The way we consume media in the early 21st century has changed. The ability to stream content cheaply, without advertisements, and in high definition, has almost spoiled us. And it definitely has its advantages – for one, you don’t need a stack of disks collecting dust in your home if you are a connoisseur of movies and TV shows. Plus, you can watch content across a wide variety of devices, cancel your cable TV subscription, and have your family or group of friends all bunched up on one Netflix account. But while saving hard disk space is awesome, sometimes you have a need to watch content offline. If that’s the case, here’s a guide on how to download movies on Netflix.
Netflix Download Feature Compatibility
We will assume you’ve already learned how to watch movies on Netflix and registered an account. Still, a few reminders won’t hurt, particularly when it comes to compatibility. These are the requirements to download content from Netflix.
- Windows 10 tablet or computer with a Windows version 1607 or later
- Android device running Android 4.4.2 or later
- iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch running iOS 9.0 or higher
- Amazon Fire tablet running Fire OS 4.0 or higher
- A limited number of Chromebook and Chromebox devices
How to download Netflix movies
While you’ll have no problem watching content in your browser, for downloading, we recommend using the official apps. There are ways to “rip” the video with third-party extension, but we think that’s both illegal and unnecessary when you have an official option.
- Get Netflix on the Windows Store.
- Sign in with your account details.
- Browse the movies on the home page, click or tap on the thumbnail, and see if there is an icon of a down arrow with Download underneath. This is hit-and-miss, as you’ll find some items that don’t have this icon and cannot be watched offline.
- The better way is to tap or click on the menu button (three horizontal lines) in the top left corner, just below Home. Choose the Available for Download category, and Netflix will sort the items for you.
- Once on the movie specific page, click on Download.
- Choose the directory to save the movie in, if asked.
- To watch a movie you downloaded, click or tap on the menu button, then choose My Downloads. You will see all your offline movies with their running time, description, and space it took on your drive.
- Tap or click on the video thumbnail to play.
If you need to download from Netflix using an Android phone, here’s the way.
- Download, install and run Netflix for Android.
- Sign in with your account details.
- Find a movie you’d like to download and tap on its thumbnail.
- Tap on Download next to Share.
- Tap on Downloads in the bottom right corner to track the download progress or watch movies you’ve already downloaded. You can also tap on Find More to Download, and Netflix will list similar content that is available for offline viewing.
- Optional. Tap More in the bottom right corner. You can adjust video quality, whether content will be downloaded through Wi-Fi only, and choose a default download location. The latter is very useful if you want to use an SD card to store movies offline.
Netflix movie download on iOS devices couldn’t be easier, because the app is nearly identical to the Android counterpart.
- Download, install and run Netflix for iOS.
- Log in with your Netflix account.
- Tap on Movies at the top of the window, then find a movie you want to download.
- Tap on Download.
- Check the progress, the storage the movie occupied, or play the already downloaded movie by tapping on Download in the bottom right corner, next to Menu.
- Optional. You can tap on Menu to adjust video quality, download location, and other settings related to your Netflix account.
Limits and special features
Watching movies from Netflix isn’t unlimited like the videos you yourself recorded. After all, Netflix cannot stop you from downloading and running off with the content they “borrowed” to you. Here are some of the limitations.
- Movies are only available on the device they were downloaded on
- Any profile tied to the account can watch downloaded content (Kids’ accounts will still be forbidden from opening mature content) and use subtitles and audio chosen at the time of download
- Netflix supports up to 100 simultaneous downloads on devices that are part of your membership plan. Depending on your subscription tier, you only have one to four devices covered
- TV shows cannot be downloaded by season – you are forced to manually download episode by episode
- Depending on the contracts Netflix has negotiated, some titles can only be downloaded once. Others can only be downloaded a certain number of times within a billing period. Depending on the contracts, some of the movies you downloaded might be automatically deleted 48 hours after you’ve watched them
To ease the situation in regard to TV shows, Netflix has implemented a feature called Smart Downloads. You can enable or disable it by going to the Menu/Settings, as we explained above. If you have multiple episodes of a series downloaded, Netflix will automatically delete those you’ve already watched, thus saving you space.
Why can’t I download a movie from Netflix?
In our experience, you can download everything tagged with Netflix Originals. But while you can download content in the majority of cases, sometimes the download icon doesn’t appear. Don’t worry, it’s not you – it’s them. The reasons are typically one of the following:
- Netflix wasn’t able to acquire content rights, whether by a failed negotiation or because the content provider doesn’t sell them
- They partnered with a studio to produce content, but are only allowed to offer the content for streaming, not downloading
- Other factors such as cost to acquire, momentary popularity, or your location
How to delete films download on Netflix
- On Windows 10 – Click on the menu in the top left corner (three lines).
- Go to My Downloads. Open the movie title, click on the Downloaded button, and choose Delete Download.
- You can also go to Settings, then click on Delete All Downloads.
- On Android and iOS – Tap on Downloads in the bottom right corner.
- Tap on the movie title. You’ll get two options, Play and Delete Download. Choose the latter.
- You can also go to Menu in the bottom right corner, then App Settings, then Delete All Downloads.
Extended Use of Netflix Downloads: Exploring Netflix Party
While downloading Netflix movies is a straightforward process and offers an immense amount of convenience, especially for viewers who often face connectivity issues or are constantly on the move, there’s more you can do with these downloads. A novel and interactive way of enjoying your downloaded Netflix movies is by using an application called Netflix Party, which is now known as Teleparty. Now, we are going to take a deeper look at the Teleparty service.
What is Teleparty (Netflix Party)?
Teleparty is a browser extension enabling users to enjoy Netflix films and series in synchrony with friends and family, irrespective of their geographical location. This feature is particularly useful in these times of social distancing, where physical get-togethers are less frequent. The service also works on other movie websites or streaming services such as YouTube, Disney Plus, Hulu, HBO, and Amazon Prime Video.
How to Use Teleparty?
To use Teleparty, Install the Teleparty extension from the Chrome Web Store or from the Microsoft Edge Addons.
After installation, the TP icon will appear adjacent to your address bar. Navigate to Netflix in your browser and initiate a film or series. Click the TP icon and select ‘Start the party’ to form a Teleparty. You can subsequently distribute the party URL to your friends. To join the party, they simply have to click the URL and then the TP icon.
Remember, Teleparty synchronizes video playback, so all participants are watching the movie at the same time, and it also provides a group chat feature to discuss the movie in real time.
Using Downloaded Content on Teleparty
To enjoy your downloaded content on Teleparty, you’d need to be connected to the internet. Teleparty does not directly support offline content, but you can start playing the movie from your downloaded section while connected to the internet, then start a Teleparty.
Keep in mind, while this doesn’t utilize the offline benefits of downloads, it does provide a unique, shared viewing experience. If your goal is to enjoy a movie night with friends far away, then this is an excellent way to do it.
Please Note: Using the Teleparty extension requires everyone involved to have access to a Netflix account and the Teleparty extension installed on their browser.