Tried to watch Netflix on your device, but the software is incompatible? Though most users propose switching to the browser temporarily, that can only patch things up for so long. Netflix, despite its troubles with bleeding subscribers in 2022, is still a dominant force in the world of online video streaming. Therefore, it’s equally important for the company and its users that things work as intended, and that the device support is as extensive, efficient, and easy to understand and benefit from. Sadly, not all customers are tech-savvy or desire to stay up to date with technology. Thankfully, we’ll help you fix the problem when Netflix is not compatible with your device.
How to know if Netflix is incompatible with my device?
Questioning whether Netflix supports your device is a common thing, and the answer is usually straightforward—the platform (Google Play Store, Apple App Store, Mac Store, Microsoft Store, and so on) will tell you. For this to happen, you need to visit the Netflix page on the desired software distribution store. You’ll frequently see notifications such as:
- “This app is not compatible with your device. Contact the developers for more info.”
- “Your device isn’t compatible with this version.”
- “This version of the Netflix app is not compatible with your device. (-13)”
You may also get the app to launch, but then experience a black screen, flickering, crashing, and other irregularities that prevent you from using the Netflix software.
1. Verify that your device is suitable for the Netflix app
Let’s start by mentioning that Netflix is compatible with:
- Android 7 and later if downloaded from Google Play Store, thanks to their verification system, and Android 4.4.2 to 7.1.2 if downloaded from Netflix’s website (method 3)
- iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 or later, through Netflix app is preinstalled on devices going as far back as iOS 5.0
- Any Windows, Mac, or Linux system with a browser with support for HTML5
- Windows 10 or Windows 11 with Microsoft Store access
- Mac computers with Netflix are available on Mac App Store, typically macOS 10.11 and later
Therefore, there’s a strong chance Netflix is genuinely not compatible with your device, and you either need to switch devices or tweak your software or operating system version.
2. Update Android, iOS, or custom firmware to the newest version
Whether you’re using a Smart TV, or an Android, iOS, or iPad mobile device, there’s a chance you can meet the software requirements by updating your firmware. This is prominent on Apple devices and Smart TVs since updates are released longer. Hence, these gadgets can make a huge jump in firmware versions, especially if you never updated them. The steps vary based on the operating system and the current version but generally look like this:
- Android — Go to Apps (if such an application doesn’t exist, open the app drawer) → Settings → System → More or Advanced → About device → Software updates (check current version) → Update now after a scan → Confirm the update and device restarts
- iOS — Go to Settings → General → Software Updates. Begin the update process and wait for the device reboot
- Smart TV — Varies drastically based on firmware and model. Usually, using remote or TV buttons, open Settings (could be a cogwheel/gears icon on remote) → Support → Software Update → Update Now
3. Download a simplified Netflix application
We won’t get into the Google Play Store’s Play Protect status in-depth. However, the long story short is that Netflix was forced to limit the compatibility of the app to meet Google’s demands. Luckily, the company still hosts the old version of the app in the cloud. It is, again, available for 4.4.2 to 7.1.2 Android, and immediately available for download. This procedure is also known as sideloading the Netflix app or .apk file, and works like this:
- Open the Settings app on your Android device.
- Go to Security.
- Find the Install apps from external (or unknown) sources option and toggle it on. It may be hidden under “Advanced”, “More settings”, or “Developer options”. It could also be titled Allow installation of apps from sources other than the Play Store.
- Confirm the setting change, then download the official Netflix 4.16 APK for backward support.
- Tap the app where you downloaded it (you can also download it on PC and transfer it to your device’s storage).
- Select Install when prompted, then tap the Netflix app on the home screen after installation.
4. Cloning and downloading the Netflix app from third parties (Last resort)
Some users suggest that the Netflix app has greater functionality than the company and stores give it credit for. Therefore, some users propose “cloning” the application from a working device, and installing it on a non-working one can solve the issue. This can lead to a lot of troubleshooting. Additionally, even if the app launches and lets you log in, the correct resolution, user account type, or aspect ratio may not apply.
If you don’t have a secondary device and can’t get it to work, don’t fret. Getting third-party APKs from the Internet (some are modified to improve functionality and performance) is the next step. Be warned that though it may fix the issue with Netflix not being compatible with your device, you need to get them from a reliable source. Then, study the modifications and user feedback before installation.
That is also a great opportunity to delete your application, then install an older version from a .apk file. After all, the latest one is not always the most stable and most functional. You can check this by going to Settings → Apps → Sell all apps → Tap on Netflix → Go to the bottom and see the version and build.
5. Removing Netflix as a system app (Situational)
The only problem with the methods above is that some Android devices have Netflix preinstalled. Therefore, users will quickly realize Android treats it as a system application. In other words, you cannot remove it to install an official or unofficial APK. Not even the one from Google Play Store may work, as you likely cannot update it past a predetermined version. Unfortunately, solving that situation would require rooting your device or Smart TV to gain superuser access. If you are desperate and rooting isn’t an obstacle, you can use Android SDK Platform Tools and the following Android Debug Bridge (adb) commands:
pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.netflix.mediaclient