An official Netflix app update for Windows PCs will ditch downloads and offline viewing following a crackdown on account sharing

Netflix logo
(Image credit: Kevin Okemwa)

What you need to know

  • A new update is being shipped to the official Netflix app for Windows 10 and Windows 11, removing support for offline viewing. 
  • Netflix confirmed the change via its support page but says the feature will still be available on supported mobile devices.
  • The update ships with new features and improvements elsewhere, including support for watching live events, improved streaming quality, compatibility with ad-supported plans, and more.

Netflix is on the brink of shipping a major update to its dedicated app for Windows 11 and Windows 10 users. Unfortunately, it'll ship with a feature that might be unpopular among most users. 

In the past few weeks, users have received notifications on their Netflix Windows indicating that a new update is coming. The update will ship with many new features and quality-of-life improvements, including support for watching live events, improved streaming quality, compatibility with ad-supported plans, and more.

However, the update will also include a new change that won't allow users to download movies or series via the Netflix app for offline viewing or when facing intermittent internet connection issues. 

As confirmed on Netflix's support page:

"A new Netflix app for Windows is coming soon, which includes support for watching live events, increased streaming quality, compatibility with ad-supported plans, and more. While downloads will no longer be supported, you can continue to watch TV shows and movies offline on a supported mobile device."

I still rely on offline Netflix viewing for my travels

Netflix logo

(Image credit: Windows Central)

There are many movie and video streaming services, but Netflix is arguably the best, with over 260.28 million paid subscribers worldwide as of Q4 2023. The platform has undergone major changes over the past few years, including its crackdown on password sharing which limits the use of a single account to one household. 

No more downloads on Netflix PC app from r/netflix

In the grand scheme of things, this has impacted how users interact with the platform. The new change preventing offline viewing while using a PC certainly won't help this situation. Admittedly, offline viewing is one of my favorite features on Netflix since it allows me to keep up with my favorite shows while on the go. Removing the offline viewing feature might hint at Netflix moving towards a PWA app, but it'll still be available on supported mobile devices, so that's still awesome.

Kevin Okemwa
Contributor

Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.

  • K Shan
    Can't wait for lowering the customer's value of the product to once again decrease sales. This idea that they can get people who aren't buying netflix to buy netflix by making netflix worse is dumb.
    Reply
  • bradavon
    The Windows app was the only Laptop platform that supported offline viewing. It was a major plus over MacOS.

    I bet they've crunched the numbers and Windows use is lower and they're moving to a PWA app because those require zero maintenance.

    They're just the website using MS Edge Webview,

    😡
    Reply
  • Annie_M
    K Shan said:
    Can't wait for lowering the customer's value of the product to once again decrease sales. This idea that they can get people who aren't buying netflix to buy netflix by making netflix worse is dumb.
    Exactly this! LOL!
    Reply