Here you’ll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Popcorn Time and similar programs including solutions to common problems. Can’t find an answer to your question? Ask it in our Q&A!
Is Popcorn Time legal?
That depends on the laws where you reside. For most countries the answer is “yes and no”. No, because it isn’t illegal to install a program that can download torrents or to download torrents in general. However, it IS usually illegal to download and share copyright protected content and since nearly everything that can be watched in Popcorn Time and similar programs is protected by a copyright watching movies or TV-show episodes in these applications will most likely be a copyright infringement.
In a nutshell it can be compared to a crowbar. Owning one isn’t illegal but using it to break in to other people’s houses is.
Regardless of laws, you’re downloading and/or using Popcorn Time and any other application/piece of software you read about on this website at your own risk.
Learn more: Is Popcorn Time Illegal to use?
Is Popcorn Time safe?
There’s been a lot of speculation regarding the safety of the applications mentioned here, especially time4popcorn that’s been accused of containing virus.
To our best knowledge none of the applications you are directed to by links on this website contain virus, malware or similar. However, since there are a lot of shady people out there you’ll come across a plethora of websites offering to download Popcorn Time or one of its clones with liberal use of words such as “official”, “original” etc. Most of these just want you to click an ad on their website but there are also some that have added a bit of extra code to the installation packages containing malware, virus or similar.
If you stick to the websites we point to here we can (almost) guarantee you won’t install anything unwanted.
In case your computer gets dirty it can be recommended to download and run the free version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
What’s on Popcorn Time?
The contents of Popcorn Time are aggregated from the two torrent portals EZTV and YTS. We’ve compiled comprehensive lists from both websites so if it’s on Popcorn Time you can find it in the movies or TV shows sections.
The movie/episode doesn’t start and/or playback is choppy/stutters.
Popcorn Time and its clones work by downloading files using the Bittorrent protocol and playing them at the same time. This means that download speed is much dependent on the other users sharing the same file (while you download/watch you share the file too). Very popular content can usually be downloaded at sufficiently high speeds to sustain smooth playback but if you happen to stumble upon some of the less popular stuff you might have to be more patient. These downloads will sometimes be unable to download as fast as the file plays which results in annoying stuttering if it starts in the first place.
There are a few ways you can try to solve this issue:
- Try a different source/torrent. Some of the applications let you choose the torrent file before starting playback. If there’s more than one option you might be able to find one that yields a higher download speed.
- Start the movie/episode, press pause and go do something else for a while, then resume playback afterwards. This way the download can get a “head start” while you do the dishes, cook dinner or stare in to the wall.
If 1 or 2 don’t work you can try watching the desired content in another version/clone.
Popcorn Time won’t start, show menues, “error loading data” etc.
All applications you read about on this website are beta-versions which means they’re still in development but available to the public for testing purposes. They’re not yet finished products and you can thus expect to run in to problems now and then, this comes with the beta-software territory. A very common issue is receiving the “error loading data, try again later” message when trying to load the menus.
Before doing any troubleshooting you should check that the systems behind Popcorn Time are working, you can do that by going to http://status.popcorntime.sh where all the buttons should preferably be green.
If/when you come across problems you can try to fix them by a couple of simple measures. Start at 1 and work your way through the list until the issue has been resolved:
- Shut down the program/app and start it up again
- If you’re using an app it can help to clear its cache (press and hold the app icon, go to app info).
- Restart your computer/phone/tablet
- Remove (uninstall) the program/app, redownload and install it again
If neither method works there might be something wrong at your end of things. You can always try to download another version if one keeps giving you problems.
How can I watch Popcorn Time on my TV?
A Smart TV app that does the same as Popcorn Time would be awesome but it doesn’t exist (yet). However, there are a few ways you can watch your favorite movies and TV-shows on your flatscreen.
- Hook your unit up to the TV with an HDMI. The simple solution
- Get an Android TV or and sideload the app (method is for Nexus Player but should also work for an Android TV)
- Hook an android stick PC up to your TV and install an app.
- “Cast” to your flatscreen using a Chromecast or Apple TV (with AirPlay) (doesn’t work for all versions/clones/forks)
- A Chromecast is a gadget you plug in to one of your TV’s HDMI sockets and connect to your WiFi. This way you can use the Chromecast as a streaming “bridge” that can play content from Netflix, Youtube etc. directly on your TV without using a cable. Also works for some of the Popcorn Time apps
- Play the file to your TV using DLNA (doesn’t work for all versions either)
- This way you use a Playstation 4 or Xbox One for playback on your TV