How to watch Netflix when you don’t have an internet connection

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How to watch Netflix when you don’t have an internet connection

CNBC Tech: Netflix Offline 7
Todd Haselton | CNBC

I'm about to get on a flight to Seattle. I'm worried my flight might not have in-seat entertainment, so I spent last night loading up my iPad with shows and movies from Netflix.

Netflix added offline storage within the last year, but I haven't really heard many people talking about it. Keeping your shows stored offline will allow you to watch them when you don't have a Wi-Fi or cellular connection, like on an underground train, on an airplane (the Wi-Fi on planes still largely blocks streaming services) or out in the woods on a camping trip.

One warning: Netflix doesn't let you store all of its content offline, so some shows just aren't available. But there's still plenty to choose from.

Here's how it works on an iPhone. Note that you'll want to set all this up before you leave on your trip, while you still have internet.


  • Open the Netflix app on your smartphone or tablet. Then tap the menu button on the top-left side of the screen.


    CNBC Tech: Netflix Offline 1
    Todd Haselton | CNBC
  • Now tap “Available for Download.”


    CNBC Tech: Netflix Offline 2
    Todd Haselton | CNBC
  • You’ll see a list of everything that can be stored for viewing on your device without an internet connection. Some of it is good, but there’s some junk to sort through.


    CNBC Tech: Netflix Offline 3
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  • You can search for content, too. If you ever stumble across a down-facing arrow that means it can be saved to your device. "Breaking Bad" is available, for instance. No arrow, no download.


    CNBC Tech: Netflix Offline 4
    Todd Haselton | CNBC
  • Download anything you want by tapping the download arrow. Again, you'll need an internet connection to do this, so plan to do it before you get on a plane, train or set out to an area without a good connection.


    CNBC Tech: Netflix Offline 5
    Todd Haselton | CNBC
  • When you’re on a plane, just open the menu and tap “My downloads” to see what you’ve saved to watch. The blue smartphone icons show what is saved offline to view. Enjoy!


    CNBC Tech: Netflix Offline 6
    Todd Haselton | CNBC