IPad is a great device for watching movies and feature films, but what if you don’t want to buy digital media or pay a monthly subscription for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or TalkTalk TV? Readers regularly ask us what are the best ways to watch movies for free on a mobile device.
In this feature, we will expand your movie viewing horizons. Grab some popcorn and discover the best ways to watch the latest full movies for free on your iPad and iPhone.
The best apps to watch free movies
Many streaming services work legally on the App Store. Usually they have a few older classics, as well as some commercials – you won’t get the latest blockbusters. We recommend the following apps for watching free movies on your iPad:
- Snagfilms: You won’t find many Hollywood blockbusters on this, but there is an interesting selection of older films, documentaries, and world movies. As of this writing we have found Charade with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn which is a quiet classic.
- Popcornflix: American viewers will love this one because it has plenty of free movies. They tend to be the made-for-TV type, but there are mainstream hits like Zodiac, Star Trek, and Serpico. It runs ads between movies, but we were unable to load a single UK movie due to regional lockdown.
- BBC iPlayer: Don’t forget to check BBC iPlayer (or one of the other catch-up TV services) for movies as it often offers several each week.
- Crackle: There is a wide variety of movies – not the latest hits but a lot of big hits. Unfortunately, the app is not available on the UK App Store, but if you have a US App Store account, you can use a VPN to make it work in the UK. We recommend NordVPN but read the best VPNs for iPhone and iPad for alternatives.
Watch movies for free on your iPad with YouTube
YouTube is a massively underrated service in this regard; a lot of people don’t realize that there is a lineup of feature films on the platform. The challenge is to find decent movies among all the noise of short video clips. Additionally, some people upload videos to which they do not own the rights, which is illegal, although these are usually deleted within a few days.
If you want to watch a movie, open YouTube and search for it – you’ll be surprised how often you find what you’re looking for. Of course, if this is a brand new title or a premium title from the last few years, you should probably give the download a lot of space.
For those who don’t know what to watch, Reddit has a great subtitle called / r / fullmoviesonyoutube. If you sort them by Top and Last Week, you will find a lot of interesting options.
Get a free trial
Another great option, at least in the short term, is to sign up for a free trial with one of the popular streaming services. You have to sign up, but if you cancel (usually within 30 days) you can get by without paying anything. By switching from one service to another, you can get a few months free.
- Netflix: Probably the biggest name in online streaming. From £ 5.99 / $ 8.99 per month for an SD plan with a 30-day free trial. If you’re not impressed with the UK offer, here’s how to get US Netflix in UK.
- Amazon Prime Video: £ 7.99 / $ 12.99 per month (or £ 79 / $ 119 per year with Amazon One-Day delivery). One month free trial.
- Now TV Sky Cinema Pass: Slightly more expensive at £ 11.99 per month, but the free trial (which only lasts a week – beware!) Is worth the trip.
If you plan to purchase a subscription with the intention of canceling it before you get billed, keep in mind that many offer a 30-day trial rather than (necessarily) a full month. Some cynics might suggest that companies do this on purpose so that people miscalculate and get billed on the 31st day. Determine the dates carefully and set a reminder in your calendar.
Watch movies online for free with Sky and Virgin Media
If you have Sky TV or Virgin Media service, you can watch movies and TV shows from your Sky or Virgin account on iPad. Sky and Virgin both have apps available on the App Store:
If you have already subscribed to these TV services, you can watch movies and TV shows for free on your iPad.
Apple TV + is free with new devices
If you are planning to purchase a new Apple device that can run the Apple TV app, or if you purchased one after September 10, 2019, you are eligible for a free one-year subscription to the Apple TV + streaming service. This mainly includes the original TV shows, but the movies are expected to appear in the coming months.
If you don’t have a device that qualifies for the free subscription, you can still take advantage of a 7-day free trial and then pay £ 4.99 / $ 4.99 p / m to continue. To see what’s on offer, read our full guide to Apple TV +.