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iPlayer Help Downloads Mobile & Tablet Troubleshooting problems for downloads on a mobile or tablet

Troubleshooting problems for downloads on a mobile or tablet

Having problems downloading on the BBC iPlayer app? Here are some steps to try:

  1. Try downloading the programme again
    It could have just been a temporary issue, so try deleting the programme from your download queue and downloading the programme again.

  2. Make sure you have a strong internet connection 
    Downloads will fail if the internet connection cuts out, so make sure you have a strong WiFi connection. You could try disconnecting your device from the internet and reconnecting to see if that helps. Remember, it’s not possible to download programmes via 3G/4G. 

  3. Check that your phone or tablet software is up to date
    Here's how to check for software updates:

    Amazon Fire: swipe from the top of the screen to open Quick Settings > More > Device > About
    Android: go to Settings > About Device > System Updates > Check for Update
    iPhone or iPad: go to Settings > General > Software Update

  4. Reinstall the BBC iPlayer app
    Delete the app first and reinstall it from your app store (Apple App Store, Google Play Store, or Amazon Appstore). This will help if any downloaded data becomes corrupt, but please be aware that deleting the app will also remove any programmes you have successfully downloaded. Once the app is reinstalled, try downloading the programme again.

Having problems playing a downloaded programme?

Try these steps to see if they help:

  1. Close the app and reopen it
  2. Try disconnecting your mobile or tablet from WiFi or mobile data, or switching it on to Airplane Mode
  3. If you're in the UK and able to access the internet, try deleting the programme and re-downloading it
  4. Outside the UK? You won't be able to delete and re-download the programme, so try connecting to any available WiFi, re-opening the BBC iPlayer app, and then disconnecting from the WiFi again.

Why are my downloads failing?

Here are some reasons why downloads are failing on your mobile or tablet:

  • Your internet connection failing when a programme is downloading
    When this happens your download should pause and continue once an internet connection has been re-established, but if the download won’t progress try deleting the programme from your queue and download again.

    Your connection to the internet may fail either from your actual internet connection (your router to the internet) or your WiFi signal could be weak and drop out by being too far from the Wi-Fi router. And remember that you can only download over a WiFi network, not a 3G/4G network.

  • A very slow internet connection
    If your connection is too slow and it’s taking a very long time to download, it’s possible that the download could fail. Try again when your connection speed improves.
  • App crashing
    If the app is crashing or if you believe the issue is not related to your internet connection, reinstall the app as per the instructions above.
  • Outside the UK
    Streaming and downloading programmes is only possible within the UK. You won't be able to download programmes if you're outside of the UK.

Known Issues

Check the latest news and issues section on the Help Site for information on current issues with downloading on mobile or tablet devices. 

We're aware of some reports of downloads failing to complete in full on some Amazon Fire, Android, and iOS devices. For more information on these issues and steps to try, please see the following FAQ: Why are downloads failing on my mobile or tablet? 

A very small number of Android devices are currently experiencing serious bugs with video downloads so we have been forced to disable this feature on these affected devices. Find out if your device is affected on our Why can't I download programmes on my Android or Amazon Fire phone/tablet? FAQ.

Still need help?

We try our best to post updates about known issues with downloading on our Help Site, but if you have persistent problems please get in touch by clicking the Contact iPlayer Help button below. Send us over as much information as possible including:

  • the programme you're trying to download (check our programmes issues and updates page to see if it's a known issue)
  • whether this affects only one programme or several
  • the type of device you're using (e.g. iPad Pro, Samsung S8)
  • your device's operating system version (e.g. iOS 11.2, Android 6 - have a look at the Check that your phone or tablet software is up to date section above for advice on how to check your device's operating system version)
  • the version of the BBC iPlayer app you're using (you can find this in the app store on your device)
  • how you're connected to the internet
  • any error messages or numbers displayed
  • the steps you've tried to resolve the issue

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