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We all have a reason to celebrate this year. Netflix has recently added the option to download its shows and movies for offline viewing. It’s like the streaming service decided to fulfill the streaming wish we all had but were too scared to say out loud.
With holiday travel plans on the horizon, we know that you’re likely going to be taking advantage of this new capability. But we also know that you likely have a lot of questions. Can you download Netflix’s entire library? Does streaming work on every device? How much space do downloaded episodes and movies take up? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Here’s your cheat sheet to Netflix’s newest capabilities. Study up, then start streaming.
Currently, downloading shows and movies is a feature that’s only available on the Netflix app for Android and iOS, which means if you want to stream from your phone or tablet, you’re set. If you’re a desktop streamer, you’re out of luck. Once you download a title, you’ll only be able to access it from the Netflix app. So, no. Netflix has not exactly given you free range over its extensive library.
Unlike Amazon Prime Video which allows Prime members to download everything, Netflix has limited its downloading library. However, most of Netflix’s most popular titles and original series are available for download. Here’s a list of 50 of the best titles you can download from Netflix right now.
They definitely will, so it’s important to keep an eye on your downloads. Each Netflix download has a different expiration time. If a show is going to expire from Netflix’s catalog in less than seven days, the remaining time will appear in your “My Downloads” section. Also, according to Gizmodo, there are some movies that must be watched in offline viewing 48 hours after they download. Each title has different specifications, so just try to pay attention to the warnings and notes Netflix gives you while you’re downloading your favorite shows and movies.
First, you’ll need to open your Netflix app and sign into the service if you haven’t already. Select the menu button, located in the upper lefthand corner of the screen. From there, you will see a variety of options, including “Notifications,” “My Downloads,” “Home,” and “Available for Download.” If you select the “Available for Download” option, you’ll be taken to Netflix’s download-friendly library.
This library is broken down much in the same way Netflix’s main menu is, complete with a search tool. Once you’ve selected a title you want to watch later, press the download button. The show or movie will be added to your queue. You will only have to press the download button once for movies, but shows require you to download each individual episode rather than giving you the option of downloading seasons.
Once your titles are downloaded, you’re all set for offline viewing. You’ll be able to access your titles in the “My Downloads” section of the app, which you can find through the main menu. If you want a more detailed, step-by-step guide on the process, Netflix has already created one.
How much space you need depends on what you want to watch. Gizmodo did some quick math on this using Black Mirror as an example. If you just want to watch one episode of Charlie Brooker’s creepy sci-fi series, which has a running time of about one hour and three minutes, that will take about 280 megabytes. However, if you want the high definition version of the episode, that will set you back 440 megabytes.
But let’s say you’re going on a longer trip and you need something to binge, not just watch. Downloading all six Season Three Black Mirror episodes, which would be 5 hours and 23 minutes of content, would require 1.86 gigabytes of free space for standard definition and 2.45 gigabytes for high definition.
That’s really going to depend on your internet or data connection. However, now’s a good time to talk about data vs. Wi-Fi. According to Netflix, downloading titles should require roughly the same amount of data as streaming through data. Our advice? Try to download over a reliable internet connection rather than risk increasing your phone bill.
This is actually one of the more impressive parts of Netflix’s offline viewing experience. Titles will automatically download in SD, but if you want an HD viewing experience, you have that option. However, downloading in HD will take up more space, so keep that in mind.
To switch your downloading options from SD to HD, select the menu button in your Netflix app. From there, choose “App Settings,” which should be towards the bottom.
This is where you select to only download over Wi-Fi, where you can delete your downloads, and where you can change your video quality. Just select “Video Quality” and change it from “Standard” to “Higher.”
Now you’re all set to download and binge as you travel for the holidays. Happy streaming!
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Marvel Needs to Do Better with LGBTQ+ Representation