How to use the Netflix Smart Downloads feature on iOS devices

February 23, 2021

Through its new Smart Downloads feature, Netflix makes it possible for the members to take their stories with them wherever they go. This gives consumers more control over their entertainment experience and streamlines the process of offline viewing. Currently, the feature works on devices supporting downloads and running the latest version of the Netflix app. Let's see how to use Netflix Smart Downloads in iOS.

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How to use the Netflix Smart Downloads feature in iOS?

The best part of the Netflix Smart Downloads feature is it lets viewers connect with the stories they love in a more hassle-free and fun way. Here’s how to use it on your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Launch your Netflix app.
  2. Tap Downloads icon at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Tap the Smart Downloads link
  4. Enable the option by sliding the toggle to ‘On’ position.

What are Smart Downloads on Netflix?

When there’s no Internet access or there’s a long wait during the evening commute, Netflix users prefer downloading and enjoying the content on the go. However, restricted Internet access in such conditions makes the task difficult. Smart Downloads overcomes this limitation by letting Netflix members automatically download the next episode in the queue while they are connected to a Wi-Fi network and watching the current episode.

Netflix Download Option
Netflix Download Option

To turn Smart Downloads on, open the app and tap Downloads. Its icon can be found at the bottom of the Netflix app.

Smart Downloads Disabled
Smart Downloads Disabled

When directed to a new screen, tap the Smart Downloads link.

Netflix Smart Downloads Enabled
Netflix Smart Downloads Enabled

Here, slide the toggle next to Smart Downloads option to ‘On’ position.

Now, when you are connected to a Wi-Fi network and finish watching a downloaded episode, Smart Downloads will automatically download the next episode in the series and delete the existing one. If there are no more episodes to download in a series, the last watched episode will not be deleted

As the feature deletes the previous episode while downloading the next episode in the queue, it does not impact your device storage beyond what you've already downloaded.


Can you download Netflix for offline viewing?

With the Smart Downloads option set to the ‘On’ position, you can certainly download content for offline viewing. However, this convenience is limited to just a single episode and not the entire series.

Netflix Smart download not working?

Smart Downloads works only when you're connected to a Wi-Fi network. So, if you are trying to use it on a cellular connection, the feature won’t work.

For more information, you can visit Netflix Help Center.

Hope that makes sense!


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Hemant Saxena
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