Some streaming services have existed for years without the option to download shows and movies for offline viewing, but that functionality is available on Day 1 on Disney+, which is now available to try for anyone in the United States. There are more than 600 titles to dive into, enough to binge hundreds of hours of The Simpsons without watching even a fifth of what’s available.
Perfect for plane rides and frugal data spenders, Disney+’s download function — which is exclusive to the mobile apps as of this writing — is simple to use, and with every single title eligible, it’s just a matter of figuring out what you want. We’ll take you through the process of both downloading and deleting movies and shows from your Disney+ app.
Downloading movies and shows on Disney+
Step 1: Select your download quality
Before we have our fun, let’s talk about file sizes. If you’re hurting for storage space on your iPhone or Android smartphone, Disney+ includes a variable quality feature that allows you to sacrifice visual fidelity for a smaller digital footprint. Open the Disney+ app on your smartphone (iOS, Android) and click your profile icon on the bottom right. From there, navigate to App Settings > Download Quality. You’ll see options for standard, medium, and high, the latter likely offering no higher than 1080p resolution.
Step 2: Download your content
Because you can view every Disney+ title offline, no guesswork or filter is required to find downloadable content. The hardest part of this particular task is figuring out what you want to watch. Once you’ve figured that out, all you’ll need to do from the movie or show’s listing is tap the download button, which is situated far right of the Play button beneath the title’s logo. For shows, you can also find a separate download button next to each episode if you don’t want the whole season.
Disney takes care of the magic from there. It’s a relatively quick download on Wi-Fi, especially at the lower qualities, so you can probably snag dozens of movies in those couple of hours before your flight if you forgot to do it the night before.
Step 3: Watch your downloaded movies and shows
All that’s left to do now is enjoy yourself! An easy way to find your downloads is by hitting the download icon, which is always visible on the bottom right of the Disney+ app. All of your content will be listed here, sorted by order of download. Tap the play button on the thumbnail of whatever you want to watch, and off you go. Episodes are listed a bit differently — they’re nested under a single label, and tapping it will present all of the episodes you’ve downloaded for that show, grouped by season. You can also find these titles through regular searching and browsing. You’ll know something is available for offline viewing if you see a smartphone icon where the download button usually sits.
How much space do I need?
The amount of storage space each title eats is based mostly on video length and resolution, and with other variables playing into the equation — the biggest being your quality setting — this number can vary greatly.
We downloaded three movies of similar length and resolution — a few of the Star Wars films, which clock in at just over two hours each — to see how each of the options affect file size. The Empire Strikes Back at standard quality was 0.92GB for a 2-hour, 7-minute runtime, while A New Hope at medium needed 1.4GB for 2 hours and 4 minutes. That’s a modest jump compared to Return of the Jedi on high quality, which needed 5.5GB for 2 hours and 14 minutes. For shows, a 39-minute episode of The Mandalorian on high quality takes 1.5GB, but just 270MB on standard and 424MB on medium. Finally, at a 3-hour, 1-minute runtime, The Avengers: End Game needs a whopping 7.1GB.
Using the data above, you can work out a rough estimate of how much space you’ll need to store everything you want. You can mix and match by adjusting your quality setting before you initiate the download. Now would also be an excellent time to set whether you require a Wi-Fi connection to download content, an option those on limited data certainly should consider. Disney+ enables Wi-Fi-only downloads by default.
As explained above, everything in the Disney+ catalog can be downloaded for offline consumption. Whether it’s an entire season of Darkwing Duck or every single movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, if it’s on Disney+, you can download it.
Unlike some other services, Disney+ is pretty loose for restrictions. For starters, you can download a single title on up to 10 different devices at a time, and you can download any of them as often as you want. The only thing Disney asks is that you connect to Disney+ every 30 days.
How do I delete titles?
Eventually, you’ll want to make room for something new. Whether you wish to delete a single title or a bunch all at once, Disney+ makes the task delightfully simple.
Step 1: Deleting a single title
It will take you just a couple of seconds to delete something from Disney+. First, find your content by heading to the downloads section, which you can access by tapping the second icon from the right on the app’s navigation bar. Find the movie you want to delete and click the smartphone icon to the right of its title. Select Remove Download, and it’ll escort itself right off your smartphone’s storage.
Step 2: Deleting all titles
If you want to remove more than one at a time, Disney+ gives you two quick options to do so. In that same Downloads section, you’ll notice an Edit button in the upper-right corner. Click that, and you’ll see a bunch of squares pop up next to the titles you have. Tap a square to mark it for deletion. You can mark all of your downloads in one fell swoop using the Select All button at the top where the Edit button used to be. Tapping it again will deselect those items. Once you’ve set the chopping block, tap the trash can icon at the top right of the Disney+ app, and away they go.
Alternatively, you can hit your profile icon on the bottom right and tap App Settings > Delete All Downloads to trash everything with one button.