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How to get Apple TV+

Apple TV+ offers a growing lineup of original shows and movies, from adult comedies to kid-friendly TV shows, featuring everything from Oprah and Prince Harry’s The Me You Can’t See to the latest hilarious season of Mythic Quest.

If you’re interested in exploring Apple’s lineup, there’s good news and bad news: For nearly a year now, Apple has been offering a free-trial year of Apple TV+ if you buy certain new Apple products like iPhones or MacBooks. As of July 1, 2021, this deal drops down to just a three-month trial, so get it before June 30. After that, it’s $4.99 per month, more affordable than many other streaming apps. Here’s how to sign up and what’s involved!

Note: We know it’s a little confusing, but remember that Apple TV+ is a streaming subscription just like Netflix or Hulu, while the Apple TV is a physical set-top box and unique platform for your entertainment center/devices. You don’t need an Apple TV device to watch Apple TV+ — the TV app works across many platforms, and Apple TV+ supports play through your browser, too.

Step 1: Head to the Apple TV+ webpage

The Apple TV interface.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Technically, you can sign up for Apple TV+ on just about any device, but we prefer the quick, easy method of hopping on your desktop browser and navigating to the Apple TV+ website. Here’s the link to visit it directly, and you can, of course, find it any time by Googling “Apple TV+.”

Step 2: Start your free trial

How to get Apple TV.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

It’s a good idea to start with Apple’s 7-day free trial (and we’ll discuss signing up for a free year below, too). If you like TV+ and find enough new content to keep you going, you can transition smoothly to making payments via your Apple account after the trial period has ended.

To begin, select the Watch Now button in the upper-right corner of the webpage. This takes you to the sign-up page, where you should select Start Your Free Trial. Select Continue to confirm your choice.

Step 3: Enter your Apple ID and verify payment

Screenshot of the Apple TV sign-in page.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you aren’t automatically signed in already, you will now need to enter your Apple ID and password. Your Apple account is how you will manage your subscription and payments, so you will need one to watch Apple TV+. If you haven’t signed in on that device in a while, you may have to do two-factor authentication as well.

Once signed in, Apple may also ask you to enter payment information. If necessary, have your payment card ready to go so you can quickly scan or input the information, then select Next to continue. You may need to enter a card even if you already have payments set for your Apple account in another way.

Step 4: Confirm your subscription

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Apple may once again ask you to sign back in with your Apple ID and password. (Hey — if you want to make this process easier, you should sign up with a password manager.) Sign in as many times as is required, and select Confirm when the option is available.

When completed, you’ll get a message saying “Welcome to Apple TV+,” and you can select Continue to start watching content right away. Apple will also remind you that you can set parental controls for all versions of Apple TV+, so if kids will be watching, now is a good time to visit your account settings and put some controls in place.

Step 5: Making sure you get your free year

A shot of the Apple TV subscription.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you see an option to sign up for your free trial after you sign in to your Apple account, select it! Unfortunately, this doesn’t always show up, depending on the browser or device you are using. If you don’t see that option, but you know you recently purchased an Apple device and logged into it with your Apple ID, don’t hit Confirm quite yet.

Instead, try downloading the Apple TV app directly on your new Apple device, like an iPhone or iPad. Open it up, and look at the offers for Apple TV+. This is usually enough to get Apple to recognize that you recently bought a new product and offer your free trial.

If you already signed up for Apple TV+ but still bought a new device, contact Apple customer service right away and explain your situation. They should be able to view your account and make adjustments to your payment plan accordingly.

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