The latest Netflix update for the iOS app (Android as well) enables you to download Netflix movies on your iPhone or iPad, which means you can watch them offline whenever you want to.
The steps to downloading a Netflix movie or TV show are pretty much the same for both iOS and Android, so while our guide relies on the iPhone, you can follow it even if you have an Android device.
How to download Netflix Movies on your iPhone or iPad
However, for this to work you must make sure you have the latest version of the Netflix app installed. Also, you should know the new feature is supported on devices running iOS 8.0 or higher, and Android 4.4.2 or later which shouldn’t be a problem for most users.
Before you download your first Netflix movie or TV show, it’s a good idea to check the related settings and tweak them if necessary.
The Netflix app is set to download content only over Wi-Fi by default, which is a good idea. Nevertheless, if your data plan is unlimited or large you can go to the app’s Settings -> Wi-Fi Only and disable that option so you can also download movies over a cellular connection.
In the same Settings panel, you can also set the Video Quality for your downloads. While it’s always nice to view movies at the highest possible quality, it also means they will take up more space on your device and also take longer to download. As a result, adjust this setting according to your own preferences.
Now we’re getting to the part where you can actually download Netflix movies on your iPhone or iPad.
In the Netflix app, use the search function to find a movie, documentary or TV episode you want to download. Alternatively, you can use the new ‘Available for Download’ category.
After you find something you want to watch offline, tap on the download icon. This will start the download right away. The download icon will turn to a progress indicator.
Just in case you’ve been wondering, there’s no way to download an entire season of a TV show at once. You will need to manually download the episodes one by one. Since this would be a very useful option, we can only hope Netflix will add it in a future update.
At this point, you’re probably going to want to watch what you just downloaded, or at least give it a try. The downloaded content is available in the sidebar, under the My Downloads tab. Tap on an item’s thumbnail to start watching it.
From the same location, you can swipe left on any item then press the red X button to delete it from your device. However, if you want to delete all of your downloads at once you will need to navigate to the app’s Settings panel.
It’s certainly great that Netflix is giving us a way to watch movies and TV shows offline from mobile devices, but you should know at the moment you have limited options for downloadable content. Currently, this includes Netflix’s own shows, as well as several other movies and TV shows but certainly not all of them. Even so, Netflix says more content will become available for download in the near future, which can only be a good thing.