torrent trackers require that you maintain a good ratio of uploaded to downloaded files.
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    Open the movie file. Once the torrent has finished downloading, your client software will save the actual video file to the location you indicated. Double-click the file to open it in your default media player.
    • Many movies released through torrents will not work properly with Windows Media Player or QuickTime. In order to play these movies you will need to download an alternative media player, such as VLC or Media Player Classic.
    • You can safely delete the torrent file itself once the video clip has finished downloading.
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    Find free, legal movies online. Besides torrent sites, you can acquire public domain movies for free with no legal repercussions. The most comprehensive collection of these films can be found at


  • Before signing up for a download website, create an email address on Yahoo or Gmail just for that site. Often times, email lists are sold to third parties—which can quickly result in a flood of spam.
  • If downloading a movie over BitTorrent, keep your antivirus up to date as viruses often lurk in those files.
  • Don't like watching movies on a computer? Get an Apple-TV, Roku, or Boxee set-top box, and stream iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, and much more directly onto your television—in high-definition.
  • Torrent files with a large number of "seeders" (users who are sharing the whole file) will download the fastest.
  • Before entering credit card information, do a little research and make sure that you're working with a reputable company.
  • Pay-for sites often make the films available for smart phones and tablets as well as computers.


  • Downloading movies illegally can lead to your internet service provider limiting your internet access or legal action against you.
  • Even if you own the movie in another format, downloading a pirated copy can still land you in legal hot water.

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