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Can I download Netflix shows on a Mac?

Netflix on a Mac laptop
Down and out: Macs can't download from Netflix

If you watch movies or TV on your Mac, you may wonder if you can download Netflix shows? It’s a handy feature when you’re away from a decent internet connection.

On the mobile apps, it’s relatively straightforward – and you think it would be on a Mac. After all, with the larger screen, you may be tempted, especially if trapped in an airport or hotel room.

Sadly, the answer is no. You can’t.

Without a dedicated Netflix app, you can only view Netflix on a Mac via a web browser, and this version doesn’t allow downloading.

How do you download Netflix content in the app?

Although the exact method will change depending on the app being used, it’s usually pretty obvious when viewing the information page for a show or film. For example, on iOS, here it is for the film Red Notice:

Netflix app showing Red Notice

Downloads are then available via the menu option at the bottom of the screen and can often be played before they’ve even finished downloading:

Downloads section of the Netflix mobile app

Why can’t I download a show via the browser?

Unlike the apps, which are purpose-built and secured by Netflix, with a browser you’re at the whim of how it and the corresponding operating system works. To ensure you’re not sharing Netflix shows, the app locks the download to the Netflix app. A browser, on the other hand, would have to download the file to your Downloads folder (or wherever you direct the resulting file to), which you could then freely access and share.

What about using the Netflix iOS or iPadOS app on an M1 Mac?

M1 Macs can run selected iOS or iPadOS apps. Unfortunately, Netflix isn’t one of them and a search of the App Store will not yield results.

Is this ever likely to change?

I doubt you’ll ever be able to download from the browser, but Netflix may introduce an app for the Mac. The Apple TV app is built into macOS and, recently, Amazon Prime has introduced one too, both of which let you download content. Netflix has yet to announce a dedicated Mac app.

Click here to find out about the keyboard shortcuts you can use with Netflix.

About the author

David Artiss

Currently working for a technology company based in San Francisco, David has worked in IT for nearly 30 years. He is a keen gamer and happily admits to being a gadget nerd too.

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