Watch Netflix Anywhere: 3 Ways to Download Your Movies and Shows

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netflix offers a huge library of movies and TV series to stream on demand, but when you’re traveling or commuting, sometimes it’s hard to get a good internet connection. If you can’t log in or don’t want to use mobile data for streaming, simply download the shows in advance when connected to Wi-Fi.

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Netflix introduced downloads in November 2016, and the service has been beefing up its download features ever since. You can now change your Netflix settings to get automatic downloads and deletes once you’ve finished watching a movie or episode, plus an endless supply of new downloads to make sure you always have something to watch out for. line.

Learn how to manually download Netflix content and how to adjust your download settings to have Netflix automatically manage it for you with its Smart Downloads features. For more, learn more about Netflix’s hidden menu or see CNET’s reviews of all streaming services

How to Download Netflix Movies and TV Shows?

If you’re used to using Netflix on your mobile device, you’ve probably noticed the dark “Download” button that sits just below “Play.” Clicking this button will start downloading a local version of the movie or TV show you want.

You can download Netflix movies and TV shows on iPhone, iPad, Android, and Amazon Fire devices, as well as computers with Windows 10 or 11 and some Chromebooks and Chromeboxes. Netflix downloads are set to use Wi-Fi only by default, although you can change this in your app settings.

There’s no Mac app for Netflix yet, so unfortunately that means there are no downloads for Mac laptops (unless they’re running windows too).

A screenshot of the download options for TV shows on the Netflix Android app

On Android, Netflix lets you download entire seasons of TV shows.

Netflix/Screenshot by Peter Butler/CNET

TV shows can be downloaded individually by clicking the download icon next to each episode. On Android devices, you can download an entire season of a show by tapping the separate button Download season next to the My List, Rate, and Share links at the top of a list of movies or shows.

Netflix allows you to keep a maximum of 100 downloads on as many devices as are included in your subscription plan. Each of the downloads has a different expiration date depending on its content license – some expire as early as 48 hours after the first start of viewing. Downloads can be repeated, but some have a limit on the number of times per year. If a movie or show leaves the Netflix service, all corresponding downloads expire immediately.

You can remove individual movies and shows by unchecking the box next to each title. You can delete all your downloads by accessing your App settings and clicking “Delete all downloads” under Downloads.

A “Downloads” tab (called “My Downloads” in Windows) that sits at the bottom of the Netflix app shows you what downloads are in your library and allows you to play them. It also allows you to customize your download settings, such as Smart Downloads.

How does Netflix smart downloads work?

by Netflix Smart Downloads The option lets you easily manage the movies and TV shows you have downloaded. It basically contains two download options — Download next episode and Downloads for you.

Netflix Smart Downloads Settings on Android

Download next episode keeps you up to date with TV shows. Downloads For You automatically downloads recommendations up to a certain file storage limit.

Netflix/Screenshot by Peter Butler/CNET

When lit, Download next episode will automatically remove episodes of TV shows once you watch them and then download the next episode of the season. This is a no-brainer for anyone downloading TV shows, which is likely why the feature is enabled by default in Netflix apps.

In the Windows Netflix app, enable Smart Downloads activates Download Next Episode, even if it is not called as a separate feature.

What are Netflix downloads for you?

Downloads for you extends the automatic Netflix download and delete options used in Download Next Episode. The feature is available in iPhone, iPad, and Android versions of the Netflix app, as well as select Chromebooks and Chromeboxes.

Once Downloads for You is enabled, Netflix uses your viewing habits and preferences to download movies and TV shows the service thinks you’ll like. Once you watch them, they are automatically deleted.

A screenshot of the Netflix Downloads tab on iPhone

Once downloads for you are enabled, automatic downloads will appear under your manually downloaded shows.

Netflix/Screenshot by Peter Butler/CNET

If you don’t want to watch a downloaded title, you can delete it the same way you would delete downloads you’ve started manually. You can also click on the icon of a square surrounded by a broken circle to cancel the downloads in progress. Downloads for you only work over Wi-Fi.

To turn on downloads for you, click on the smart downloads settings (via the Downloads tab or app settings), then turn on Downloads for you.

Enabling this feature will then open up options to limit the amount of data Netflix will automatically download for each user profile, from 0.5GB to 9.5GB. (Netflix notes that one hour of normal quality video is approximately 0.25 GB.)

What movies and TV shows can’t be downloaded from Netflix?

Downloading a movie or TV show from Netflix depends on its content license, and licenses vary from title to title. Netflix says it tries to make as many titles available for download as possible, and when a movie or show isn’t downloadable, it’s usually for three reasons:

  • Another company has exclusive content rights
  • Content rights are not available for purchase
  • Popularity, cost or seasonal factors

A quick survey of Netflix’s most popular titles shows that all of the top 10 movies and top 10 TV shows in the US are available to download from October 3.

In my informal survey, the titles I found most likely to be excluded from downloading were popular TV shows from cable or broadcast networks. “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Gilmore Girls,” and “The Walking Dead” are three shows you can stream on Netflix, but not download.

Can I watch Netflix downloads in any country?

It depends on whether Netflix has the content license in the country you are visiting for the movie or show you want to watch.

Geographic restrictions that limit streaming titles in certain countries also apply to downloaded movies and TV shows. If you’re traveling to a country where Netflix doesn’t show the title you downloaded, you won’t be able to watch it, even if you’ve already downloaded it in your home country.

Trying to watch a movie downloaded in a country where Netflix does not display it will result in an error message in the Netflix app: “Download not available in this country — Not all downloads are available in all countries”.

VPN software that creates virtual private networks can be used to circumvent geo-restrictions, but Netflix goes to great lengths to prevent VPN from working with its service. Using a VPN to bypass geo-blocking could also be considered a violation of Netflix’s Terms of Service.

For more on Netflix, check out our lists of the best science fiction and fantasy movies on the streaming service.

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