Is a Plex Pass subscription needed to use Downloads?
Yes, though which account needs the subscription can vary, depending on the situation and when the user and server owner Plex accounts were created (before or on/after 2022-08-01 UTC). See the matrix below:
|Client User Account|
|Created Before*||Created After*|
|Server Owner Account||Free||Plex Pass||Free||Plex Pass|
* Where the cutoff date in question is midnight (morning) 2022-08-01 UTC.
If the user is not also the owner of the Plex Media Server, then the owner will need to have enabled the Allow Downloads option when granting access to the server/libraries.
Related Page: Restrictions on Library Access
Can Managed Users use Downloads?
Yes. Managed users will be able to use Downloads as long as the admin of the Plex Home has an active Plex Pass (and has enabled the Allow Downloads option when granting access to the libraries).
Can I download media without having to transcode it?
Yes, that is generally the case. If the device you are using can direct play a file, it can be downloaded without needing to transcode.
Not every file is guaranteed to be able to download without requiring a transcode. For instance, not every file will be capable of direct play on a device or the server might have remote streaming limitation in place (which can still apply when downloading remotely). But a wide range of content will be able to download without requiring a transcode.
Can I download content at a lower quality to save space?
Yes. There is a separate setting for Downloads. These are global settings that will apply to all content you download. If you change the setting, it will only affect content you Download in the future; existing (already downloaded) content will not be changed.
Are subtitles downloaded?
Subtitles can be downloaded following your current subtitle burn-in option on your client. If the stream will currently play the subtitle without needing to be burned-in to the video, they will be downloaded as they are. If you have set your subtitles to always burn-in, then the subtitle will be burned-in prior to download and no additional subtitles will be downloaded.
Can I use ASS/SSA subtitles with my anime videos now?
Our mobile Plex apps do not fully support all formatting capabilities possible with ASS/SSA subtitles. If you want all the formatting that comes with that subtitle format, you will need to set your app to burn in the subtitle (this is the default behavior for ASS/SSA subtitles). If you do not burn in the subtitle, it will be downloaded and you can choose to enable it during playback, but you will only see the text with basic formatting.
Downloads to our Windows/Mac/Linux desktop app fully support ASS/SSA subtitles natively.
Can I download my entire library?
The Downloads feature is not designed or intended for downloading an entire library of content onto a device. You can choose specific items to download. That includes individual movies, episodes, or tracks; entire seasons, shows, albums, or artists; playlists; and more.
Can I cast/fling downloaded content to another Plex client or through Chromecast?
Casting or flinging downloaded content to another device is currently not supported.
Can managed users on the same device see content another user downloaded?
Yes. Downloaded content does not have a concept of ownership. Parental restrictions do not apply to Downloads, so managed users can see, play, and manage all previously downloaded content.
Does the played status for downloaded content update with the server?
Yes. The client will store and track playback progress per user. Your watched status will not be impacted by other users on the same device. The watched status will be updated with the server when the app next connects to the server to update information.
Will the app continue to download media if the device goes to sleep or the screen saver activates?
No. File transfers cannot work if the app is moved to the background such as when the screen turns off or the device goes to sleep. The app must be running in the foreground. If the app is on the “Items” tab of the “Downloads” library, the app will actively keep the device awake and continue to download media to your device.
Can I prevent friends from using Downloads if I’ve granted them access to my server?
Yes. The Allow Downloads option when granting another user access to a server library lets you choose whether or not you want that other account to be able to download. Even if you allow the user permission to download, that user will still need their own Plex Pass subscription to do so, as outlined earlier.
I tried to use Downloads but the status just shows as “Initializing Downloads”.
Some downloads require obtaining information from the server before it can be downloaded. This may take many minutes, depending on the amount of content available on the server. Simple Download jobs such as a single video or a single TV show should begin almost immediately.