Here is why you can’t download Netflix content to your Android device

Netflix enabled a download option in the official Netflix application for Android and iOS mobile operating systems a couple of days ago.

I thought that this was a really cool option, considering that you could download shows or movies at home using Wi-Fi, to watch them elsewhere where the reception is not as good or not available at all.

Think of an eight hour or longer flight. Yes, the shows and movies of the in-flight entertainment system may be nice, but what if you could watch your favorite show instead on your Android or iOS device?

Anyway, I tried the new Netflix app version and realized that it did not show the download button. While the app version was the one Netflix released on the day it made the announcement, all options related to downloading shows or movies for offline watching are not available.

First thought that it might have something to do that I rooted the device, or that it was a server-side roll out of the feature.

I found a couple of suggestions online, like clearing the application cache or removing the app and installing it again. Those did not work in my case, and I noticed that other users were having the issue as well.

Tip: I suggest you verify download options by loading The Crown TV show as it supports downloads. Not all shows or movies support downloads on Netflix right now.

Why you cannot download Netflix titles to your device

netflix download

While Netflix did mention that the feature is included in all plans and available worldwide, it never mentioned that it is available for all devices.

If you open the Netflix support site, you find out that you need iOS 8.0 or later, or Android 4.4.2 or later for the download feature to work.

If you read on, you will come to another restriction that the company did not mention in the announcement:

Android devices must be able to stream Netflix in HD to select video quality. Visit our article about Android for more information about HD capable models.

Check the list of Android devices that support HD officially to see if your device is listed on it. Mine is not, and that is the reason why I don't see the download option.

Now, the list is not complete. The Samsung Galaxy S4 is not listed on the page for instance, but users can download Netflix titles using it.

Chance is high however, that if you have a phone released by a Chinese company, say Xiaomi or Huawei, that you may not be able to use Netflix's download functionality right now.

Unless Netflix starts to enable the functionality for more devices, there seems little that you can do to enable downloads on Netflix.

Now You: Have you tested the feature? Did it work?

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Here is why you can't download Netflix titles to your Android device
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Find out why you cannot download Netflix titles to your Android device even though you have the latest version of the Netflix app installed.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Responses to Here is why you can’t download Netflix content to your Android device

  1. svim December 1, 2016 at 7:36 pm #

    Just downloaded an episode of 'Stranger Things' to my Galaxy S3 running 4.4.2

  2. James T. December 1, 2016 at 8:55 pm #

    Are any of the Netflix original shows any good or should I wait?

    • beerninja December 6, 2016 at 10:52 pm #

      you're joking right? The netflix originals are the best thing about having the subscription

  3. Kiliman December 1, 2016 at 9:03 pm #

    I was able to download from my Galaxy S6edge+ on 6.0.1

  4. Mikhoul December 2, 2016 at 12:23 am #

    @martin Don't hold your breath, it's not really about testing devices or certification but lot more about Licenses fees and big $$$, there is no technical reason behind this CHOICE from Netflix, only corporative reasons AKA capitalism at work. http://androidpcreview.com/netflix-hd-android-tv-box/3784/

  5. P December 2, 2016 at 1:31 am #

    Whats the average size of a TV show or Movie. Phones are limited on space.

  6. joe December 2, 2016 at 2:11 am #

    The quote you listed says, "Android devices must be able to stream Netflix in HD to select video quality."

    That doesn't say anything about download ability, only that you can't select HD if your device can't stream HD.

  7. Juan Manuel December 2, 2016 at 7:48 am #

    Xiaomi redmi 2 pro / prime (5.1.1)
    no problem, downloaded for testing:
    3% s1 e1, 206 mb - 50 min
    No issues here, on phone or with chromecast.

  8. Xezial December 2, 2016 at 8:39 am #

    Is there any app or xposed mod that can make like my device is something else?

  9. ilev December 2, 2016 at 9:17 am #

    Netflix downloaded files are DRM'ed to the device, so no AirPlay or Chromecast support to view on a big screen.

    • carlos December 2, 2016 at 4:43 pm #

      You could cast your phone screen. It's not ideal but works.

  10. Mountainking December 2, 2016 at 11:35 am #

    There is an app to 'spoof' the identity of your mobile. You can try changing your mobile to another device and test.

    • beerninja December 6, 2016 at 10:54 pm #

      Were you able to get it to work? Which app did you use?

    • Nicole December 8, 2016 at 10:17 am #

      It worked for me, I set it to Samsung Galaxy S5.
      I have a Nexus 10 and it didn't work before. Spoke with the Netflix support, they told me they don't have a list of supported devices.

  11. carlos December 2, 2016 at 4:46 pm #

    "Android devices must be able to stream Netflix in HD to select video quality...."

    This is only to select video quality. I can't select video quality but I can download from netflix at standard definition to my phone and tablet.

  12. Dave December 2, 2016 at 4:59 pm #

    Netflix and NowTV wouldn't even run on my Android tablet. Just one of many reasons why iOS made more sense for me pragmatically this time round. No mandatory data collection, ad-blockers are allowed, everything works (unless you jailbreak).

    • dar December 3, 2016 at 7:14 pm #

      Updated huawei p8 and download option not available.

  13. Judy December 7, 2016 at 12:31 pm #

    It worked perfectly on my Kindle Fire Fifth generation and now this next day it is completey gone. What happened?

  14. GerryUK December 9, 2016 at 12:01 am #

    elephone p9000 no good.
    Top phone but cannot download.

  15. dens December 9, 2016 at 9:11 am #

    does not work on my sgs2 (anroid 4.1) - hope they change the requirements to lower versions.

  16. Bill December 10, 2016 at 1:12 am #

    Has anyone been able to get it to work on Nook HD+? I've tried spoofing, but it hasn't worked.

  17. JeremyToulalan December 13, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

    I am using a Sony Experia Z5 ( Model: E6653 + Marshamllow 6.0.1) - listed as compatible on the Netflix site but I am unable to access the download feature.

    Any advice?

    • haha February 2, 2017 at 1:10 pm #

      sucks 4 you

  18. Egan December 14, 2016 at 5:16 am #

    I've had the same problem with my Nexus 10. I believe you're correct. My device isn't on the list that supports HD officially, and everything else seems to be in order.
    Perhaps it's a simple oversight. Due to the wording Netflix uses on their site, it doesn't appear to be deliberate.

  19. Eu December 19, 2016 at 2:58 pm #

    I have a Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro (YT3-X90F) , Android 5.1 and still no download in sight.
    I contacted Netflix and they told that the HD list from link doesn't mean that you can download as my tab is still in their system as not enabled for Download.
    So combination of HD list plus Android list doesn't guarantee that Download is working.
    Stay tuned, fixing all this missing ones are on the way....

  20. pierre December 27, 2016 at 11:17 am #

    I have 2 same phone in my house : Mi max
    Wife on regular miui rom can download

    me on a cyanogen rom cannot download.

    I ve to try to change the build prop to see if i can download after.

    • Anonymous January 26, 2017 at 5:57 pm #

      Im using CM in my phone too and it is not working. When I had MIUI worked perfectly...Any ideas yet¿

  21. Anonymous January 10, 2017 at 7:36 am #

    256gb on the Mi Mix is begging for this option to become available

  22. pete January 10, 2017 at 3:49 pm #

    Hi, I have the samsung galaxy s2 sm-t710, the app plays netflix but does not give me the download option. Is this normal please? Sorry I ask, but i am not good on computers.

    Thanks

  23. Mike January 10, 2017 at 7:25 pm #

    I believe this "HD" thing is not the real issue but a red herring. I have a Galaxy Note 8 (a 720p 8" tablet, circa 2013) and the download feature was there at one point, and then was gone after a recent update to Netflix. The device is stock Samsung 4.4.2 but is rooted. Side loading using Eric's APK link (thanks!) above restored the functionality and now it works fine - give that a try. Netflix either introduced a bug or some additional requirement that devices no longer meet - like removing the feature on rooted devices for example - although I'm guessing most of the people on this thread are not rooted. I will say that a nice feature of Android Netflix is that it can be moved to an SD card, which moves all of the downloads as well, freeing space up on my 16GB main memory tablet.

  24. Lisa January 11, 2017 at 2:17 pm #

    I bought 4 Amazon Fire's 5th generation for Christmas, 2 for my grandkids. My son downloaded movies on it before leaving on a trip - when he went into watch them - they were gone.... I tried it on mine last night and looked this morning and the movies are still there. Not sure why his are gone, very frustrating for them not to have movies for the kids.

    • Isha January 12, 2017 at 1:19 am #

      Lisa,

      I totally understand, I have two kindle fires and one still has the download option and the other doesn't. The one that doesn't recently, has an update via Netflix app. I called Netflix and some guy who obviously didnt know what he was saying told me it was a manufacturer issue which it's obviously not since both had the option and after the netflix app update on the one it no longer could download. Even tried to send me links on what could be used and finally after I called his bluff he tells me that I'm one of the few lucky ones that still has it. After that one I had to ask him if they actually had tech support he tells me that they don't have designated tech support but that they all do from general to technical issues no wonder he had no clue and spoke nothing but nonsense.

      I'm going to try what one of the earlier posters (Eric) mentioned as it seems to fix it.

  25. Robert January 25, 2017 at 3:37 pm #

    Huawei P7: no joy.
    Huawei P9: download option available

  26. Daniel Castrogiovanni February 6, 2017 at 12:33 pm #

    Honor 6+ - No download.

  27. Pablo DV February 9, 2017 at 6:18 pm #

    Xview Proton Sapphire Tablet (Chinese) Android 4.4.2 doesnt work to download.
    If it is capable to stream Netflix, please let me download for watch travelling to my work.

    I download in my Moto E a couple of series and then I copy the .of folder to my tablet, and it doesn´t work.

    Something else to try?

  28. Jesus February 10, 2017 at 10:20 pm #

    s3 - working
    s3 custom rom - not working :(

  29. Paul February 11, 2017 at 10:04 am #

    Oppo Find 7a : HD and download working
    Sony Tablet Z : HD and download not working

  30. Piedmont February 22, 2017 at 12:50 am #

    Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (SM-P600) running 4.4.2 Doesn't seem to be supported. Can this be correct? (Works fine on my iPhone)

  31. Gene February 24, 2017 at 3:39 pm #

    I have LG G5. After upgrade to Nougat I noticed I can't download the movies (I was able to do that before the upgrade). My phone is not listed. I was able to restore this capability by cleaning Netflix data - follow instructions from this link https://help.netflix.com/en/node/14384

  32. FFF February 27, 2017 at 12:50 pm #

    Honor 7 : HD, download and working.

  33. Anonymous March 4, 2017 at 4:27 pm #

    Samsung Galaxy S4 SPH-L720 running 5.0.1(lollipop). Netflix download feature not working. Tried clearing out cache, still not working.

  34. PabloDV March 10, 2017 at 2:52 am #

    Huawei Y6 download working
    Moto G 2013 download working
    Moto E2 download working

    Xview Proton Sapphire 10. Not working. Tried 'spoof' the identity of the tablet. Not working. Tried copy .of folder of my cellphone. Not working.

  35. Göran March 14, 2017 at 10:52 am #

    Huawei Mate7, Android 5.1.1, not working
    Tablet Nettab ThorLE, Android 4.1.1, not working
    Please let me know if someone got it to work and how to solve it?
    Thanks!

  36. Lillian buckner March 29, 2017 at 12:33 am #

    I could download for a little while, but now it keeps saying I have two o many videos downloaded... I don't have anything downloaded

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