Netflix adds offline playback for Windows 10 app

Alex Kidman 5 April 2017

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Windows 10 users can now download selected Netflix shows to watch later.

When it launched offline playback last year for its subscribers, Netflix rather specifically limited the ability to download programs to users on iOS or Android devices. Both are eminently mobile, and there was a clear message about piracy thrown in for good measure. Netflix appears to be loosening those reins, however, updating its Windows 10 app to include offline playback functionality.

As with other Netflix offline playback methods, there are a few catches. Not everything in the Netflix catalog is available for offline playback, and this includes some Netflix "originals" titles, such as all of its Marvel titles like Luke Cage or Iron Fist. The amount of time you’ve got to actually watch a title varies quite widely, and you can’t actually tell this before you opt to download. You’re still limited in pure device numbers depending on your subscription tier as well.

Netflix offline can be a great entertainment resource for long flights, but with recent laptop bans for selected flights you may actually be better off loading shows to your approved phone instead.

It’s also worth noting that the ability to download programs is limited to the Windows Store Netflix app. You won’t see download indicators on available programs if you’re watching Netflix through a browser on a Windows 10 computer, although that is still a supported way to watch Netflix content. It also doesn’t appear to be a feature for Windows 10 Mobile users, or for that matter Xbox users, although presumably the app codebase is fairly similar.

Netflix isn't alone in the offline playback space, with Stan recently launching offline playback with a majority of its titles available. Amazon Prime Video also offers up its entire smaller catalog for offline viewing to Australians.

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