Netflix gives you the option to download shows on their Windows app, as well as Android and iOS, but there is no such thing for Mac users. For a long time now, I was looking for a way to download my favorite Netflix shows on a Mac, and there wasn’t any working solution. Until today.
So, I recently found out a way to download Netflix videos on Mac. And no, we are not talking about recording Mac’s screen. Instead, we’ll use an app called Parallels, which lets you run Windows on your Mac. Yes, you can also run Windows on the Mac with Boot Camp but that will require you to restart your Mac every time you need to switch to Windows and not to mention the complicated setup. Parallels, on the other hand, is an optimized virtual machine, so it runs Windows within macOS. The setup is simple and would take around 15 minutes. And it even works flawlessly even with a VPN, so you can watch geo-restricted shows like the office the US without any glitch. And if that’s not enough, it even lets you watch 4k content on your Mac. Sounds awesome. Let’s see how you go about it.
Download Netflix Movies on Mac
Step 1: Install Parallels on a Mac
Go to www.parallels.com and download Parallels Desktop application for your computer. Although the single license costs $80, there is a 14 days trial with full access to the software.
Within the trial period, you won’t be bugged with any watermarks or asked for your credit card information. So, it makes sense to use this if you are going for a vacation where the internet might be expensive or non-existent.
If you like the software then you can purchase a license after trial runs its course.
Once you download Parallels’s dmg file, install it on your Mac, like you install any other software.
My favorite thing about Parallels is that the installation is extremely simple. Simply, run the software, and it’ll take care of everything, from installing Windows to configuring it. In fact, I ran the installer and went for a walk. Once I came back, Windows was ready to go. I was surprised, I didn’t have to click even a single button.
You may get a popup that would read System Extension Blocked, it means your macOS requires an exception in Security Preferences for this application. Click the button to open the Settings page and grant the permissions.
You just have to click a single button to grant the exception, click ‘Allow’ to begin the setup process. It would also prompt you to enter the macOS account credentials and authenticate the transaction before granting the exception.
It automatically fetches the Windows copy from the Windows server so you don’t have to download the Windows ISO. Parallels download an evaluation copy of Windows though. It would take a few minutes to install though as the package is around 5GB.
After downloading the setup files, Parallels would automatically begin the installation process and you would be greeted with the installation screen. If you’ve never used windows, this screen means you’re already there and it would take a couple of more minutes to finalize the settings.
After finishing the installation, you will be able to use your Windows right out of the box. No need to install any drivers or anything. It’s that simple.
After the installation is finished, Parallels will ask you to create a free account. To save some time, you can log in with your Google account and you’re up and going.
And there you go, Windows on a Mac. Cool. The Windows desktop replicates Mac’s desktop to Windows and adds all the files on the Windows desktop too which is cool. I can access my documents easily without having to manually copy the contents from macOS to the simulated Windows.
Step 2: Install the Netflix app
Next up, we need to download the Netflix app on Windows, so, open the Windows Store, search for Netflix, click ‘Get’ and there you go. You can even install Netflix without signing in to a Microsoft account. Good job Microsoft.
Now, once you have the Netflix app, log in to the Netflix app with your credentials. One thing I noticed while I was setting up the Netflix account is the overall smoothness, I mean it’s unreal. It works even better than some Windows computers out there.
I tested this on the least powerful 2015, 128 GB MacBook Air. If this work on this MacBook, it’ll work on most Macs out there.
After logging in to Netflix, let’s go ahead and download something to test if it actually works. Not everything is available to download though, to find the shows, available for download, go to the ‘Available for Download’ section in the menu. If the title you want to download from Netflix isn’t available for download, then you got no other option than to capture the screen as you watch it.
Once you find the title you want to download from the available catalog and click the Download button to start the download.
You will then see a blue progress bar along the bottom of the app. Once the download finishes, it would show up in the download library of the Netflix app. You can find your downloaded shows by going to the menu and tapping My Downloads. Simply press play and start watching your videos.
The videos are downloaded in your Macbook storage, so make sure you have enough memory.
You can even play videos with the Internet off. You can try this by turning off the WiFi on your mac. I watched the entire episode on the Airplane mode to test the app and it worked just fine.
The Netflix app retains all the features even though being simulated on a sandbox, including the smart downloads, which will automatically delete an episode once you’ve watched and downloaded the next one when you are connected to the Internet.
To enable the smart download or to download videos in higher video quality, go to the menu and scroll down to Downloads. Under Downloads, tap Video Quality and choose the quality that works for you.
It remembers how far along you’ve watched the episode and resumes even after you restart the Parallels’ session on the mac. It’s safe to say the method is pretty dope at this point.
Step 3: Download Geoblocked content
We have a fully functional Netflix app that stores all the downloaded files safely in the system. While I don’t have a shortage of titles, there are a few strays which are not available in my country. You can use a VPN to circumvent the geo-restrictions to access the content from around the world.
Turn on your VPN that supports Netflix unblock, (we recommend Nord VPN or Smart DNS Proxy VPN) and connect to a location where the content might not be blocked. I usually look for titles like The Office as it isn’t available in my country. Just search for the title and it should show up in the search results on the Netflix app.
If by any chance the app doesn’t pull up the titles, it could be because of the Cache issue. Restarting the Netflix app within the Windows won’t solve this problem, you would have to close the Parallels app on your mac and restart the sandbox.
After booting the Windows up, open the Netflix app again, try searching for the title again and it should pop in the results now.
Step 4: Play Netflix in 4K on a Mac
The party is still not over, there is one final thing. It can play Netflix 4k content on the Mac. Until now, you could only do this on Windows. We’re still playing the content on Windows but it’s on a Mac now. You would need a Macbook or a TV which supports 4K screen. Also, upgrade your Netflix account to the one which has 4K playback options.
I tested this on a few Macs lying around including a MacBook Pro and an iMac, it works on every device. You can even watch 4K content on Edge browser but Safari and Chrome simply don’t play Netflix content in 4K so there’s that.
This is how to download Netflix movies on Mac. I’ve been using the setup for the past three days and it works flawlessly. There aren’t any watermarks on the simulated Windows and the software doesn’t nag you to upgrade to premium. I’ll update the results if there are any updates with this method. As of now, I’ve to go and pack my bags.