The interface of Kanopy showcasing collections of films to browse

Libby Tips & Tricks

How to get started streaming films for free with Kanopy


Aug 16, 2023

How many times have you spent more time deciding what to watch, than actually watching it? Channel surfing isn’t nearly as fun as it sounds, and with so many streaming services to pick from, the time and subscription costs can add up quickly. Cut the cord and lose the choice paralysis and rising fees with Kanopy, the free streaming video service from your public library. All you need is a library card.

Kanopy offers instant access to thousands of critically acclaimed movies, inspiring documentaries, award-winning foreign films and kid favorites, and can be a great alternative to streaming subscription services. Picking what to watch is easy with a variety of quality, thoughtful entertainment. Plus, there’s no ads, so you won’t be wasting time on commercials. Like other streaming platforms, you can watch on your TV or device, browse through curated collections, search for a specific title you’d like to watch or add to a list to watch later. And just like the Libby reading app, it’s free to access with your library card.*

A beginner’s guide to Kanopy

Here’s how to get started with Kanopy:

To use Kanopy, you'll need to enter your library card information and create a Kanopy account. We recommend doing this in a web browser, but you can also set up your account in the Kanopy app for iOS or Android.

To get started with Kanopy in a web browser:

1. Go to in a supported browser.

2. Select Get started.

3. Select Find your library.

4. To find a library near you, share your location when prompted or search for your library by name, city or zip code. Select your library's name from the list or map, then click Select this library.

Add a Library Card

5. Enter your library card number and PIN or password (if required by your library). Then, select Continue.

6. Create your Kanopy account:

- Enter your name, email address and password, then select Sign up.

- Or, sign up with an existing Apple or Google account by selecting Sign Up with Apple or Sign Up with Google and following the instructions.

7. Take note of how many films you can watch each month, then select Watch Now to get started.

For more questions, visit Kanopy Help.

What to watch on Kanopy

Access Kanopy

There’s always something new to watch on Kanopy. New films are consistently being added to the collection, and the everyday viewer to the cinephile will love the wide range of choices:

🎞️ Classics
🏆 Oscar-winning and nominated picks
🍿 Reality series
🍵 British TV from BBC
🎭 Indie hits
🧒 Kid and family-friendly favorites
📽️ Cult films
🧠 The Great Courses
🌎 Documentaries

Log in to start browsing movies and TV series from your library.

*Not all libraries offer Kanopy. Check with your library to learn more about their offerings. Title availability may vary by region.


About the Author

Annie Suhy has been working in the book industry since 2006. When she’s not working, practicing yoga, or petting cats, she’s doing paint-by-numbers and buying more plants. An avid poetry fan, her favorite collection is "The Splinter Factory" by Jeffrey McDaniel.


Never miss a post

Get the best in books straight to your inbox weekly!
Unsubscribe anytime!
Stay connected

Follow for updates on TwitterFollow for updates on InstagramFollow for updates on FacebookFollow for updates on TikTok