On iPad or iPhone, it's easy to download Netflix shows and movies to watch offline, but what if you want to do so on a Mac? Unfortunately, there's no easy way to do so, but there is a way. Here, we show you how.
Disclaimer: The method described in this article violates Netflix's terms and conditions. We would never advise you do so as it could lead to termination of your subscription, but if you aren't concerned about doing so then you can proceed at your own risk.
Downloading Netflix shows to your Mac requires screen recording. This means you'll be recording whatever you’re watching in order to watch it again offline. This unfortunately means that you’ll have to let the screen recorder run whilst your Mac is on and playing whatever you wish to record.
This might seem troublesome for some, but it’s the most efficient way we’ve found to download Netflix shows and movies on Mac. We should also note that recorded movies should be used for personal viewing only, and shouldn't be put online for others to view.
Step 1: Install the software
For the purpose of this guide we chose Apowersoft Mac Screen Recorder, which can be downloaded for free, but with limited functionality through its trial period.
For example, you’ll only be able to record three minutes at a time, which is obviously not long enough to record a TV show or movie. For that you'll need the paid version, which costs around £33.
If you would like a completely free alternative, we suggest installing Monosnap or using the screen recording functionality offered in QuickTime for Mac users.
Step 2: Pick your settings
Once you’ve downloaded and installed the Apowersoft software, open the program to adjust its settings.
You’ll first want to check that it is set to record your system audio, rather than your microphone.
To do this, click on the ‘Audio Input’ icon to reveal a dropdown menu which will allow you to change the input.
For the purpose of recording Netflix, you'll need to select 'System sound'. Once you’ve done this, you’ll notice that the program changes the default audio output to the software, rather than your speakers.
You’ll be able to see this change if you go to ‘System Preferences’ on your Mac and check the ‘Audio’ section to see the sound inputs and outputs of your Mac.
Step 3: More settings
You will then want to go into the ‘Options’ tab and select the settings you wish to include. We suggest removing the ‘Show recording boundary’, ‘Show recording toolbar’ and ‘Record mouse cursor’ options to get a cleaner output video.
In this menu, you’ll also be able to set a custom hotkey and check your recording options.
Step 4: Avoid Safari
Before continuing, you’ll need to download an alternative browser to Safari, as its QuickTime Player integration disables you from recording Netflix. You’ll notice that as soon as you start recording Netflix on Safari, Netflix will display an error.
We've listed our pick of the best Safari alternatives here.
Furthermore, in order to avoid recording unwanted screens or being limited to what you can record, you should unplug any external monitor that’s connected to your Mac, as yet again it might prevent you from being able to record.
Finally, you should define the ‘Output’ location of the finished recording, by clicking the small little dots near ‘Open Folder’. The default location will be saved under your username > Movies > Mac Screen Recorder.
Step 5: Begin recording
Once you’ve setup the program, unplugged any external monitor and downloaded an alternative browser like Google Chrome, login to your Netflix account and choose the show or film you wish to record.
Hit the ‘Record’ icon on Apowersoft and select ‘Full screen’ or ‘Region’, depending on what suits you best.
In our case, full screen results granted us with a better resolution output. Once you hit record you should be able to see a 3 second countdown (unless you disabled this option through the software’s settings), and you can then hit fullscreen on your browser.
Step 6: Stop recording
Once you’ve finished recording, minimise your Netflix tab and find the Apowersoft logo at the top-right-hand corner of your Mac, in order to ‘Stop recording’.
When you stop recording, you should be presented with a .MOV file which will automatically open in a separate window. Do bear in mind that if the show or film is long, it could take some time before popping up.
Step 7: Edit the file
After you’ve finished recording, you’ll be able to see the file in your Apowersoft main tab, where it will show you by default the file’s name, size, duration, and creation date. From here you can directly edit the name, see its properties and even delete it from your Mac!
The .MOV file can now be watched offline on your Mac, meaning you can finally watch your Netflix show without the need to be connected to the internet.
Step 8: Transfer to iOS
If you then want to transfer the .MOV file to your iPhone or iPad, we would suggest converting it into MP4 before transferring it over. Thankfully, Apowersoft provide an in-built .MOV to MP4 converter, which works very efficiently and is perfect for iOS devices.
In order to use it, simply hit the ‘Convert’ icon on the recorder and you’ll be presented with another window. Through this other window locate your file by navigating to your saved location and click on it to import it.
Once selected, you’ll then be able to convert it to MP4; remember to choose your output file location. The process might take some time if your file is large and quite long, but once completed you’ll get a pop-up informing you that the process is complete. You can now enjoy the content on your iOS devices!