When you’re heading somewhere likely to have spotty internet coverage, downloading your favourite TV shows and movies beforehand is always a solid plan. Most streaming services allow you to do this to some extent, but until recently, you could only download Amazon Prime Video content onto a mobile device. Well, no longer: Using Prime Video’s new Mac and Windows apps, you can finally download movies and shows for offline viewing whether you’re using your phone or your laptop.
How to download Prime Video content on Windows or Mac
The desktop app is a good match for its mobile counterpart, so using it should be pretty familiar. Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed in, browse to find the movie or TV show you’re looking for.
At the top of the show’s landing page you’ll now see a big Download button. If it’s a TV show, you’ll also see a Download Season option, or you can scroll down to the list of episodes to download individual episodes using the down arrow button to the right of each one.
To find your downloaded content, go to the Downloads tab, located in the bottom tab bar in Prime Video’s desktop apps. On this tab, you can see the shows you’ve already downloaded or the progress bar for any current downloads. Once a download is complete, you can disconnect from the internet and watch movies and TV shows completely offline, without signing back in.
How to adjust download quality on Prime Video
By default, Prime Video on desktop downloads the highest quality video files available. If that’s taking too long or using too much of your drive space, try lowering the video quality. To do this, select the My Stuff tab in the bottom-right corner of the app window.
Next, hit the gear icon in the top-right corner of the screen to open the Settings pop-up. Navigate to Streaming & Downloading > Download quality and select Good for the fastest downloads or Better for larger, medium quality videos.
When you attempt to download, Prime Video may display a pop-up asking if you want to download an additional audio track in your preferred language. If you just want to download videos in their original language all the time, you can change this setting. Go back to Streaming & Downloading settings and select Download audio language. You can now disable Select at download to avoid that pop-up.
How to automatically download TV show episodes on Prime Video
Prime Video on desktop can automatically download upcoming episodes of your favourite TV shows for you.
To set this up, go to the downloads tab and scroll to the bottom. Click the Manage button next to Auto Downloads and enable Auto Downloads. There are two other useful options here too: Episodes to download lets you select how many episodes you want Prime Video to download in one go; you can choose up to five. Enable Delete watched episodes to clear downloaded episodes after you’ve finished watching them.
(In our experience these options are a bit buggy. You may have to manually delete or download episodes once in a while.)
The limitations of downloaded content on Prime Video
Unfortunately, streaming services tend to place limitations on downloads due to restrictions on content rights, and Prime Video’s offline viewing experience is no exception. Once you’ve downloaded a video, you’ll have to start watching it within 30 days. After you start watching a downloaded video, you have only 48 hours to finish it. If you exceed this time limit, the download will “expire” and you’ll have to download the video again.
If you’re planning to watch downloaded content while on a trip, be aware that downloaded videos may not work if you connect to the internet in another country. If the movie or TV show is an Amazon Original, there’s a good chance that it’ll work everywhere, but third-party content is unlikely to be accessible as easily.