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How long Can You Study In a Starbucks?

  • Sean 

You can study as long as you want at Starbucks. There is no time limit and you are not required to purchase anything. However, to be polite, it’s good to purchase a single drink and then take advantage of the free refill policy.

Is There a Time Limit for Studying at Starbucks?

You can stay as long as you want in Starbucks to study. There is absolutely no time limit to how long you can stay.

As long as you are not bothering the people around you or causing any distractions you should be fine. Just don’t give the employees any reason to kick you out.

However, It’s usually good to switch up your study environment from time to time regardless because of the associated learning benefits. It’s probably not worth spending the whole day in there even if you have the option.

I wrote a whole article on why changing your studying location improves your performance if you are interested.

Do you Need to Buy Something to Study at Starbucks?

Starbucks allows anybody to sit in Starbucks without purchasing anything. Previously, this was up to the individual store managers but now it is a nationwide policy, as per the announcement below that was made by Starbucks in 2018.

“Any customer is welcome to use Starbucks spaces, including our restrooms, cafes and patios, regardless of whether they make a purchase.”


The employees are meant to treat you as a customer regardless of whether you purchase anything.

It’s worth adding some common sense here though. It’s not polite to take up space that actual customers want to use if you are not a customer yourself. If the Starbucks you are sitting in has a lot of people and it’s getting busy, it’s polite to actually become a customer and buy a coffee or something to eat, at the bare minimum.

However, there is a better way to be polite than only buying when it gets busy.

Use the Free Refill Policy

If you want to be polite and spend a lot of time in a Starbucks you should use their free refill policy. Most people don’t even know that Starbucks actually has a free refill policy, but it does and you should be using it.

The free refill policy is quoted below.

“At participating stores, you can use your registered Starbucks Card or Starbucks app to purchase a beverage and then present that same Starbucks Card or Starbucks account in the app to get free refills of brewed coffee (hot, Iced Coffee, or Cold Brew), and tea (hot or iced) during the same store visit regardless of the original beverage.” 


If you don’t have the Starbucks app you can purchase a refill for 50 cents.

So if you want to be polite in Starbucks, all you really need to do is buy at least a single drink when you first arrive.

Finally, you might as well take advantage of the free refill policy afterwards because why not right?


  1. Fortin, J. (2018, May 20). A New Policy at Starbucks: People Can Sit Without Buying Anything. The New York Times.
  2. Starbucks’s Free Refill Policy Is a Genius Brand-Building Strategy—Even Though Very Few Know of It | (2022, Aug 22). Retrieved December 11, 2022, from