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How to download Netflix movies on Mac: Watch favourite films offline

It’s easy to download Netflix shows and movies to your iPad or iPhone for later viewing offline, but what if you want to do so on a Mac? There is a way, but unfortunately, it’s far less straightforward.

Note also that the method described in this article violates Netflix’s terms and conditions, and could lead to termination of your subscription. Proceed at your own risk!

Downloading Netflix shows to your Mac requires screen recording: you’ll have to let the screen recorder run while 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.

Step 1: Install the software

There are many screen recorders out there for Mac, such as Snagit, ScreenFlow and Camtasia.

For the purpose of this guide we chose Apowersoft Mac Screen Recorder, which can be downloaded as a free trial, although you don’t get the full feature set.

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 £29.

If you would like a completely free alternative, we suggest installing Monosnap or using the screen recording feature in QuickTime.

Step 2: Pick your settings


Step 2: Pick your settings

Once you’ve downloaded and installed the software, open the program to adjust its settings.

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.

Step 3: More settings


Step 3: More settings

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


Step 4: Avoid Safari

You’ll notice that as soon as you start recording Netflix on Safari, Netflix displays an error: this is because of Safari’s QuickTime Player integration. In other words, you need to make sure you’re running a different browser. 

Take a look at our pick of the best Safari alternatives.

You should also 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


Step 5: Begin recording

Log into 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, fullscreen results produced a better resolution output.

Once you hit record you should be able to see a three-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


Step 6: Stop recording

Once you’ve finished recording, minimise your Netflix tab and find the Apowersoft logo at the top-righthand 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


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


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.

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 it’s completed you’ll get a popup informing you that the process is complete. You can now enjoy the content on your iOS devices!


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