How To Download the BBC iPlayer App Outside the UK

BBC iPlayer is available only in the United Kingdom - for those who pay for a TV license. Still, there's a way to bypass that obstacle by tricking the media streaming app into thinking you're inside of its supported region. With that said, we'll show you how to download the BBC iPlayer app outside the UK – by relying on a VPN service.

Keep in mind that if you're outside the UK, there's only one way to access BBC iPlayer. You can obtain a British IP address by using a VPN, bypassing iPlayer's geo-restrictions. However, very few VPNs can get the job done. Therefore, you'll want to check our guide on the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer, produced after extensive hands-on testing. 

If you keep on reading, you’ll learn how to download the BBC iPlayer app from outside the UK on pretty much any desktop or mobile device. Let’s go over the instructions. 

Watch BBC iPlayer Outside the UK on Windows & Mac

On desktop operating systems, such as Windows and macOS, you can watch iPlayer outside the UK using your Web browser in the following way:

  • Subscribe to a suitable VPN service, such as ExpressVPN.
  • Check our guides on how to install ExpressVPN on Windows and macOS.
  • Open ExpressVPN. Access your VPN subscription by logging in.
  • Use ExpressVPN to connect to any server found in the United Kingdom.
Connecting to a Server in the UK via ExpressVPN
  • Open your favorite Web browser and proceed to visit iPlayer.
  • If you don’t have an account, here’s how to register.
  • Log in to iPlayer and pick any TV show or movie to stream.
BBC iPlayer Home Screen
  • You might be asked if you have a TV license. Confirm that you do.
iPlayer Asking for TV License
  • You might be asked to enable parental controls. Answer that prompt.
iPlayer Asking for Parental Guidance Controls
  • The chosen video will now begin streaming. That’s it.
Watching BBC iPlayer Outside the UK via ExpressVPN

It’s worth mentioning that BBC iPlayer used to offer a native app for Windows and Mac. However, that application has been replaced by the ‘BBC iPlayer Downloads’ app, allowing you to download iPlayer’s content for offline viewing (you can't stream directly).

Keep in mind that you need a VPN to download iPlayer’s content. However, once you have those videos stored on your computer, you can watch them without a VPN. With that said, here are the steps you need to take: 

  • Subscribe to a VPN that can unblock iPlayer. We recommend ExpressVPN.
  • Download and install ExpressVPN on your Windows and macOS computer.
  • Access the VPN and log in to your ExpressVPN account.
  • Connect to any VPN server found in the United Kingdom.
  • Download the BBC iPlayer Downloads app (it works on Windows and macOS).
  • Install the software like you would install any other application.
  • Open the BBC iPlayer Downloads app (keep it open in the background).
  • Use any Web browser to visit iPlayer’s website.
  • Log in to your account. If you need to register, here’s how to do so.
  • Find a movie or TV show you want to download. Open its overview.
  • Click on the ‘Download’ link. The BBC iPlayer Downloads app will activate.
  • Wait until the chosen program is downloaded. Then, feel free to play it.

As mentioned earlier, the content you've downloaded should play even without a VPN. However, pay attention to the content's "expiration date" (visible next to each title in the BBC iPlayer Downloads app). That's because once that content disappears from iPlayer, it will also disappear from your device.

Watch BBC iPlayer Outside the UK on Android

To download the BBC iPlayer app outside the UK on Android, you need to install its APK file manually. You can do that in the following way:

  • Subscribe to a powerful Android VPN, like ExpressVPN
  • Download and install ExpressVPN on Android using the Play Store.
  • Download iPlayer’s APK (installation) file from APKPure or APKMirror.
  • Tap on the downloaded APK file. Install the app manually.
  • Don’t open iPlayer just yet. Instead, open ExpressVPN first.
  • Connect to a VPN server in the United Kingdom.
  • Now, open iPlayer and log in to your account (or create a new one).
  • Pick any title you’d like to stream – and the video will start playing.

We want you to take full advantage of the BBC iPlayer app on your Android device. However, since the iPlayer app is available only on the British version of the Play Store, you need to download it from a third-party source. 

Therefore, that’s why we recommended using APKPure and APKMirror. Both are trustworthy repositories of Android apps, so you don't have to worry about malware. 

Lastly, know that iPlayer also works in Chrome on Android. So, if you don’t wish to download the BBC iPlayer app, you can always visit it via your mobile Web browser. However, you’ll still need a VPN even if you pick that method of watching BBC iPlayer outside the UK.

Watch BBC iPlayer Outside the UK on iOS & iPadOS

If you're outside the UK, there are two methods to watch BBC iPlayer on your iPhone or iPad. So, let's explain the easier one first. Go through the following steps:

Using the method explained above, you’ll use a Web browser to access iPlayer. There’s another option, which will leave you with the iPlayer app installed on your iPhone. However, it comes with many drawbacks that you need to keep in mind.

To get the BBC iPlayer app on your iPhone outside the UK, you need to create a new Apple ID. Make sure to use any UK address when signing up. Then, log out of your old account (Settings > Your Name > Log Out) and log in using the new account.

Since your iPhone allows you have a single Apple ID active, you'll lose access to your previously downloaded apps. So, even though you'll have full access to the BBC iPlayer app, you'll have to switch between different Apple IDs, which is a very time-consuming process.

Watch BBC iPlayer Outside the UK on Roku

Roku comes with a unified channel store, making it easy to download the BBC iPlayer app outside the UK. However, using that app is a whole different story. Here's what you need to do: 

  • Install the BBC iPlayer channel on your Roku (you can do that online).
  • Then, you’ll need to have a VPN router to proceed further.
  • Sign up for a VPN that works on routers, such as ExpressVPN
  • Make sure to install ExpressVPN on your router. You can use this guide.
  • While configuring ExpressVPN, you must pick a UK-based server address.
  • Restart the router. That will force it to reconnect and obtain a UK IP.
  • Turn to your Roku and make sure it’s connected to the Web
  • Access the BBC iPlayer channel and log in to your BBC account.
  • You’ll now have unrestricted access to iPlayer. Enjoy!

There are some important caveats to keep in mind. As you can see, we advised installing a VPN on a router. That’s because Roku devices don’t support VPNs on their own. So, there’s no other way to access iPlayer on Roku, as that channel requires a British IP address.

However, there's another way to watch iPlayer on your Roku from outside the UK. You can access the streaming service on some other device (like your computer or phone) and then mirror or cast your screen to Roku. 

Turn to this Roku support document for additional information on media casting and screen mirroring on Roku. Remember that your streaming device supports Chromecast and AirPlay, which means that media casting should work across plenty of devices.

Watch BBC iPlayer Outside the UK on a Firestick

To download the BBC iPlayer app on a Firestick outside the UK, you’ll need to sideload it. That's a relatively straightforward procedure, so here's what exactly it entails:

  • First, you need a Firestick VPN (you can go for ExpressVPN).
  • Then, here’s how to install ExpressVPN on your Firestick.
  • On your streaming device, go to Find > Search.
  • Look up ‘Downloader.’ Download and install that app on your device.
  • Before you launch Downloader, go to your device’s Settings.
  • Navigate to My Fire TV > Developer Options > Install Unknown Apps.
  • Make sure it says ‘ON’ next to Downloader’s icon.
  • Return to your device’s home screen. Go ahead and launch Downloader.
  • Input the following address to this home page:
  • You’ll now download the BBC iPlayer app. Open the file and install the app.
  • Don’t forget to launch ExpressVPN. Connect to any of its UK-based servers.
  • Launch the BBC iPlayer app. Access your BBC account. 
  • Pick any title you’d like to stream. That’s all. 

There are all kinds of Fire TV Stick devices, many of which require custom APK files when sideloading apps. So, if the link we've provided above doesn't work for you, turn to this online forum, where you’ll find modified APK files. 

Watch BBC iPlayer Outside the UK on a TV

As per this support document, BBC iPlayer is available on a wide range of smart TVs. However, if you wish to download BBC iPlayer outside the UK, be prepared to face some obstacles.

The biggest obstacle is that iPlayer requires a British IP address. That's a bit of a problem because TVs don't support VPNs natively. So, your best option is to install a VPN on a router, which will then share your VPN connection to all your devices.

Very few VPNs support routers properly. Most of them come with overly complex workarounds that work only half the time. So, we recommend going for ExpressVPN. Then, you can learn how to install ExpressVPN compatible routers made by ASUSLinksysNetgearD-LinkTP-LinkHuaweiXiaomi, and Google WiFi.

When setting up ExpressVPN on a router, don’t forget to configure a server found in the United Kingdom. After that, ensure that your smart TV is connected to the Internet. From that moment on, you’ll have a British IP. 

The last piece of the puzzle is to get the BBC iPlayer app on your TV. Make sure to visit your TV’s settings and find where you can change its region-based options. You should be able to switch to ‘United Kingdom,’ giving you access to apps available only in the UK.

Lastly, visit your TV’s app store and look for iPlayer. Download the app and access it. Once you log in to your BBC account, you should have unrestricted access to this media streaming app.

Watch BBC iPlayer Outside the UK on an Apple TV

To download the BBC iPlayer app outside the UK on your Apple TV, you need to access the UK version of its App Store. Do that in the following way:

  • Create a new Apple ID. Make sure to use a UK address.
  • Subscribe a VPN that works on routers. Your best option would be ExpressVPN
  • Install ExpressVPN on your router. You’ll need a VPN router for that.
  • Return to your Apple TV and log in using your new UK-based Apple ID.
  • Restart your device. Ensure it’s connected to your home Wi-Fi network.
  • Access the App Store. Download the BBC iPlayer app from there.
  • Launch it and log in to your BBC account. That’s all.

We’ve advised creating a new Apple ID (a UK-based one) as that’s the only way to access the UK version of the tvOS App Store. However, that also means your old Apple ID won’t be active any longer, as you’ll need to log out. Therefore, even though the method described above works – it’s not suitable for everyone. 

Keep in mind that another option exists. You can mirror your phone's screen to your Apple TV if you have an iPhone. That's how you can watch BBC iPlayer on your large-screen TV without tinkering with your streaming device. Here's how to mirror your phone’s screen to an Apple TV

Watch BBC iPlayer Outside the UK on Kodi

If there’s no BBC iPlayer app for your platform or device, you might be able to turn to Kodi to access that content. So, let’s first show you how to use the iPlayer app on Kodi: 

  • Make sure to sign up for a VPN for Kodi, such as ExpressVPN.  
  • Then, here’s how to use Kodi with ExpressVPN on WindowsmacOSAndroidiOS, and Chromebooks. You can find additional instructions here.
  • Proceed to download the BBC iPlayer add-on for Kodi.
  • Use ExpressVPN to connect to a server found in the United Kingdom.
  • Launch BBC iPlayer on Kodi. Make sure to log in to your BBC account.
  • You’ll now have unrestricted access to iPlayer’s content. That’s it.

If you don’t have a lot of experience with Kodi, it’s worth learning the basics. Our beginner’s guide to Kodi will help you get started. That’s also where you’ll find links to our guides on installing Kodi on various types of platforms and devices.

How to Register for BBC iPlayer?

The easiest way to register for BBC iPlayer is via its website. Then, you can use your credential on any BBC iPlayer app. Here are the steps you need to take: 

BBC iPlayer Home Screen
  • Click ‘Register Now’ found under ‘Don’t Have a BBC Account?
Signing In to BBC iPlayer
  • You’ll be asked about your age. Select ’16 and Over.’
Age Restriction When Signing Up for iPlayer
  • Enter your date of birth
Registering Date of Birth BBC Account
  • Provide your email address and create a password for your account.
  • Pick ‘United Kingdom’ when asked about your region. Input any ZIP.
Registering for BBC iPlayer Account
  • Lastly, click on ‘Register.’ That’s it – you’ve registered for BBC iPlayer.

That would be all on how to download the BBC iPlayer app outside the UK. If you have any questions, know that we’ll be happy to answer them. So, make sure to use the comments section found just below. Thank you for reading!

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