How to download movies from Netflix for offline viewing

Got a long plane ride ahead? Here's how to download movies from Netflix

Netflix is great for when you want to spend your night on the couch, but what if you have the world’s longest plane ride ahead of you? Thankfully, you can download a heck of a lot of material from the popular on-demand streaming service for offline viewing.

For now, downloading titles for offline playback is limited to the Netflix app, which is currently available for both iOS and Android. If you’ve got a laptop or other windows computer, the functionality is also built into the Netflix app for Windows 10, assuming you’re running Windows 10 Anniversary Update or later. The process is straightforward enough: Just open Netflix, choose download quality, and select the download option (when available) for offline viewing. Read on for all the details on how to download movies from Netflix onto all of your devices. The following general instructions should work for iOS, Android, and Windows 10, despite being specific to the latter.

Getting your download on

Step 1: Get up-to-date

First things first, you’ll need to make sure your Netflix app is up to date. If you don’t have your device set to auto update, simply click on the app in the App Store (you’ll need version 9.0 or later) for iOS devices, or do the same in the Google Play Store for Android devices. If you plan on using the Netflix app for Windows 10, select Store in the taskbar or Start menu, click your user icon, and select Downloads or Updates. Finally, select Check for Updates and the Netflix app will begin updating.

Step 2: Choose your download quality

how to download movies and tv shows from netflix settings

Netflix offers two quality levels for downloads: Standard and High. The latter seems to be high definition — somewhere between 720p and 1080p resolution — though Netflix doesn’t specify. Standard uses less space on your device and allows you to download content quicker, whereas High takes a bit more space and patience. Which one you’ll want to use will depend on how much free space you have on your device, and what kind of device you’re using. Standard mode may look fine on your new phone, for instance, whereas a higher resolution may be preferable for your tablet or laptop.

To choose, select the menu icon on the left and scroll down to App Settings. From there, under the Downloads heading, click or tap Video Quality and select your preferred quality. We’ll get into more details on how much space Netflix downloads take up later in this article.

Step 3: Pick your poison

how to download movies and tv shows from netflix available for
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Not everything on Netflix is available for download, but the company has made downloadable titles easy to find by arranging them in a special section called simply Available for Download. To get there, click or tap the Menu button in the upper-left corner — it will be the first option below the Home section. If you’re searching for specific titles, simply look for the download icon, which is a downward arrow with a horizontal line beneath it.

Step 4: Start downloading

how to download movies and tv shows from netflix downloading

To begin downloading a title, select the Download icon affixed to the show or movie you want to watch. There is one thing Android users will need to be aware of here: You can only download titles to the same storage device on which the Netflix app is stored. This means that, if you want to download content to an SD card, you’ll need to install the Netflix app there as well.

Step 5: Watch your downloaded titles

Once downloaded, all Netflix content will appear in the My Downloads section, which can be found by selecting the menu button in the app’s upper-left corner. The My Downloads folder is located just above the Home section. The title’s running time, as well as how much space it uses, is listed directly beside it. To play an episode, simply click or tap the video thumbnail.

How much space do I need?

Just how much space a download takes up depends on how long the title is and, of course, the playback quality. As an example, we downloaded the Netflix original The Ritual, as well as the first episode of Stranger Things, in both Standard and High quality.

The Ritual has a runtime of 94 minutes. The Standard version of the film used 542MB of space, while the higher-quality iteration took up 1.8GB. Stranger Things‘ first episode is 48 minutes long and takes up 197.1MB of space in Standard quality and 310.1MB in High. As mentioned above, Standard should be fine for most phones, but if you’re picky — or watching on a bigger screen — you’ll want to use the higher resolution.

What’s available?

As noted previously, not all of Netflix’s library of streaming titles is available for download. One group of titles you can always count on being available, however, are Netflix Originals. Every Netflix title we looked at was immediately available for download, including episodes of Stranger Things, The Punisher, Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, Narcos, Jessica Jones, and The Crown.

The Crown

Other titles available at the time of writing included TV shows like Breaking Bad, Colony, The Office, Arrow, and Grey’s Anatomy. Movies available for download included Anon, Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell, Bright, The Imitation Game, and Moon.

Some titles are only available for a limited time, and so you’ll want to grab a title sooner rather than later. Of course, once a title is gone from the service, you won’t be able to access its downloaded iterations.

How do I delete titles?

Whether you’ve already watched downloaded titles or simply want to make room for other things, you’ll eventually want to get rid of them. Thankfully, there are two ways to go about this, depending on how much content you want to delete at once.

Step 1: Deleting a single title

If you only want to delete a single title at a time, you can do so via the My Downloads section. In Windows 10, for example, just open the title, click on the Downloaded button, and select Delete Download. You can also click on the pencil edit icon and select the titles to delete. Titles will be deleted without a second confirmation, however, so be careful.

how to download movies and tv shows from netflix delete
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Step 2: Deleting all titles

You could delete everything in the My Downloads section individually, but if you’re looking to clear everything all at once, there’s an easier way. Go to Settings, then simply click on Delete All Downloads.

how to download movies and tv shows from netflix delete
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

how to download movies and tv shows from netflix delete all 2

Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

Amazon Prime brings more perks than just free two-day shipping. Subscribers get access to a huge library of TV shows to stream at no extra cost. Here are our favorite TV shows currently available on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

September brings 'The Dragon Prince,' an animated war series, to Netflix

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Home Theater

TV calibration 101: Here's how to tune up the picture of your new TV

You’ve got your new TV out of the box, but now what? Our TV picture adjustment guide takes you through the simple steps to get the best picture from your brand new TV so you can set it and forget it.
Movies & TV

'Daredevil' season 3 arrives next month, promises to 'let the devil out'

Season 3 of Daredevil will premiere October 19 on Netflix, so here is everything we know about the next set of adventures featuring Marvel Comics' man without fear before the third season's debut.
Home Theater

If you've got questions about Ultra HD Blu-ray, we've got answers

Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and players are a killer way to beef up your home theater. Here's everything you need to know about one of the most significant advances in home entertainment to arrive in years.
Product Review

With the thump of an Echo Sub, Alexa goes from an assistant to a DJ

Amazon’s Echo Sub can pair with an Echo to provide the room-filling bass that little speakers just can’t muster on their own. And at $130, all that bass won’t break the bank, either.
Smart Home

Here’s how to pre-order everything Amazon announced this week

Amazon announced new devices available in its Echo, Fire TV, and AmazonBasics lineups. Most of the devices aren't available quite yet but if you head over to Amazon, you can pre-order them.
Home Theater

'My Dinner with Hervé,' more 'Flight of the Concords' arrive on HBO in October

Whether you're a cable lifer or a staunch cord cutter, there's never been a better time to get down with premium TV. Follow us to find out what's new on HBO each month. October 2018 brings My Dinner With Hervé and Camping.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in September 2018, from 'Spotlight’ to ‘Black Panther’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, subdued humor, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this summer with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Castle Rock'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we've put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Click-to-brew beer, comfy headlamps, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Captain Marvel,’ ‘Nigerian Prince,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. To simplify things, we round up the best ones each week. On tap this week: The first trailer for superhero movie Captain Marvel, and other fascinating film previews.