Yes, you can download Netflix movies on Mac. There is even a way to download Netflix on Mac, though not as simple as we’d all like it to be- It’s possible. We’ve done some research and downloading Netflix movies on Mac will depend on how loosely you define the word “download”.
The official Netflix app that has the “download movies” button is available for Windows, Android and iOS devices… but, not for Mac. Third party methods are covered in detail throughout this article since mac users aren’t given an official app to directly download Netflix movies on Mac for offline use.
A common alternative route: Learning how to get new movies with Plex (a new, Netflix-like app that your streaming device or smart Tv likely already has on it)
Out of the three ways that will allow you to get downloaded Netflix movies on mac-only one of them gets the actual file on your Mac. I’ll be covering each of these in detail throughout this article.
Can you Download Netflix movies on Mac to watch offline?
Yes, it is possible to download Netflix movies and TV shows on a Mac computer to watch offline – just not officially. This still allows you to watch your favorite movies and TV shows even when you don’t have an internet connection.
Typically the movie or TV show will be added to your “My Downloads” section in the Netflix app, where you can access it later to watch offline – but, this is not the case with Mac devices.
It is not possible to download and watch Netflix offline on a Mac without using the workarounds I’ve researched in this post. For example, windows, iOS, and Netflix apps on other platforms allow you to download apps; which allows for a way for you to download it on Mac.
There are 3 Netflix download hacks I’ll be covering in detailer further in this post.
Keep in mind that not all movies and TV shows are available for download, and the availability of titles may vary depending on your location.
How to Download Netflix Movies on Mac for Watching Offline
Here’s how to download Netflix movies on Mac:
- Use a lightning cable to mirror downloaded Netflix movies from iPad/iPhone to your Mac.
- Download the Netflix movie by running bootcamp or parallels on Mac, then save through Netflix or with 3rd party movie downloader.
- Install an Android emulator on Mac to allow downloading of Netflix movies.
- Run Netflix using your browser on Mac, then record your screen using QuickTime.
If you’re looking for a better alternative, then we’ve got you covered here.
Only one of these four ways allows you to not break any Netflix terms. The remaining three are a bit time consuming, but will get you Netflix downloads on mac.
So wait, what are mac users doing instead?
Many are canceling their Netflix to use a surprisingly free platform that allows you to watch almost any movie or show that exists, “Netflix style”.
This is huge… and the benefits are actually good enough to make you want to ditch Netflix for good.
This allows you to have your own personal streaming service, is highly recommended and takes less than 10 minutes to set up. You can even save downloads to watch movies offline.
Those who are set on downloading Netflix movies on Mac will have to keep in mind that two out of the three methods you’ll see below are likely against Netflix terms and could get your account banned. (Yes It actually happens)
It’s no surprise why so many are highly recommending this “Netflix style” platform as the ideal alternative.
1. Mirror downloaded Netflix movies on Mac from iPad/iPhone.
A popular alternative option to download Netflix movies on Mac includes screen mirroring. In the past, Netflix users on iPhone were able to do this both wirelessly and through a cable connection.
In the past, Mac users were able to use Apple airplay to cast their Netflix movies…. but, is this still the case?
Something every Mac user should know – See our post on: Should I shut down my Macbook every night?
Can you use Airplay to watch a Netflix movie download from an iPhone to Mac?
No, you can not use Airplay from iPhone to Mac for downloaded Netflix movies. Airplay is no longer supported for use with Netflix due to technical limitations. (source)
Using Airplay to cast Netflix is not possible anymore. Gone are the days of being able to use apps such as AirServer and Reflector 3 for Netflix; which uses Airplay to mirror your screen from an iOS device to a mac display.
It may be possible to use Android with Miracast or Chromecast by using an Android device to send Netflix downloads to Mac via screen mirror.
Additionally, the Mac would however need to have a Miracast or chrome cast adapter attached as well.
Alternatives (what to do instead)
…You’re now able to get any movie or TV show that exists offline, for free, through a personal streaming service. (see our full guide on getting any movie or show for free here). I fact, this will allow you to watch movies instead of downloading them on your Mac.
How to watch downloaded Netflix movies on Mac offline via lightning cable
Alternatively, you can download Netflix shows on iPhone, then use a lightning cable to mirror the screen on your Mac. This is by far the most straightforward and reliable method out there for those that may be on an airplane or on lunch at break and watch to watch a Netflix download on Mac.
Here’s how to download Netflix movies on Mac offline:
- Connect both devices with your lightning cable.
- Launch Quicktime via Mac.
- Location file on the menu bar, then select “New Movie Recording”
- To the right of the red record button you will see an arrow that will list the name of your iPhone that you can select to connect to. if your device doesn’t immediately appear, then try reconnecting a few times.
- Click on the phone name and your device will be mirrored. You can now mirror your downloaded Netflix movies!
Short on time?
If you’re short on time… you can skip this guide and see How to watch any movie or show that exists in less than 10 minutes
2. Use a movie downloader for downloading Netflix movies on Mac
There are a few third party Netflix downloaders made for downloading Netflix movies on Mac. The problem is… well, none of them work.
However it’s still possible to enable downloading Netflix movies on Mac with a software or program…
This is only advised for those who who need the actual movie file saved on their Mac hard drive.
All the Netflix downloader software available today is compatible with windows only… which means you’ll need to be running a version of windows on your Mac (yes it’s possible). These will let you download saved Netflix movies on Mac by utilizing windows.
To download Netflix movies on Mac using a Netflix downloader you’ll need to use bootcamp or install a software like Parallels on your Mac since they’re only compatible with windows. After these are installed you’ll be able to use windows on Mac to install a Netflix downloader such as Flixgrab by Digiflix.
Although time consuming, the benefits of windows on mac go well beyond just watching saved Netflix movies on Mac. These benefits include, but are not limited to playing games and software that require windows.
Again, if you’re going to go to deploy measures of this depth to watch a movie on Mac, then your time is best spent using one of the other methods.
Many users at simply just watching netflix on a cheap tablet instead of downloading movies to their laptop. See our post: Best budget tablets for watching Netflix
If you truly need a rip of the actual movie container itself, then windows will be one of the only ways to accomplish your goal. Keep in mind this is against Netflix’s terms and can get your account banned.
This is why myself as well as many other are using a personal streaming service.
Related: See how to fix Netflix buffering (Netflix keeps freezing)
3. Install an Android emulator on Mac to allow downloading of Netflix movies.
Did you know you can run an Android emulator to get downloaded netflix movies on Mac? The key to this is is to find the right emulator. Unfortunately this can be time consuming and irritating if it doesn’t succeed. It will be up to you to decide if it’s worth your time.
Mac users are spending money on apps such as Reflector 3 and AirServer to use Airplay from iPhone to Mac… just to realize it doesn’t work. With some trial and error, this will allow you to get Netflix show downloads on Mac successfully.
Not only is it easier than installing windows through bootcamp or parallels, but it is a no cost solution as well. The downside is you may become frustrated in the process of attempting multiple emulators.
In the past the Android emulators for Netflix just simply didn’t work, but Bluestacks appears to have a working Netflix app that is occasionally down for maintenance. They appear to be continually improving it.
Here’s how to use an android emulator to download Netflix on Mac:
- Download an android emulator, such as Bluestacks, Nox player or an alternative.
- Next, Launch Netflix using your android emulator through the search bar.
- Finally, use Netflix to download movies and shows for offline!
If succeeding- this will allow you to run Netflix on Mac and utilize all it’s capabilities that you’d normally get on windows without the hassle of buying windows. It’s important to note this method is likely to be against Netflix terms.
4. Screen record Netflix to Download Netflix movies on Mac
You can also screen record your Netflix browser to mimic a download of Netflix on Mac. Of course, you’ll need internet and QuickTime (or any other free screen recorder) to do so.
This is not the ideal scenario as it’s time consuming, but can replace an actual download of the movie quite well. In fact, you can get the same quality as you woulda on Netflix, but the file won’t be as compressed, which is important to note.
Here’s how to screen record in order to create a Netflix download for movies on Mac:
- Launch Netflix on any browser.
- Then, open QuickTime and launch the screen recorder by going to “File”, then selecting “new screen recording”.
- Finally, let Netflix continually run until the movie or series is recorded! Enjoy!!
I do not find this to be a preferred method, I mean it works… but there’s way better alternatives such as using a lightning cable from iPhone to Mac, or downloading it via a windows portal. There is also the question of legality around this.
Since an official Netflix app on mac doesn’t exist- the examples listed on this article are the only methods available for those seeking how to download Netflix movies on mac.
If you’re going to use an alternative method for downloading Netflix movies on mac you may want to just create your own personal streaming service and ditch Netflix altogether.
At least this way, you’ll be able to get nearly any movie or TV show that exists. (this includes “still in theater movies” and “offline viewing”)
You can always set up a hotspot on your iPhone for your Mac and stream this way, although it may use a lot of data it’s more simple than launching windows on Mac with a third party Netflix downloader.
The listed methods will remain time consuming until Netflix and Apple collaborate to create an official feature that enables downloads on Mac.