Video streaming giant Netflix is quite possessive about the content on its site and it does not allow its users to download and watch movies or other shows.
It has to be streaming directly from its very own site.
However, the company has now realized that its users may be traveling and may not be connected to a fast Wi-Fi while away from their homes.
Netflix, therefore, has relaxed its stance and now permits downloads from the Netflix app onto mobile phones or other handheld devices so users can watch them offline later.
You must first learn how this can be done from the app and what the requirements and conditions are.
First, Check If Your Device Is Included
Though the Netflix app can be downloaded and installed on previous generations of smartphones and tablets, for this new functionality of downloading content from Netflix, not all devices are included in the list.
Netflix says that if you are using a phone or a tablet running on Android, the OS version has to be 4.4.2 or later; very few might be still holding on to these devices.
Similarly, for Apple devices, the operating system has to be iOS 9 or later. Here again, Apple follows a different policy and its proprietary OS is updated on older devices (iPhones and iPads) as well.
In the case of the Windows 10 operating system, version 1607 is the oldest that can accommodate the download request.
If your device is covered within these parameters and you have a good internet connection, you are good to go.
2. On the dashboard, you will find the “Available for download” button. (This is because Netflix does not permit all its latest shows and movies to be downloaded.)
3. From among the titles available for download, you need to click on the one you wish to see downloaded.
4. The download buttons are located at different points in the case of movies and TV shows:
5. If it is a movie that you have in mind, find this button below the red button that says “Play.”
6. The download buttons for TV shows are slotted alongside the episode button.
7. If you missed a couple of episodes and that is what you plan to catch up while you travel, click on those and the downloading will start.
8. You can see the downloading in progress and be sure the file has been downloaded by going back and checking the status under “My Downloads” within the same menu.
How to Watch the Downloaded Titles Offline
Now that your device has the program you intend to watch later, you must also be sure it will open and play when you want to.
For this, Netflix recommends that you keep yourself logged in. This is in case your phone or tablet does not have an internet connection and you open your device to go into the Netflix app and watch the program you downloaded.
If it is connected, you can always log in and then start viewing the downloaded file.
Just click on the program under the My Downloads folder and it will open the episode or the movie and play.
How Long Will the Download Remain on the Device?
This facility to download and watch movies or TV shows when offline comes with certain conditions.
They won’t stay forever. There is no uniform time limit for all titles.
The general thumb rule can be taken as a week but some may vanish in just two days.
You will, however, have alerts letting you know how much time is left before the title is taken off the My Downloads folder and is no longer available for you to watch.
Within the validity period, you can watch the content as many times as you want. Netflix fixes the duration of the offline availability based on the kind of relationship of the user on the main Netflix site.
You must also be clear that at any given time, you cannot have more than 100 titles on your My Downloads folder within the Netflix app on your device.
If you try to download more than this number, you will not be able to do so. You may just see an error message being displayed.
Two more points to note: you are permitted to renew the title after it expires.
Perhaps you thought you could watch the title during your trip but fell asleep, but by the time you reached your destination, it had expired. Netflix allows users to renew their download.
The second aspect to remember is that certain titles are removed from the parent Netflix site. Such titles will cease to be available instantly on the Netflix app as well.
How to Delete the Downloaded Programs on Netflix?
Having watched the programs you have downloaded, you may wish to have them deleted from the device.
You can do this. The procedure is almost the same across the different operating systems, Android or iOS.
The only difference is the icons. You need to open the “Downloads” folder in your device and on iOS,N there would be an Edit button; use that and click on the red “x” appearing next to it to remove the program.
On Android, the edit function is represented by a pencil icon. Select it and click on the boxes next to the titles you want removed.
You can have all the downloaded Netflix contents from your device in one go as well.
Other Issues to Keep in View
You would now be quite thorough with the exercise of downloading and watching your favorite programs on Netflix, even when you are offline.
If you had a doubt on the data usage on downloading, Netflix clarifies that there is no difference in the amount of data consumed, whether you watch it on live streaming or just download.
But if you are in a territory where the data usage charges are heavy, it is always recommended that you use a Wi-Fi connection to complete the download.
The two important things to remember here are that you need to be logged in to the Netflix app to even watch the titles offline, and secondly there’s a time limit to the titles staying in the My Downloads folder.
Lastly, if you try watching the downloaded titles through your browser or on a TV screen, it won’t work.