Can You Play Netflix on a Chromebook?

Netflix now runs seamlessly on current Chromebooks

Couple using laptop together in living room

Blend Images / Hill Street Studios / Brand X Pictures / Getty Images

Early Chromebooks had trouble running Netflix, but that problem has long since been resolved. The newer Chromebook laptops run Google's Chrome OS instead of Windows or macOS, and they have no trouble streaming Netflix from the internet. If you're wondering why Netflix isn't working on your Chromebook, your Chromebook may need an update.

Which Chromebooks Were Affected?

Early in the history of Chromebooks, a shortcoming in both in the pilot program and in the initial summer 2011 release was that users couldn't access Netflix, the popular movie streaming app. That issue was quickly resolved.

Chromebooks perform best while connected to the internet, and most of their documents and applications are cloud-based. They are easy to use, have virus protection, and are updated automatically.

How to Update Early Chromebooks

If your Chromebook is of that early generation and won't play Netflix, install an update.

To update your Chromebook:

  1. Select the wrench icon at the top of the screen.

  2. Select About Google Chrome.

  3. Select Check for Updates.

    Screenshot update Chrome OS
  4. Download any available updates.

After you've updated Chrome, playing Netflix movies is as easy as logging in to your Netflix account and streaming them just like you would on any other device. A Netflix subscription is required.

About Chrome OS

The Chrome OS operating system was designed by Google and launched in 2011. Its user interface is Google's Chrome browser. Most of the applications that run on Chrome OS are located in the cloud.

Chrome OS is appropriate for users who spend most of their time on the web and use web applications. If you have specific computer programs you can't live without, you'll have to find similar web-applications or stay away from Chrome OS. 

Chrome OS is built to work exclusively with web applications. You may find that working exclusively in the Chrome browser may be a challenge. Try it for a few days without opening any local programs on your laptop to get accustomed to Chrome.