How to Use the Netflix App for Android Tablet to Watch Shows Offline

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Netflix offline download

Even with the best cell phone plan with tons of data, there's always a limit. If you want to do your media viewing while on the move, learning how to download shows from Netflix to watch later can be the best way to top up your entertainment options.

Here's how to use the Netflix app for Android tablets to watch movies and shows offline.

You'll need an Android tablet that supports Android 4.4.2 KitKat or later. As long as your tablet isn't more than five years old, that should be the case. You'll also need to install the Netflix app, which you can download from the Google Play Store. Your tablet can be made by any manufacturer, such as Samsung, Google, Asus, etc.

How to Download Movies From Netflix

The instructions that follow will also work for the Netflix app for Android smartphones.

  1. Launch Netflix and login if you aren't already.

  2. Tap the movie or show you want to download.

  3. Tap the Download icon, represented as a down arrow pointing to a single horizontal line. For movies, it will appear on the film's description page; with shows, it will appear next to each individual episode.

  4. The download for that particular film or show will begin. You'll be able to track its progress in the app and from your Android notifications menu.

  5. When it's finished downloading you'll be able to access it from the Netflix app's Downloads page.

Watch Netflix Offline Using Smart Downloads

If you don't want to manually download every Netflix shows you want to watch offline, you can have the app do it for you.

Using Smart Downloads, when you finish watching an episode from a series, the Netflix app will automatically delete the episodes you've watched and download the next batch so they're ready to go. It only works on Wi-Fi, so it won't chew through your data when you're not expecting it.

Smart Downloads are enabled by default, but if you want to make sure it's enabled or you wish to turn it off, tap the Downloads tab and look at the top of your screen. It should say "Smart Downloads On". If you want to change that, simply tap it, then select the toggle to switch it off.

If You Can't Download Netflix Movies and Shows

If you've followed the instructions above but you're unable to download media from Netflix because you don't have the option, there are a few things to consider:

  • Are you definitely running a compatible version of Android? If you aren't running version 4.4.2 (KitKat) or later, you cannot download Netflix shows.
  • Some shows and movies are not available to download for watching offline later. It may be that your favorites just aren't available at this time.