Netflix could be removing Windows downloads feature

Netflix logo on smartphone stock photo (4)

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

TL;DR

  • We have a report of a new alert in the Netflix app for Windows that claims the app will no longer be able to download content for offline watching.
  • The alleged alert points you to using a mobile device for offline downloads instead.
  • However, another report suggests this is not happening. It’s possible Netflix is merely testing the idea.

Watching Netflix on the go is a snap with the official Netflix app for Windows. Even if you don’t have access to a data connection, you can always download content ahead of time and watch that as much as you like.

However, reports online say that Netflix is updating its Windows app — and possibly taking away the ability to download content for offline watching. If true, it would be a significant downgrade for subscribers who watch content on their laptops (which, let’s be honest, is a whole lot of people).

According to Artem Russakovskii on X (formerly Twitter), there’s a new alert in the Netflix Windows app that says the following:

Coming soon: A new Windows app experience. The update includes access to live events, compatibility with ad-supported plans, and more! Downloads will no longer be supported, but you can continue to watch TV shows and movies offline on a supported mobile device.

You can see how the alert allegedly looks in Artem’s screenshot below:

Netflix Windows App Alert Downloads Removal

Now, this is clearly bad news if true. However, we have another report — also on X — that suggests this might not be happening.

X user Trevor62271128 posted a similar-looking alert from the Netflix app that skips the language about downloads no longer being supported:

Netflix Windows App Alert Downloads Stay

It’s tricky to say what’s happening here. It’s possible Artem’s alert was an error and Netflix will not be removing download support from its Windows app. However, it’s also possible the reverse is true and that Trevor62271128’s screenshot is the incorrect one.

There’s also the possibility that Netflix is only alerting people who actually use the downloads feature. Trevor62271128 mentions that they do not use downloads, so Netflix might skip that part of the alert for users in that situation.

Finally, it’s also possible Netflix is just doing A/B testing to gauge online reaction to a potential change. This is something we’ve seen before many times, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

In the meantime, if you are a Netflix subscriber who relies on downloads through the Windows app, now might be a good time to message Netflix and let it know you would like to keep that feature around.

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