I'm running iTunes 11 on a retina MacBook Pro, and when I try to download HD movies, iTunes shows me a dialog alert saying "This cannot be played in HD on this computer." The dialog goes on to imply that I have a choice to proceed or to but the standard def version, but I don't see a way to buy the HD version.

What's wrong with iTunes?

Why can't iTunes 11 play HD movies on a retina MacBook Pro? Where's the "I wanna download it anyway" button?

  • My guess is that this computer is not powerful enough to decode HD in real-time.
    – GEdgar
    Dec 24, 2012 at 0:24
  • 1
    We're talking about the most powerful Mac laptop ever. Really?
    – Moshe
    Dec 24, 2012 at 2:13
  • Is your laptop full of data?
    – William
    Feb 25, 2017 at 20:22
  • This has happened to me before when I try to buy HDCP-enabled movies on non-HDCP devices. Solution was to buy the movie on my iPhone, cancel the download on iPhone, then download on my Mac. Apr 2, 2017 at 23:25

1 Answer 1


Open iTunes > go to Preferences > Downloads. Ensure that the checkbox which asks if you want HD footage to be preferred over SD is ticked. Also, check your storage and make sure you are using a screen resolution that isn't too far off from the default. If this does not work, turn off the computer, then press shift + control + option, then press the power button (but don't hold). Then once you have done that, power on the computer. Some users who had this bug have reported that as a solution.

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