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.
Here’s how you can access HBO Max from the UK - you can use this method to watch the latest HBO Max release, the Friends reunion special. We also recommend taking a look at how to watch HBO Max for free, and the differences between HBO Max, HBO Now and HBO Go.
This method will allow you to tune into the likes of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air reunion and every other Warner Bros. movie that's planned to launch on the service in 2021 or 2022 - including Dune, The Matrix 4, and The Suicide Squad.
Watch HBO Max using a VPN
To sign up for subscription you have to go to the HBO Max website. However, 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
For the next step, you’ll need the HBO Max app. We have successfully tested this method using NordVPN - based on our experience of accessing HBO Now from the UK.
Once you've signed up for your VPN of choice, 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 account
- 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
We have had reports of people not being able to install HBO Max on iOS as the app store forces users to register their payment details within the app store, and doesn't accept UK PayPal if you try to register with this account.
If this happens to you, we recommend purchasing US App Store credit via a digital gift card - which can be added as a US payment option.
This can be bought 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 of HBO Max at $14.99, or $9.99 for the cheaper ad-supported tier.
If you set your email address as the recipient, the code to redeem the money will be sent to your inbox. When you come to add the payment information, 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 - and you should be able to 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.
You should now be able to watch HBO Max as if you were in the US, providing you have a VPN on the device you're using - you'll need to use the VPN every time you want to watch something.