Unlock BBC iPlayer’s hidden features

Upgrade your streaming sessions.

BBC iPlayer

Watch TV Live and On Demand


Thanks to BBC iPlayer, missing the latest episode of that must-watch drama is a thing of the past. But the app has more to it than catch-up TV.

Mixed within all the great live and on-demand content are several features that you may not know about – features that can enhance your viewing experience.

Upgrade your downloads

Whatever you watch on BBC iPlayer, you’ll be impressed with how good the content looks. But did you know you can make downloaded content look even better? After tapping Menu and clicking the settings icon (the one which resembles a cog), selecting Higher Quality Downloads will ensure your future iPlayer downloads will be visually richer.

Watch your favourites in the best possible quality.

As these larger files require more storage space and take longer to download, you might want to make sure you’re on Wi-Fi before attempting to store a lengthy film or full series.

Get the content you want

The BBC’s regional content is some of its most loved. But don’t worry if you’ve moved and are missing a particular programme. You can manually alter your location to keep up to date with your preferred content.

Tap Menu > Settings > Change Location for a list of locations. If you’re in London but want Scottish content or are living in the East Midlands but craving what’s on in Yorkshire, select your desired region from the list. Now, when you go to TV Guide, you’ll see all upcoming content localised to your chosen locale.

You have the power to set your own location.

Discover some great iPlayer-only content

As well as the latest episodes of Top Gear or MasterChef, iPlayer also has a wide range of content that has never been shown on traditional channels.

There is no single section for this content, so try searching “Comedy Shorts” if you fancy a range of quick laughs.

Find some of the hidden gems.

Make iPlayer family friendly

If your children like to watch iPlayer for the excellent on-demand kids’ content, the app’s Parental Guidance controls will prevent them from stumbling across unsuitable programming.

Tap Menu > Settings > Parental Guidance to set a passcode that will limit the content your kids can access. Once activated, your four-digit code will be required to watch anything that might not be child-friendly.

Make sure your kids don’t stumble upon something inappropriate.

With all these extra tools at your disposal, all that is left to do is to settle down with your iPad for an evening of great BBC content.

Never miss a can’t-miss show

Ever downloaded a show for later viewing only to notice it’s no longer available when you finally get round to watching it? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one, but thanks to BBC iPlayer you needn’t fall foul of the restricted rights on can’t-miss content again.

Never get caught out by disappearing downloads again.

Enter the app’s settings menu once more and flick the switch on the Expiring Downloads option to put an end to disappearing content.

Now, whenever a downloaded show is nearing the end of its availability window you’ll be sent a notification, giving you plenty of time to watch and finally understand those show-based memes that have been doing the rounds.

    BBC iPlayer

    Watch TV Live and On Demand