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There are two main ways to rent a movie from iTunes. If you use your iOS device or Apple TV, you have to watch the movie on that iOS device or another Apple TV. However, you can Airplay a rented movie from your device to your Apple TV.
But if you want to be able to move a rented movie from one device to another, you have to download it to your computer. However, the process is basically the same whether you’re in iTunes on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, or on your computer. You can also buy movies using free iTunes gift cards
Renting is the least expensive way to watch movies with iTunes, and I recommend using this option whenever available. Often Apple won’t let you rent new releases, but otherwise, renting is usually an option.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to rent a movie from iTunes, from how to watch rented movies on iTunes, how to play iTunes movies on TV, how to download movies from iTunes, how long does an iTunes rental last, and how to delete a movie from iTunes once you've watched it.
How to Rent a Movie on iTunes
Rented movies are only available on a single device. Keep in mind, if you rent it on your computer you can sync it to either your iPhone or iPad, but then it will disappear from your computer.
If you want to rent a movie and watch it on your Apple TV, renting it directly from your set-top box is the easiest way to proceed.
If you rent on your iOS device or Mac, you’ll have to use AirPlay in order to watch it on your Apple TV, and you’ll be more likely to experience longer buffering times.
If you know you want to watch an iTunes movie on your iPad or Apple TV, renting it directly from the device you want to watch the movie on is the easiest way to proceed.
How to Rent Movies from iTunes on Your Mac or Pc
Open the latest version of iTunes on your computer and look through the Movies section of the iTunes store. Once you find a movie you'd like to rent, click on it. If the movie is available to rent, the option will appear under the option to buy.
Click on the rental price and enter your Apple ID password if required. If you rent a movie from iTunes on your Mac or PC, you can watch it on your computer or sync it to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod.
You can sync your iTunes rental back and forth between your iOS device and computer, but it can only be on one device at a time. If it's on the computer, you’ll see a tab for Rented Movies you can click on.
How to Rent a Movie from iTunes on your Apple TV
Open the iTunes Movies app to find the film you want to rent. Note that you can't rent TV shows on iTunes, only movies.
If a movie is available for rent, there will be two options. The first option will show the price and then Buy, the second will show the price to Rent. Tap Rent, and enter your Apple ID password to verify the Apple TV movie rental.
If it’s your first time renting a movie, you’ll be prompted to accept the Terms & Conditions.
How to Rent a Movie from iTunes on Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod
If you rent a movie from iTunes on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod, you can only watch it on that iOS device or AirPlay it to your Apple TV.
Open the iTunes Store app and navigate to Movies. Find the movie you want to watch and select it. If you can rent it, there will be two options. The first option will show the price and then Buy, the second will show the price to Rent.
Tap Rent and enter your iTunes Store password. If it’s your first time renting a movie, you’ll be prompted to accept the Terms & Conditions.
How Long Can You Rent a Movie on iTunes?
Don’t worry about how to delete a movie you’ve rented from iTunes. They will disappear once the rental is over. Rented movies stay on your device for 30 days if they remain unplayed.
However, once you begin to watch a film you have 24 hours (in the US) and 48 hours (elsewhere) to watch the movie before it disappears.
You can watch the movie as many times as you want in that period. If you don’t watch the movie within 30 days, you will have to rent it again.
How to Buy TV Shows on iTunes
You can't rent TV shows on iTunes, but you can buy individual episodes or entire seasons. Open the iTunes Store app and navigate to TV Shows.
When you find the season of the show you want, you can buy the whole season by tapping on the price at the top, or you can scroll down and buy individual episodes by tapping on the price next to the episode.
How to Download an iTunes Movie Rental
Some iTunes movies have the option to stream and can be played immediately. Other movies must be at least partially downloaded in order to start playing them.
And of course, if you want to watch the movie offline, you will need to download it completely first. After you have tapped or clicked Rent, you can download the movie to your device by tapping or clicking the download icon (the cloud with the down arrow)
Where to Find the Movie You Rented on iTunes
Where to find iTunes rentals on iPhone, iPad, or iPod: Once the iTunes movie rental has downloaded, it’s available in the Library section of your TV app on your iOS device under Rentals. Previously, iTunes movie rentals were located in the Videos app, but that app is no longer available for users of iOS 10.
Where to find iTunes rentals on Apple TV: On 2nd and 3rd generation Apple TV, iTunes rentals can be found in the top shelf of the main menu. On 4th generation Apple TV, iTunes rentals can be found in the Rentals tab in the Movies app.
Where to find iTunes rentals on Mac or PC: iTunes rentals can be found in the Rentals tab of the Movies section in the iTunes Library on your computer.
How to Move an iTunes Movie from One Device to Another
If you rented a movie from iTunes on your computer and want to watch it on your iPhone, iPad, or iPad, you can transfer the movie to your iOS device by connecting the device to your computer with a USB cable and syncing them.
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201253 Since the movie can only be on one device at a time, syncing it to an iOS device will remove it from your computer.
As long as you rented the movie on your Mac or PC, you can sync the movie back and forth between you computer and iOS device as many times as you want during the rental period.
You can’t transfer a movie rented from iTunes on an iPhone, iPad, or iPad to any other devices. Apple TV movie rentals can be watched on other Apple TVs but can only be watched on one Apple TV at a time
How to AirPlay an iTunes Movie Rental from One Device to Another
While you can’t transfer an iTunes movie rented from an iPhone, iPad, or iPod to another device, you can airplay the movie from your iPhone, iPad, iPod, or Mac to your Apple TV. To do this, the iDevice or computer must be connected to the same wi-fi network as the Apple TV.
On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod, open Control Center and swipe to open the Now Playing screen. Select the Apple TV from the list of available devices. Press play. On your Mac or PC open iTunes and click on the AirPlay icon next to the volume slider. Click on Apple TV in the list of available devices.
Requirements for Renting Movies from iTunes
If you're having trouble renting a movie from iTunes, make sure your devices are running the latest software and that your payment method is set up correctly.
Software and Device Requirements
How to Pay for an iTunes Movie Rental
You must have an Apple ID with a credit or debit card associated with it in order to rent movies from iTunes. If you haven’t added a card to your Apple account, you can do it on your iPhone by going to Settings > iTunes & App Store and tapping on your Apple ID.
On the menu that pops up tap View Apple ID. Select payment method and enter the credit card information you want to use to pay for iTunes purchases.