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Can you watch Netflix without an internet connection?

Streaming usually implies the need for an internet connection, but does Netflix offer offline viewing?

Netflix logo on blurred background
Image: KnowTechie

Quick Answer: Yes. Netflix has a “Downloads” feature that allows subscribers to watch TV shows or movies offline. But for this feature to work, an internet connection is required to download any content.

Netflix is a massive streaming platform, but streaming implies the need for an internet connection. Can you watch Netflix without one?

Maybe you have a data-limited connection that stops you from streaming videos regularly.

Or maybe you want to watch a show or movie on your device in an area without easy WiFi access.

Whatever the situation, it would be nice not to rely on a stable internet connection to watch shows and movies from Netflix.

So, can you use Netflix without the internet?

Netflix app showing download prompt

Will Netflix work without the internet?

Short answer: Technically yes, but you still need it to set everything up

Netflix has a feature that lets subscribers watch TV shows or movies while not connected to the internet. However, you will need an internet connection at some point to set everything up.

READ MORE: Can you still use a VPN with Netflix?

This works by downloading content onto your device.

Netflix lets you download shows and movies directly to various devices, including iPhones, Android phones, Amazon Fire tablets, and computers.

Netflix download for watching content without an internet connection
Image: KnowTechie

But not all of the content on Netflix is available to download. You will see a download icon (shown above) next to each movie or show that can be downloaded.

And, of course, once you download the content you want, you can watch it at any time on your device.

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How do I download Netflix content for offline viewing?

Movpilot netflix video downloader screenshot on purple background

Fortunately, Netflix makes downloading offline content easy. Here’s how to do it.

  • First things first, open up the Netflix app on your device.
  • Once you’re in, find the TV show or movie you want to download.
  • Then, look for the download button. It’s usually a little arrow pointing downwards.
  • Give that button a tap, and then wait for your download to finish up.
  • Once your download is complete, you’re ready to go!

All you need to do is head on over to the Downloads section in the Netflix app to find all of your newly downloaded content.

How do you watch Netflix on a Smart TV without an internet connection?

This one is a bit trickier. Netflix requires a solid internet connection. Without it, you won’t be able to access or watch any of your favorite shows or movies.

But don’t lose hope just yet! There is a workaround.

If you have a mobile hotspot or a portable Wi-Fi device, you can use it to create an internet connection for your smart TV.

That way, you’ll be able to enjoy all of your favorite shows and movies on Netflix without any interruptions or buffering.

Netflix on television screen with remote

Let Netflix decide what you want to download

In addition to being able to download many shows and movies over an internet connection manually, Netflix has another feature for users.

Downloads for You, available on Android and iOS, uses an algorithm to download shows and movies over WiFi.

Essentially, it looks at the other content you’ve streamed and decides what would be helpful to download.

Maybe it’s more episodes of your favorite show. Or possibly the sequel to a movie you’ve watched recently.

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Download & Go is very convenient

Netflix on macbook air
Image: KnowTechie

So, do you need internet for Netflix? Technically, you can watch Netflix without an internet connection, although you’ll need a connection to make any initial downloads.

But once you’ve downloaded the shows or movies you want, you can start watching without the internet.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at alex@knowtechie.com

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar of marion

    Marion

    February 23, 2023 at 10:17 am

    I have downloaded videos from Netflix but in order to watch them, you have to sign in to use the downloaded videos so you really do need an internet connection anyway. Am I correct?

    • Avatar of alex gatewood

      Alex Gatewood

      February 23, 2023 at 1:49 pm

      Hi Marion, thanks for asking. As long as you are signed into the Netflix app on whichever device you’re using before you lose internet connection, the app will remember your credentials.

      So when you open it again without internet, it will still remember you, and you’ll be able to access your downloaded content. We have a full article covering downloads work with Netflix here: How to download Netflix shows and movies.

      Hopefully, that helps!

      Alex

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