How to Make Netflix HD or Ultra HD: The Easiest Way to Change Netflix’s Picture Settings

When it comes to streaming media, it’s hard to find an app better than Netflix. With one of the largest libraries of movies and TV shows in the world, Netflix is the go-to place for originals and legacy content alike. No longer do you have to rush out to a video store to grab a new movie for Friday night. Instead, watching something is just a few clicks away, making it perfect for anyone looking to expand their streaming library.

Unfortunately, Netflix’s one weakness is its reliance on high bandwidth internet connections to provide a crystal-clear viewing experience. If your favorite Netflix Originals are coming in at lower resolutions than you’d expect, changing your picture settings is super easy.

Changing Netflix Picture Settings: Making Netflix HD or Ultra HD

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Before we go into changing your resolution settings, it’s worth making sure you have a subscription that allows for HD or UHD content. Netflix technically starts at $8.99 per month, but to gain access to sharper content, you’ll have to make the jump to the $12.99 or $15.99 per month plans. Those allow for HD and UHD, respectively, as well as upgrading how many devices can stream Netflix at once.

Changing Netflix picture settings on Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Firefox

When watching content on Netflix via a web browser, it’s not initially obvious how you can alter your playback settings so don’t worry if you can’t find them right away. You’ll also need to make changes for your smart TVs and streaming devices by logging into

  1. Step 1

    Log in and select your profile (if you have multiple on one account).

  2. Step 2

    Click on the down arrow by your profile name and select “Your Account”

  3. Step 3

    Navigate to “Playback Settings” under the “My Profile” heading.

  4. Step 4

    Here you can select if you want Netflix to automatically configure the best picture setting for you, or set it to “Low”, “Medium” or “High” depending on your internet connection speed.

In “My Profile”, you can also set how subtitles appear across all supported devices.

Changing Netflix picture settings on Android and iOS

Sometimes streaming content on the go can be taxing on your data plan and phone battery. It’s times like these that downgrading visual quality could really save your phone bill and keep your battery going for that little bit longer. Thankfully, finding your picture settings in Netflix’s mobile app on Android or iOS is super easy.

  1. Step 1

    Log into Netflix and select your profile (if you have multiple on one account).
  2. Step 2

    Click the menu button, or swipe your finger right from the left edge on Android
  3. Step 3

    Scroll down to “App Settings” and select ‘Download Video Quality’

  4. Step 4

    Tap ‘High’.

  5. Step 5

    Scroll back up and tap ‘Cellular Data Usage’ then tap ‘Maximum Data’ for higher video quality.

Mobile users also have a helpful option to automatically restrict data usage by selecting “Mobile Data Saver” in “App Settings” on Netflix’s app menu. You can also tell Netflix to only run via Wi-Fi if you don’t want to use data at all.

Streaming Content in HD Ultra

Streaming content in HD Ultra takes more than a new subscription and changing some settings. You will need the proper equipment to support the crisper content. Netflix recommends that you have the following:

  • An internet speed of at least 25mbps – You may want to use a physical Ethernet cable to boost your speeds.
  • A 60Hz monitor if you’re streaming on your computer.
  • A television that is compatible with HD Ultra content – specific models can be found by visiting the Netflix Help Center and typing in the TV Manufacturer.

Once you have the compatible device and setup simply travel to the search function on Netflix and search for the HD Ultra content. You can also search for titles. If the movie or show is available in HD you will see the icon.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some more answers to our most frequently asked questions:

Is it worth upgrading to Ultra HD?

The answer to this question heavily depends on you. If you enjoy better clarity and image quality, or you’re just an avid streamer, then yes it probably is worth the upgrade. For those who don’t watch Netflix often or haven’t upgraded their TV in a while, it’s best to stick with a lower-tier package.

Adding to the value is the extra streams you get when you have the higher tier package of Netflix. If you have several people using the same account it’s absolutely necessary to upgrade so that everyone can stream without interruption.

Why can’t I select the higher quality on Netflix?

The option to stream higher-quality content may not work for you or may not appear at all. The first thing you need to do after upgrading your package is to visit the settings for each profile on your account and tap on ‘Settings.’ From here locate the ‘Playback Settings’ and toggle the highest quality option on. While this will use more data if you’re streaming from a wifi source it shouldn’t affect anything.

If you’ve toggled the option on and you’re still not receiving any HD quality content close Netflix and open it back up again. This gives the app time to register the new settings. If your HD content still isn’t working and you’ve confirmed you’re running at least 25mbps with an HD capable device contact Netflix Support for more assistance.

Is Netflix UHD the same as 4K?

Somewhat. While they are technically different (true 4K has a slightly higher pixel ratio than UHD) most consumers won’t really notice a difference in quality. It may surprise you that because this ratio is so close that many TVs are advertised as 4K when they are actually Ultra High-Definition.

I have a 4k TV but it isn’t compatible. Why not?

So here’s the kicker about 4K and UHD TVs; those manufactured before 2014 (and even some after 2014) did not include the proper HEVC decoder. Essentially this makes it possible for your TV to show Netflix’s UHD content as UHD content.

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