Last Call: BBC iPlayer PC App Shutting Down Next Week

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The end is nigh for the BBC iPlayer Downloads app on PC and Mac, with the final shutdown scheduled for next Monday, April 8, 2024.

Users who have been relying on the app to watch their favourite shows offline on their desktop or laptop computers are being urged to finish watching any downloaded content before the app is officially closed.

As we were the first to report, The BBC announced the phasing out of the iPlayer Downloads app for PC and Mac back in February, citing the increasing popularity of mobile phones and tablets for watching iPlayer content.

The process began with new users being prevented from downloading and installing the app from February 2, 2024.

Existing users were given a grace period to continue downloading programmes until March 11, 2024.

BBC iPlayer loading on TV

However, as the final shutdown date approaches, users now have less than a week to watch any shows they have previously downloaded.

Anger On Social Media

The iPlayer Downloads app, first released in 2013, has been a convenient tool for users who want to watch programmes without an internet connection, particularly when travelling (on aeroplanes or on the tube, for example) or in areas with unreliable broadband service.

It’s important to remember that you can still watch iPlayer content on PCs and Macs, but only through the browser and the iPlayer website, and not via the app.

Therefore, offline viewing will not be possible on those devices.

BBC iPlayer downloads Mac
BBC iPlayer Downloads App

The app’s discontinuation has been met with angry reactions from users.

Some expressed disappointment, and others were surprised, having been unaware of the feature’s existence until the announcement of its impending closure.

Either way, even if this feature wasn’t used by many – the ones who did use it, are certainly going to miss it.

How Can I Watch BBC iPlayer Without Broadband?

While the end of the iPlayer Downloads app marks a significant change for desktop and laptop users, the BBC has emphasized that offline viewing is still possible through the iPlayer app on mobile phones and tablets.

If you have the BBC iPlayer app installed on your phone or tablet, you can download programmes by tapping the “Download” button underneath the episode’s description.

Remember that downloaded programmes are available for the same amount of time as they are on the iPlayer website or app.

So, for example, if a programme is available for 30 more days, the downloaded version will also expire at the end of that 30-day period.

Users should also be mindful of the expiry date for each programme to ensure they don’t miss the opportunity to watch their downloads.

At the end of the availability period, downloaded programmes will be deleted from your device.

To download programmes on the iPlayer mobile app:

  1. Find the desired episode.
  2. Tap “Download” under the programme description.
  3. Access and track downloads via the “Downloads” menu in the app.

The BBC iPlayer app allows downloads over mobile networks, a feature that users can enable in the app’s settings (unless you only want to download when you’re connected to WiFi, for example if you don’t want to use up your mobile data limits).

Fire HD 8 BBC iPlayer
BBC iPlayer

Downloads are restricted to the UK, due to the usual licensing agreements and geo-blocking.

If you’re planning to travel, ensure you download your programmes before leaving the UK – as you will be able to watch pre-downloaded programmes, but not download NEW content once you’re abroad.

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