Where Are Netflix Downloads Saved on the iPhone

Nowadays, anyone with a Netflix subscription can download and watch their favorite movies and TV shows offline. In the past, this wasn’t always the case. The original direction was to provide access to those countries suffering unreliable internet so that they would be able to view Netflix videos offline. Thankfully, Netflix didn’t stop there and instead decided to provide it for all subscribers of the popular streaming platform.

Where Are Netflix Downloads Saved on the iPhone

“So what happens to the movies after downloading? I can’t figure out where to find them.”

We’ll definitely get there, but to ensure there are no missteps along the way, I’d like to provide a more in-depth tutorial. First, I’d like to make sure that you have ample enough storage space for the downloads, understand exactly how to download videos for offline viewing, and then guide you to where they’re kept.

If you’re willing to stick around, great! We have a few things to cover so let’s get started.


Necessary Storage Space

It should come as no surprise that the length of the video will often determine the amount of storage that is needed. The lengthier the video, the more storage space required. Hi-Definition (HD) versions will consume even more space, at times reaching double the Megabytes (MB) needed for the Standard Definition (SD) versions. HD capabilities will also vary by device and iOS version. Usually, SD is good enough for most viewings and is preferred for watching on smaller devices like a phone or tablet.

You may also want to take into account the reasons why you might be downloading the videos to your phone as opposed to watching directly from your PC. Convenience for use on the go is typically the primary reason for doing so.

Downloading Netflix videos for offline viewing is a great way to avoid boredom during a data outage or WiFi downtime. Perhaps, you want to watch a movie at work during your lunch break or might be planning a cross-country plane trip and prefer your own selection to that of the in-flight movie. For the latter, you’ll want to approximate the length of the trip and correlate it with the number of videos you’ll need. This will no doubt increase the amount of storage space necessary, so it’s always best to plan ahead.


How to Download Netflix Videos to Your iPhone

Netflix mobile is only available for those who currently possess either iOS or Android operating systems. They also require, at a minimum, to have iOS 8.0 or later, on top of having the latest version of the Netflix app. Downloading videos to your iPhone will likely consume a bit of data so if you plan on downloading a large assorted catalog of movies and shows, you’ll want to ensure you’re connected to a reliable WiFi network.

First, you’ll want to keep your Netflix app up to date. What to do:

  1. If you don’t have Netflix app downloaded yet, open the App Store, type it into the search box, and download it. Chances are that you already do have it so to update, from the App Store tap Updates, and next to Netflix, tap Update.
  2. Once the download/update is finished, open your Netflix app, and in the top-right corner, tap the Menu icon.
  3. From here, tap on “Available for Download”.

  4. Locate a show or movie you want to watch offline and tap on it.
  5. Find and tap the Download button (looks like a downward facing arrow). It will only take one tap to download a full movie but for a series, you’ll need to download each individual episode. The Download button will be located next to each.

The downloaded files are subjected to a digital rights management (DRM) scheme in order to protect the copyrights of the provided videos. This means that you won’t be able to locate the files on your iPhone aside from within the Netflix app itself.

This also prevents you from relocating the downloaded videos from your iPhone to your PC or Mac. You’ll need to use the browser version of Netflix instead.


Browse Your Downloaded Videos Offline

All of your downloaded videos and shows will be located within the Netflix app and inside the “My Downloads” section. You can reach “My Downloads” by:

  1. Opening your Netflix app on your iPhone.
  2. Tapping on the Menu icon located in the upper right of the screen.
  3. Select “My Downloads” from the available options.

To play any of the videos located here, simply select the movie or show you want to watch and tap Play. Understand that the videos you’ve downloaded will not remain there indefinitely. Most (all?) videos will likely have an expiration timer attached to them.

Prevent Download Expiration

Expiration times for Netflix videos will vary from file to file. If there are only seven days remaining on a download, it will display as such inside the “My Downloads” section.  There are also those shows or movies that will need to be viewed within 48 hours of downloading them. You can find the hourly countdown inside the “My Downloads” section of the Netflix app as well.

If a video expires before you get a chance to view it, you can delete it, redownload it, and the expiration timer will renew.


Delete Your Downloaded Videos (To Free Up Space)

You may find that you’ve downloaded a bit too many videos and iPhone is constantly letting you know that your storage space is now insufficient. In order to free up a bit of room, you can delete a few of your videos.

To do this:

  1. Inside the Netflix app, tap on the Menu icon.
  2. Choose “My Downloads”.
  3. Tap the Edit button. An ‘X’ will appear near each video you currently have stored on your phone.
  4. Tap the ‘X’ next to the video you wish to remove from your “My Downloads”. Repeat this step if you plan to remove additional videos.

If you want to delete all of your downloads in one fell swoop:

  1. Inside the Netflix app, open the Menu.
  2. Scroll down until you can select App Settings. Tap it.
  3. Choose “Delete all downloads”.

Once confirmed, all of your downloaded Netflix shows and movies will disappear.

One thought on “Where Are Netflix Downloads Saved on the iPhone”

Chris says:
This did not help. It’s not truly offline if I can’t even open Netflix to get to the downloads in the menu because I’m offline… I downloaded movies in advance in the first place because I can’t access Netflix in the air ..so HOW DO I ACCESS THEM??
LOH says:
My sentiments, exactly. I work where WiFi is restricted (to include No NetFlix). Downloads really turned into a Waste of Time, and Home Use Bandwidth.
RR says:
Turn off your Wi-Fi and then open Netflix. You should be able to watch the previously downloaded movies on your device. If you leave Wi-Fi on, Netflix is trying to connect and validate your location etc.

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