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How to watch Harry Potter movies in order

Harry Potter movies in order
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Grab your wand and head to Platform 9 3/4 to watch the Harry Potter movies in order. The beloved books ignited the imaginations of kids everywhere, who dreamed of attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry alongside Harry, Hermione and Ron. 

The seven books were adapted into eight movies (with the final book split into two films) that brought in billions of dollars at the box office and made stars of its young cast. The popularity of the books and movies led to the Fantastic Beasts spinoffs (currently, the third film is in production).

The Harry Potter franchise starts with the eponymous hero at the age of 11, who discovers he's actually a wizard. He receives an invite to attend Hogwarts, under the guidance of kind Headmaster Albus Dumbledore. There, he makes friends, enters his teen years and hones his powers before facing off against the Lord Voldemort, the dark wizard who killed his parents.

As the Harry Potter-verse has grown, so too has the number of streaming options. It can be confusing to figure out where to find the Harry Potter movies and whether to stream them by release date or by the chronological timeline. That's why we've put together this guide on how to watch the the Harry Potter movies in order.

Where to watch the Harry Potter movies

As of May 2021, you can find all eight original Harry Potter movies on Peacock

The first three films — Sorcerer's Stone, Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban — are available with Peacock Free. However, the other five movies require a Peacock Premium subscription.

The two Fantastic Beasts films — Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald — are not on any streaming service. You will need to rent or purchase them from a digital retailer. 

Harry Potter movies in order of release date

Watching the Harry Potter movies in release order is easy. The eight original movies came out first, then the Fantastic Beasts spinoffs. 

Here's the list of films and the year of their theatrical release:

  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) 
    Stream on Peacock
    Rent/buy: Amazon | Apple | YouTube
  2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
    Stream on Peacock
    Rent/buy: Amazon | Apple | YouTube
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
    Stream on Peacock
    Rent/buy: Amazon | Apple | YouTube
  4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
    Stream on Peacock
    Rent/buy: Amazon | Apple | YouTube
  5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
    Stream on Peacock
    Rent/buy: Amazon | Apple | YouTube
  6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
    Stream on Peacock
    Rent/buy: Amazon | Apple | YouTube
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (2010)
    Stream on Peacock
    Rent/buy: Amazon | Apple | YouTube
  8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011)
    Stream on Peacock
    Rent/buy: Amazon | Apple | YouTube
  9. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)
    Rent/buy: Amazon | Apple | YouTube
  10. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)
    Rent/buy: Amazon | Apple | YouTube
  11. Fantastic Beasts 3 (July 15, 2022)

Harry Potter movies in order — Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

(Image credit: EA/Warner Bros.)

Harry Potter movies in order of chronological events

Now, here's where things get slightly tricky. The Fantastic Beasts films are prequels, so they take place decades before the events of the original Harry Potter movies. 

Those take place during Harry's time at Hogwarts, so each book/movie corresponds to a school year. The final two movies split the final book and school year.

Here's the list of Harry Potter movies and the year in which they are set:

  1. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (1926)
  2. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (1927)
  3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (1991-92)
  4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1992-93)
  5. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1992-94)
  6. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (1994-95)
  7. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (1995-96)
  8. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (1996-97)
  9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (1997-98)
  10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (1997-98)

Fantastic Beasts 3 is likely to be set right after the second film in that series and before the events of Sorcerer's Stone. 

And if the Harry Potter stage play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, is made into a movie, it would fall at the end of both the release order and chronological order since it's set circa 2017.

Are the Harry Potter movies on Peacock or HBO Max?

Wait, didn't Peacock have the Harry Potter movies? Or was it HBO Max? Yes, both did — for a time.

HBO Max streamed the Harry Potter movies when it launched last summer. See, WarnerMedia owns the Harry Potter film franchise. However, the corporation sold the broadcast and cable (and streaming) rights to NBCUniversal, which owns Peacock. But WarnerMedia borrowed them back — likely for a hefty fee — so that its new streaming service could launch with some big titles.

Then, the Harry Potter movies moved to Peacock, where they will stream on and off through 2021. They may return to HBO Max for a limited run, as well. And then who knows what will happen in 2025, when NBCUniversal's TV rights lapse.

As writer Jess Mason joked on Twitter, "Harry Potter is like the child of a divorce where the parents are Universal and Warner Bros and the franchise just keeps being pulled to different homes."

So many streaming services, all fighting over the same valuable IP.

Kelly Woo

Kelly covers streaming media for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.