While US viewers can enjoy all the shows and films available on HBO Max, international viewers are sadly missing out on this streaming giant that has the likes of Friends, the Studio Ghibli movies, the DC catalogue and new HBO new shows such as Lovecraft Country.
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. For the best performance and pricing, we recommend either NordVPN or Surfshark. You can also take a look at our list of the best VPNs for HBO Max.
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.
Billing information for HBO Max
Once you’ve bought the VPN you want, you'll need to download it on either your iOS or Android device. 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:
- Launch your VPN on your iOS/Android device and connect to a US server
- Create a new Apple ID/Google Play account in your browser that's tied to the US (leave the country blank)
- Register your new account on your iOS/Android device app store
- You should now have access to the US app store - download and install the HBO Max app
- 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
- Use PayPal as your method of payment (this can be a UK account)
- 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.