With Netflix being the biggest subscription service on the planet and more than a billion Apple devices in our hands, many are surprised to find out that there's no Netflix app for Mac. And as there is no Netflix app for Mac, many paid subscribers aren't able to download their favorite series and movies, hence are missing out on being able to watch Netflix offline.
If you own a Mac, pay for a Netflix subscription, and want to know how to watch Netflix offline, there are a number of fast, easy, and legal solutions that will let you have a cinematic experience.
While one can't simply download Netflix on Mac, listed below are a few quick and simple workarounds to try, so you can enjoy Netflix on the go.
Can You Download Netflix On Mac?
If you're asking whether you can download Netflix shows on Mac then it's important to note that despite there being no Netflix app for Mac, there's one for iOS devices and for Windows.
While the only legal way to download Netflix movies is via the Netflix app, there are some less-legal solutions advertised online for how to download Netflix shows on Mac.
If you've seen advertisements splashed across the internet saying that you can download Netflix app for Mac, they are a scam. Often these dodgy tech traps involve installing malware onto your Mac, which will leave the operating system looking like a scene from a horror movie.
Unfortunately, if you've downloaded such software in the past, your Mac may already be affected, so it's vital that you check your computer for viruses. A smart-scan tool like CleanMyMac X will find and destroy malware and leave your Mac happy and healthy.
To use CleanMyMac X to remove malware:
Install and open the CleanMyMac X app on your Mac
Select Malware Removal from the top of the menu
To protect your Mac, press the Remove button
What you need to watch downloaded Netflix content on Mac
To safely watch Netflix on Mac, you need the following:
An active Netflix subscription. You can't download Netflix, watch Netflix offline or even online if you've canceled your subscription.
A movie or TV show that has a download option. Most Netflix choices allow this, but not all of them do.
If you're going to be streaming, then you'll need a WiFi connection. Before you can take Netflix offline, WiFi is needed to download Netflix app.
A device that supports Netflix
Finally, if you want to know how to download movies from Netflix on Mac legally, then take a look at the suggestions below.
Stream via Airplay to get Netflix for Mac
If you're already invested in Apple technology and own an iOS device, streaming via AirPlay is an effective solution. iPhones and iPads are both iOS devices that will do the job.
AirPlay works via WiFi, which connects AirPlay-compatible devices together. This is where NetSpot, Mac's WiFi analyzer, will be very useful as an ideal network planner, because having powerful and consistent WiFi will ensure an uninterrupted viewing experience:
Open the NetSpot app
See where the most powerful WiFi in your area is and move your iOS device accordingly
If the WiFi signal is weak all around, use the NetSpot Survey option to plan out a better WiFi network
After all WiFi problems are solved, move on to streaming from your iOS device:
Connect to WiFi
Download the Netflix app on iOS device
Open AirPlay on your iOS device and tap Screen Mirroring
Select your Mac from the list of devices
Open the Netflix app and select the downloaded content you want to play
Enjoy the show!
How to download movies on Netflix
Now that you have AirPlay set up, a good way to save on data is to download movies to your iOS device and then stream the downloaded content over WiFi:
Ensure you have strong WiFi or enough data to successfully complete the process
Open the Netflix app on your iOS device
Select the movie or TV show you'd like to download
Click the download button (if its a series you'll need to individually select the episodes you want to watch)
How to download movies from Netflix to Mac via Windows
But I want to watch Netflix offline, you say. Fair enough. A good solution for you is to leverage Microsoft Windows. If you know that you'll not be connected to the internet or you don't own an iOS device, this is the way to go.
The Windows workaround works by installing the Windows 10 operating system onto your Mac. Once you have set up Windows, then you can download Netflix app from the Microsoft Store which supports offline downloads of some content. Make sure you get the Windows system from a reputable Windows partner or reseller.
How to download Netflix app on Windows:
Click on the Start menu and select Store
Type Netflix in the search box and press Enter
How to watch Netflix offline using screen record
If you see anywhere online that you should screen record movies so you can watch Netflix offline — beware — this is very illegal. Screen recording movies is considered to be piracy, and most screen recording tools will forbid against this type of activity.
There are many powerful screen recorders out there, such as Capto, which is optimized for Mac. While the app can capture, record, and take video and image editing to the next level, it should be used for its intended purpose and within the boundaries of the law.
As well as being illegal, there are other downsides to using screen recording as a way to watch Netflix offline. First, it's time-consuming. As you have to have the movie playing on screen from start to finish to capture all the content, it can be disruptive if you want to do anything else on your computer.
Second, the quality of the video will vary based on the speed of your internet connection. You could end up with lagging or glitchy content, and it will be too late to fix it.
Not only this, but a screen recording creates large files that take up space on your hard drive and may cause your Mac to slow down. Luckily, CleanMyMac X has a clever feature that lets you find heavy files and helps you delete anything that you don't want to keep:
Open CleanMyMac X and select Large & Old Files from the menu
Click Scan to start the search
Gasp at the big ol' files you had long forgotten about
Select any unwanted files from the list and click Remove
CleanMyMac X allows you to remove files immediately, or take extra precautions and choose to remove them securely.
Now that some of the most common conceptions around how to download Netflix on Mac are debunked, you can go back to watching an episode, a movie, or just binging on a series all at once.
Best of all, Capto, CleanMyMac X, and NetSpot are available for a free trial on Setapp, the app subscription platform whose collection boasts more than 200 apps and tools to improve your movie-watching life, as well as every other aspect of your day.