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Apple Extends iTunes Movie Rental Window to 48 Hours in United States

Alongside the launch of the new Apple TV 4K, which is in the hands of customers today, Apple has quietly updated its iTunes rental policy to extend the amount of time rentals can be watched.

In a support document that was updated today, Apple says customers have 30 days to start watching a movie after it's been rented. Once a movie is started, there's an additional 48 hours to finish the movie and/or rewatch it.


Apple's new 48 hour rental policy will be a welcome change for customers who often rent content from iTunes. Prior to today, customers only had 24 hours after starting a movie to finish it in the U.S., but the 48 hour limit has long been available in other countries.

Rented movies can be watched across multiple devices and downloaded on a single device, so customers can rent a movie, download it, and then watch it over the course of the next 48 hours. Apple says that even with downloaded movies watched offline, the 48 hour timer remains.

With the introduction of the 4K Apple TV, Apple has made many 4K movies available to rent or purchase at the same price as High Definition content. 4K content can't be downloaded, however, and is only available for streaming.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Tag: iTunes
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Top Rated Comments

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22 weeks ago
This is great. My wife falls asleep half way through any movie we try to watch. I stopped renting years ago because I always ended up renting it twice. Maybe I can rethink my approach now
Rating: 19 Votes
22 weeks ago
Nice, I always thought 24 hours was just too short, even 36 hours would have been a huge improvement as it allows you to watch the movie during the time you like to watch movies except in two sittings.
Rating: 11 Votes
22 weeks ago
I always wondered why 24 hours started. Probably due to content negotiations. I figure it should have been the same basic rule as the old video rental places. 48 hours is certainly nice but I think 72 hours would be ideal. That would cover a weekend scenario nicely.
Rating: 7 Votes
22 weeks ago
Good move! :-)
Rating: 6 Votes
22 weeks ago
YES!!!!!! With small kids, my wife and I could never start a movie for us early enough to not be up ridiculously late. See ya, Redbox!
Rating: 5 Votes
22 weeks ago
This is a welcome change, but until the 4K download restriction is resolved (OR they become much more transparent about that policy), I'm still mad at them :mad:
Rating: 4 Votes
22 weeks ago
That's good news. It takes me back to the days of rushing back to Blockbuster Video with their next day returns policy for recent releases - and they actually needed the cassettes in store physically to make money on them.
Rating: 3 Votes
22 weeks ago
Bravo, Apple!

Now if only Hollywood would make movies worth watching. If not for the quality productions happening in television and streaming services, there’d be nothing remarkable. A crap movie in 4K is still a crap movie.
Rating: 2 Votes
22 weeks ago
Good on you Apple. Looks like Eddy Cue stepped his negotiating game up this year. Automatic free 4k upgrades, same price for 4k and double rent durations.
Rating: 2 Votes
22 weeks ago

Anyone know when Apple let you move rentals across devices? That isn’t new too, is it? I distinctly remember buying a rental for a trip on my Mac only to discover it wouldn’t transfer to my iPhone (Apple was very generous with the credit, though).


They did this a few months ago. Just make sure everything is up-to-date. I do this all the time because I prefer to browse and select on my Mac, and then watch on an Apple TV or if traveling, an iPad.
Rating: 2 Votes

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