HBO Max is currently available in the US, Latin America, and parts of Europe. However, there are still a number of countries that don’t have this streaming platform available, which includes hugely popular shows like The Last of Us, Succession, House of the Dragon and Euphoria.
Fortunately, we’ve managed to successfully find a workaround. It’s a similar method that we use to watch the likes of Hulu, The CW and Netflix US – through using a VPN.
Here’s how you can access HBO Max from the UK. We also recommend taking a look at how to watch HBO Max for free.
How to watch HBO Max using a VPN
To sign up for a subscription you have to go to the HBO Max website. You won’t be able to open the website on your normal UK browser due to the site only being available in the US. However, this is easily overcome through the use of a VPN.
Having a VPN (virtual private network) allows you to change your IP address so you can browse the internet as if you’re based in another country. For HBO Max, you will need a US server. We tested this method using NordVPN, which is easy to use, has a good range of servers, and has affordable pricing.
Once you’ve chosen your VPN, you’ve gotten past the first hurdle of watching HBO Max. The next will be when you need to input your payment information.
The HBO Max website currently only allows you to sign up if you have a payment card that’s tied to the US. If you don’t have that, here are the steps you should take:
- Time to complete: 10 minutes
- Tools required: HBO Max app, smartphone, VPN
Find a US server on your VPN on your smartphone
Anyron Copeman / Foundry
There is a range of US servers on NordVPN – some may be more successful than others.
Ensure you are connected to a US server on your smartphone for the entire process.
Create a new Apple ID/Google Play account in your browser that’s tied to the US
Hannah Cowton / Foundry
Ensure the country is either set to the United States, or left blank.
Register your new account on your phone
Sign in on the App Store/Play Store and register your new US account on your device.
Download and install the HBO Max app
Verify your purchase if needed.
Tap ‘skip’ if the app store asks you to add payment information to your iOS/Google Play account before you’ve installed HBO Max.
Create a new account in the HBO Max app with your email address and password
Choose whether you want the ad-supported or ad-free plan and if you want to pay monthly or annually.
Use PayPal as your method of payment (this can be a UK account)
Hannah Cowton / Foundry
Verify PayPal with your phone number if you have two-factor authentication set up.
Once your account is verified, you can sign in from any device.
Sometimes, the Google Play Store does not change to the US version, even when creating a new account.
The way to get around this is by connecting to a VPN on a PC, signing into the Google Play Store US website, searching for the app you need, and sending it to your phone (whilst still connected to the VPN). You can see an example using Peacock below:
There have been reports of users not being able to install HBO Max on iOS as the app store forces users to register their payment details and doesn’t accept UK PayPal if you try to register with this account.
To get around this, we recommend purchasing US App Store credit via a digital gift card – which can be added as a US payment option.
You can purchase this from places such as Amazon US, though there are other retailers available. You’ll need a website that allows you to pay with UK bank details. The typical minimum amount you can purchase will be $25 – enough to cover one month’s subscription to HBO Max.
When the site asks you to put in the recipient, enter your own email address and the code to redeem the money will be sent to your inbox. Then when you need to add payment information in the app store, select ‘redeem gift card or code’, and you should be able to add the money as credit on your account.
With this, you should then be able to sign up for an HBO Max account. Once your account is active, you can change your payment information back to your UK PayPal via the website to avoid having to pay for a new gift card every single time.
We’d like to stress that all of these methods are technically against HBO’s terms of service, so the company could cancel your account at any time. Proceed at your own risk.