Are Your iTunes Movie and TV Show Wish Lists Gone in iOS 17.2? Here’s How to Find Them

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For the past few months, the writing has been on the wall of Apple’s intention to kill off its standalone iTunes Movies and TV Shows apps in iOS 17.2 and tvOS 17.2. However, it seems this came with some collateral damage that nobody expected: eliminating users’ Movie Wish Lists and TV Show Favorites in the process.

Shortly before the iOS/tvOS 17.2 beta cycle began in October, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported on Apple’s plans to revamp the TV app and phase out the dedicated iTunes video apps, so it wasn’t a huge surprise when the TV app received a friendly sidebar design in tvOS 17.2. While the standalone apps remained in place, Apple’s intentions were clear: the individual iTunes Movies and iTunes TV Shows apps were about to be shown the door.

Those apps continued to exist throughout the tvOS 17.2 beta cycle, as did the dedicated “Movies” and “TV Shows” sections that had been in the iPhone and iPad iTunes Store app since “iOS” 3.0 added them in 2009 (they were called “iPhone Software Updates” back then, and the original “iTunes Wi-Fi Store came in “iOS” 1.1.1 shortly after the first iPhone was released, but it only supported purchasing and downloading music at the time).

However, Gurman’s sources confirmed that Apple also planned to phase out those sections in the iTunes Store at some point in the future, and it didn’t waste any time in doing so; following the public release of iOS 17.2 last week, attempting to access the legacy iTunes Movies and TV Shows sections on the iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV resulted in a message that these had been moved to the TV app.

On the surface, that didn’t seem like a big problem; the TV app has provided a “Store” page for a few years now, so also having separate Apple TV apps to handle movie and TV show purchases was redundant, and arguably so were the dedicated sections in the iOS/iPadOS iTunes Store — and even more so when you consider they’ve been solely in the TV app on the Mac since the standalone iTunes app was killed off in macOS Catalina.

Sadly, although Apple’s TV app offers most of the same capabilities for purchasing and renting movies and buying TV Shows, Apple hasn’t replicated the Wish List in the TV app, which means that anybody running tvOS 17.2 no longer has access to this.

This is clearly something nobody saw coming — including Apple’s engineers when they phased out the dedicated iTunes Movies and TV Shows sections, and as MacRumors notes, there are quite a few folks who have been saving up items in their Wish List for a long time — nearly a decade in some cases — who suddenly had the rug pulled out from under them.

Gone But Not Forgotten

The good news is that all hope is not lost for what was in your Wish List, and there’s even a possibility that Apple could bring them all back to the TV app.

Since your Apple TV Wish List is synced to your iTunes Store account, it hasn’t been lost. There’s simply no way to access it in the latest tvOS update.

However, if you still have a device running tvOS 17.1 or older, you can still find your Movie Wish List and TV Show Favorites in the same places they’ve always been — inside the iTunes Movies and iTunes TV Shows apps on the Apple TV.

Since the older tvOS versions don’t include the updated TV app, Apple hasn’t removed direct access from the iTunes Movies and TV Shows apps and likely won’t be doing so, even though the TV app has included similar functionality for a while.

A Wish List also still exists in the iTunes Store app on the iPhone and iPad, just not in the Movies or TV Shows tabs. If you click on the menu in the top-right corner of the Music tab, it will appear as it always has, showing Movies and TV Seasons you’ve added to your Wish List alongside your music.

Sadly, what you’ll see in iTunes is a different Wish List. The Apple TV iTunes Movies Wish List and TV Favorites have never synced to anything other than the Apple TV. This means that you’ll only be able to view and recover this Wish List from another Apple TV running something older than tvOS 17.2.

A separate Wish List is kept for the iTunes apps — the iTunes Store on the iPhone and iPad, and in iTunes for Windows. This should sync between all of those devices, but it doesn’t sync to the Apple TV.

Nobody outside of Apple has ever been sure why the Apple TV uses a separate Wish List, but it’s likely that Apple simply never bothered to integrate it into the main iTunes one. After all, the fact that Apple forgot to account for the Wish List in the latest updates should make it clear that it isn’t a priority for the company but rather a legacy feature that’s been kicking around for years without much attention.

Sadly, had Apple unified these wish lists years ago, this wouldn’t be as big of a problem, as the Apple TV Wish List could still be accessed from other devices.

However, since the Apple TV Wish List and Favorites lists are stored in the cloud, anything that’s been saved there should still be available as part of your Apple/iTunes account; you just won’t be able to access it unless Apple puts the appropriate button back into the TV app. Let’s hope Apple hears and responds to the concerns of the many folks who have been building up their lists for years.

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