How Long Do Netflix Downloads Last? A Newbie's Guide

Lindsay Hayes

Once you download a show or a movie, it will stay in your library for 7 days if you haven't started watching it. If you've already clicked play, it will only last 2 days.

Some shows can expire before this time. This really depends on their licensing agreement.

I've been a Netflix user for a while, and my favorite thing to do is download movies to watch on the weekend. I was confused when a movie I downloaded once expired the next day. I did some digging and learned that its licensing agreement probably lapsed.

In this article, I've not only touched on this but taken a detailed look at how long Netflix downloads last.


How Long Do Netflix Downloads Last For?

Most downloaded movies and shows stay in your library for 7 days (if you haven't started watching them). This really depends on Netflix's licensing agreements. Sometimes, they can expire sooner.

If you've already started watching a downloaded show, it will only last 2 days. These 2 days start from the moment you press play.

There will be a yellow exclamation mark next to any title in your library that's expired. If you look closely, there should also be an 'expired' label near it.

As of now, there's no way to extend the period. I'm not sure whether the app team will work on anything like this.

Woman Watching a Netflix TV Show

How Do You Re-download Expired Shows and Movies?

It's easy to re-download any expired titles. The process to follow is the same across all devices. You can only do the following on the Netflix app. You won't be able to do this by logging into the site from your browser.

Follow these steps:

How Many Downloaded Titles Can You Have on Netflix?

Netflix lets you download up to 100 videos per device. Compared to other streaming services, this is quite good. You can only have 25 downloads at a time on Hulu and Amazon Prime.

On Hulu and Amazon Prime, these downloads can be shared across every device that you've connected to. On Netflix, however, it's 100 videos for each device.

Can You Re-download a Show On Netflix Multiple Times?

Most Netflix movies and shows can be re-downloaded as many times as you want. Some can only be downloaded a couple of times. Once again, this is due to copyright restrictions. This is all in the content provider's hands, and not Netflix's.

Although you might not be able to download some titles whenever you want, remember that you'll still be able to stream them.

What is the Netflix Smart Download Feature?

Netflix's Smart Download feature is an easy way to free up your Download page. It'll look for any downloaded TV show episodes that you've watched and delete them. Yes, it only works for TV shows and not movies.

Once it deletes an episode, it automatically downloads the next one.

The feature should be switched on to work. Here's how:

Be careful with Smart Downloads. You might have to re-download a bunch of episodes that you were saving to watch again.

Netflix on an iMac

How Many Times Can You Watch a Netflix Download?

As long as a Netflix download is still in your library, you can watch it as many times as you want.

Keep in mind what I mentioned about the Smart Download feature. If it has been switched on, it can automatically delete downloaded content. You might want to turn it off.

To disable Netflix Smart Downloads, go to the Smart Downloads setting, then disable the Download Next Episode button.


Answered below are some popular questions.

Why Can't I Download Shows on Netflix?

You might be dealing with a copyright restriction if you don't see a download button next to a title. There's nothing you can do about this, other than hope the licensing company reverses it. You might not see a download button next to a title if you've opened the Netflix site on your browser.

What if there's a download button next to your show?

You might be facing a server issue. Visit the Netflix server status page to find out if their servers are down.

If you've checked and there's nothing wrong with their servers, there could be a different issue.

Let's talk about some fixes.

Solution 1: Remove Excess Devices

Every Netflix plan only lets you connect a certain number of devices to it. You might not be able to download shows because you've logged in on an extra device. If this is what you're facing, you'll get an error code saying "10016-23000 Download Restriction".

With the basic plan, you can download Netflix shows on one device, two devices on the Standard plan, and four devices on the premium plan.

So, try and remove any old devices to fix this issue. Here's what you do:

Another way to fix the issue is to upgrade your subscription plan. This will increase the number of devices you can watch downloaded content on.

Solution 2: Delete Downloads

As mentioned, you can download up to 100 different shows on each connected device. If you have exceeded this limit, you won't be able to download anything.

You'll have to free up your Netflix downloads page. Here's how:

Solution 3: Check Your Internet Connection

You might not be able to download content because of your internet connection. It could either be unstable or very slow. Fixing this will be easy if you're dealing with an unstable connection. All you have to do is move closer to your router.

If your connection is slow, other devices might be eating up your internet bandwidth. Download videos when no one's at home, or at night.

Netflix App on the Laptop

Solution 4: Update Netflix App

Just like any other app, Netflix needs to be updated regularly. If you haven't, head to your respective app store, search for Netflix, then click on the Update button.

Hopefully, you'll be able to Download Netflix shows and movies to watch offline now.

Solution 5: Restart Your Device

If you're still having no luck, your device's OS might be glitching out. Try restarting it.

If a regular restart didn't help, you will have to do a force reboot. On Android phones, it's simple, as you just need to hold down the Power button and Volume Down buttons for 10 seconds.

However, on iPhones, it's more complicated. Check out this guide to find out.

You can also force reboot Windows and Mac computers.

You should be able to start downloading and watching whatever you want now.

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Final Thoughts

Netflix downloads expire from your library in a week if you haven't started watching them yet. Some downloaded videos can expire before this time period. Usually, this is due to licensing agreements.

If you've already started watching a downloaded title, it will expire in 2 days. This period will start as soon as you press play.

You can always re-download shows and movies that have expired. Just remember that at times, there is a limit to how many times you can download a particular title. This annual download limit depends on specific copyright restrictions.

Hopefully, you've learned how to download titles on your Netflix account, and how long they last.

Lindsay Hayes

Hi, I’m Lindsay, a techie from Kansas City. That’s right; I’m a born and bred Midwesterner. I learned to take electronics apart at my dad’s GameStop way back when, and I haven’t stopped since. I spend most of my time checking out new gadgets.
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