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You Can Finally Download Netflix Shows to Watch Offline

netflix downloads offline viewing

Your holiday travel plans are about to get way more entertaining: at long last, Netflix's streaming movies and TV shows are available to download and watch offline. 

While rival Amazon has offered the option, Netflix customers (including us!) have clamored for a download feature since "Watch Instantly" was a blip in our browser histories. Unfortunately, company brass didn't seem interested in offering the functionality; as recently as 2015, the company's chief product officer Neil Hunt claimed he didn't think people would use such an add-on because of the "paradox of choice" that's crippled many a viewer while sifting through a massive movie library.

Time for us to prove Hunt wrong. Netflix officially added downloads to the service, and they come standard with the subscription you already have. Starting right now, you can watch Netflix Original series like The CrownStranger Things, and Easy on the subway, at the gym, in your office stairwell, or in that ominous section of the Westworld park that mysteriously lacks cell reception.

netflix downloads offline viewing

According to a press release, "many" movie and TV titles are available now, with "more on the way" in the near future. Note that downloads are app-only for now, meaning you'll need an iOS or Android phone or tablet. Netflix cautions that downloading programs uses a comparable amount of data to old-fashioned streaming, so you might want to connect to Wi-Fi and plan your travel queue in advance. (And make sure your device has ample room to store new material.)

Still, you're better off saving the best stuff for a big screen. An airplane is no place to watch Top Gun.

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Lauren Leibowitz is an editor at Thrillist Entertainment and is currently deleting photos of her family to make room for BoJack Horseman seasons one through three on her phone. Find her on Twitter @lleibowitzz.
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