HolidayBuyer's Guide

How to download, manage Netflix shows on your phone or tablet

After years of users begging for offline access to Netflix shows and movies, the company has given in.

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The day has finally arrived! It's now possible to download shows and movies using the Netflix app to watch when you're on a plane, or without an internet connection. Heck, downloading Netflix content is a super easy way to save on your mobile data plan while on the go.

Before you get too excited, the first thing to do is install the latest version of the Netflix app on your iOS or Android device.

According to Netflix, the new feature works on Android devices running Android 4.4.2 and up, as well as iOS 8.0 or later.

Download away!

Photo by Jason Cipriani/CNET

The first time you launch the app after updating, Netflix displays a dialogue showing the download symbol used to initiate a download. More importantly, at the bottom of the popup is a link that takes you to all of the movies and shows you can currently download. Select it! Don't worry if you close the prompt before reading it, there's a new Available for Download category within the app.

Downloading a show is as easy as tapping on the download button and letting the app take care of the rest. Naturally, you'll want to have a Wi-Fi connection when doing so.

Alternatively, you can always look for the download button when browsing the Netflix catalog.

You can set the download quality by opening the menu and going to App Settings and choosing between standard and high Video Quality. High will take up more storage space on your phone.

Managing your downloads

Photo by Jason Cipriani/CNET

To view and manage your downloaded shows, slide out the menu drawer and tap open My Downloads. Downloaded shows are grouped together, showing the number of episodes and amount of storage each show or movie is using on your device.

Unlike other apps, the only limitation to the amount of storage Netflix will use is the amount of storage your phone has. In other words, if you have a 128GB phone, you can use as much of that as you want to store shows you normally binge watch.

In the My Downloads section, tap on a show or movie followed by the blue phone icon next to each episode or movie to delete it. You can also tap on the Edit button at the top of the screen to delete more than one show at a time.

To delete all downloads in one step, open the menu drawer then tap on App Settings followed by Delete All Downloads.