How to Download Movies From Netflix Onto Your Mac or iPad

No internet connection? No problem. You can still watch Netflix!

What to Know

  • On iPad: Launch the Netflix app and select a movie. Tap Download under the movie name.
  • On Mac: You can't. You can install Windows 10 and then Bootcamp to download from Netflix, but it's technically a Windows machine then.

This article explains how to download movies from Netflix to your iPad for offline viewing. There's no Netflix app for the Mac, and you can't download from the Netflix website on a Mac. This information applies to all iPads with a recent version of the Netflix app and all Macs.

How to Download Movies From Netflix to iPad

Downloading Netflix movies and TV shows to watch on your iPad when you're not connected to the internet is simple. The downloads are perfect for plane rides, car trips, and other places that benefit from entertainment but don't necessarily have great internet connections.

An iPad is the perfect device for downloading Netflix content because it's lightweight, has a big screen, has a long-lasting battery, and is easy to take along on a trip.

To download movies from Netflix to an iPad, you need an active Netflix subscription and the free app available at the App Store.

To download from Netflix to the iPad:

  1. Launch the Netflix app on the iPad.

  2. Scroll down the opening screen to browse the listings and tap the movie, TV show, or entire season of a TV series that you want to download. To limit your search to movies only, tap Movies in the menu bar.

    Netflix Movies
  3. If your selection is a movie, tap the Download downward arrow below the movie description. If there isn't a Download downward arrow, the movie can't be downloaded.

    Netflix download link

    When the download begins, a progress wheel replaces the download arrow, and a status indicator appears.

    Netflix downloads link

    The movie downloads to the My Downloads screen, which you reach by tapping Downloads at the bottom of the screen

  4. If your selection is a TV show, tap the downward arrow next to each episode you want to watch to initiate the downloads. If you use the Smart Download feature in the app, download only the first episode.

    Smart Downloads is a feature that's turned on in the app by default. It saves space on the iPad when you watch multi-episode TV shows. When you finish watching an episode you downloaded, the app deletes it the next time the iPad has a Wi-Fi connection and downloads the next episode automatically, so you always have only one episode on your iPad at a time.

    Download episode

    You can start watching movies and TV episodes before they finish downloading. This is handy if you're in an area with poor internet connectivity. Once you get a better connection, you can choose to finish the download and resume watching.

  5. When the download is complete, tap the Downloads button at the bottom of the screen to open the My Downloads screen.

    Netflix downloads link
  6. Tap the Play arrow on the downloaded movie or TV show you want to watch on the My Downloads screen to watch it.

    Netflix play button
  7. When you want to remove the movie or TV show from the iPad, tap the Download icon next to the listing—it resembles a checkmark in a box—and then tap Delete Download to remove it from the iPad. You can also find your downloaded Netflix movies and shows in the Downloads menu at the bottom of the app.

    Download icon
Person downloading Netflix files to an iPad
Alex Dos Diaz / Lifewire

You can't keep a download on your iPad if you cancel your subscription.

Netflix App Settings

The settings for the Netflix for iPad app is where you indicate whether you want to limit downloads to Wi-Fi only, which is the default. You can also change the video quality from Standard, which is sufficient for viewing on the iPad, to Higher, which you might prefer if you plan to stream the movie to a larger screen, and turn Smart Downloads on and off, among other options. Locate the Netflix app settings by tapping More at the bottom of the screen.

More link

How to Download Movies From Netflix to a Mac

There's no Netflix app for the Mac. You can access Netflix in a browser, but you can't download any content from the browser to your hard drive. Netflix doesn't support downloading and offline watching on Mac.

Despite this, there are a couple of legal options for viewing downloaded Netflix content on a Mac:

  • Boot Camp and Windows: Netflix offers a Netflix app for Windows computers at the Microsoft Store. Boot Camp, a utility that comes on Macs, runs Windows 10. Then, you can download the Netflix app for Windows and use it to download content from Netflix legally. You need a copy of Windows 10 to install on a Mac, though, so this isn't an inexpensive alternative.
  • Streaming from an iPad: The Netflix app for iPads supports AirPlay, which allows wireless streaming of multimedia content between Apple devices. So, you can stream any Netflix content you download on an iPad to a Mac. This way, you can display a movie on a larger screen for multiple viewers. This isn't the same as downloading to the Mac, at the screen might be bigger on your Mac than it is on your iPad.
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