Watching Netflix and munching on snacks is the definition of an ideal weekend for many people. While phones and tablets are pretty good devices for streaming Netflix content, the experience of watching Netflix on a MacBook is unparalleled. Unfortunately, we have to tell you that there is no official way to download Netflix on Mac.

how to install netflix on mac

It’s not just about the installation, but Netflix has cut almost all the ways to stream Netflix content on Mac. But on the Internet, there is a solution for every problem, and this is no different.

Before we start with the tutorial, let’s address some basic questions.

Can You Download Netflix on macOS?

The answer is a resounding NO. Netflix may have an official Windows app, but they’ve never shown Macs the same love and affection. And with no news of a dedicated native app for the Mac for years, waiting for one would be worthless and a waste of time, to say the least.

Can You AirPlay Netflix Content From an iPad, iPhone, or Apple TV?

While AirPlay can technically stream anything from an iPad, iPhone, or Apple TV to a Mac, Netflix has introduced specific restrictions. In April 2019, Netflix dropped support for AirPlay, citing that the company has the means to detect the type of device being used, which can lead to different viewing standards. Netflix’s website also clearly mentions this.

netflix airplay restriction

Can You Download Netflix on MacBook Using Parallels?

No brownie points for guessing that Netflix has restricted this method as well. After the already cumbersome process of setting up and running Windows 11 on Mac with Parallels, you would be completely discouraged if you see an error message when installing Netflix. So it’s better not to try this trick.

How to Watch Netflix on Mac?

Netflix on Mac: Creating Web Apps or Website Shortcuts

The best and most ethical way to watch Netflix on MacBooks is through the official Netflix website. To give the feeling of using websites as apps, most browsers can convert web pages into desktop shortcuts. These shortcuts can be placed on the home screen and launched when needed. You can also use your browser extensions in these shortcuts.

Install Netflix WebApp on Chrome

  1. Open Chrome and head over to the Netflix website.
    netflix website
  2. Click on the kebab menu (⁝) in the upper right corner.
    meatball menu
  3. Hover the mouse cursor over More Tools.
    more tools
  4. Click on Create Shortcut…
    create shortcut
  5. Rename the app accordingly and activate the Open as window dialog.
    rename app shortcut and select open in new window
  6. The app will appear among other apps from where you can drag and place it in the Dock as required.
    add app to dock

Install Netflix WebApp on Microsoft Edge

  1. Open Edge and go to the Netflix website.
    netflix website
  2. Click on the meatball menu (⋯) in the upper right corner.
    kebab menu ⋯
  3. Hover the mouse cursor over Apps.
    click on apps
  4. Select Install This Site as an App.
    install netflix web app
  5. Rename the app to your liking and click Install.
    rename app as per your choice
  6. The app will now appear in the app tray. You can drag and drop the app into the Dock if needed.
    add app to dock
For Netflix Safari WebApp
To create web apps with Safari or learn more about web apps, check out 5 Simple Ways to Create and Add Web Apps to Your Mac Home Screen.

Unlike on Google Chrome and other Chromium-based browsers, the Netflix Webapp on Safari streams smoother with up to 4K resolution and supports Dolby Vision as well. On other browsers, it streams in just 720p.

Install Netflix on Intel Macs Running Windows Using Boot Camp Assistant (Intel-Based Macs Only)

If you’re still rocking the old Intel-based Macs, you’re in for a treat. Boot Camp Assistant – a built-in tool in Intel-based Macs – allows you to install the Windows operating system on them, expanding their capabilities many times over. Even though installing Netflix doesn’t sound as exciting after this introduction, it’s still possible.

In MacHow2’s guide, you’ll learn how to set up Trunk Camp Assistant on an Intel-based Mac and then install Netflix.

  1. Click on the Windows logo to bring up the search bar.
    open windows search
  2. Search for Microsoft Store.
    search for microsoft store
  3. Open the Microsoft Store.
  4. Search for Netflix in the search bar.
    search for netflix
  5. Click Install.
    install netflix on mac

Sideload Mobile Versions of Netflix (Apple M1/M2-Based Macs Running macOS Big Sur 11.2.3 or Earlier Only)

Consider yourself very lucky if you’re still running macOS Big Sur 11.2.3 or earlier, because now you can officially get Netflix running on your Mac with Apple silicon. Up until macOS Big Sur 11.2.3, Apple allowed sideloading of iOS and iPadOS apps on the Mac directly from the App Store, and that was also possible with Netflix. Follow the procedure to get Netflix on board.

  1. Open the App Store.
  2. Search for Netflix.
  3. Filter the results by selecting iPhone & iPad apps.
  4. Download the iOS version of Netflix on your Mac.
  5. Open the app and enjoy.

Since macOS Big Sur will soon be two generations old once macOS Sonoma is available to the public, app developers are slowly blocking sideloading iOS and iPadOS versions of their apps to avoid compatibility issues. Therefore, this method is not guaranteed to work for long.

Install Netflix on Mac Using PlayCover

PlayCover is an open-source project that aims to run iOS apps and games on Apple’s silicon-based Macs. It supports the latest macOS versions, so you don’t have to use an older version for it to work. It also brings controller support to the Mac, which is great for playing games. Follow the steps below to install PlayCover on Mac.

  1. Go to the GitHub page of PlayCover.
    playcover github
  2. Scroll down until you find the first asset. Click it to start downloading the file.
    playcover asset
  3. Open the downloaded file.
  4. Drag the application file to the applications folder.
    download playcover app by dragging
  5. Open the PlayCover app.

We are done with the installation of the PlayCover application. Since PlayCover requires installing decrypted IPA versions of iOS apps, we need to install the decrypted version of Netflix from websites like ARM Converter and Decrypt. Now follow the procedure to install Netflix with PlayCover on Mac.

Download ARM Converter

Download Decrypt

  1. Search for Netflix on one of the sites mentioned above.
    netflix ipa
  2. Click Download Now and wait for the file to download. You may need to disable your ad-blocker to proceed.
    download netflix ipa
  3. Drag the downloaded file to the PlayCover application.
    drag netflix ipa into playcover
  4. PlayCover will extract the IPA and install Netflix as a standalone application.
    install netflix ipa
  5. Open the app, sign in to your Netflix account, and enjoy!
    run netflix on mac using playcover

Using MovPilot Netflix Video Downloader

If you’re willing to shell out some cash to watch Netflix on Mac, try MovPilot Netflix Video Downloader. MovPilot is among the few providers that allow you to download titles from apps like Netflix to your Mac. MovPilot offers similar downloader services for Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, and HBO Max. Here’s how to set it up.

Download MovPilot Netflix Video Downloader

  1. Use the above link to download Netflix Video Downloader for Mac and install by clicking Try It Free.
    movpilot netflix video downloader
  2. Open the downloaded file and drag the app to the applications folder.
    drag movpilot to install it
  3. Open the app and wait while it loads.
  4. You’ll be asked to sign in to your Netflix account if you already have one or create a new one if you don’t.
    open movpilot netflix video downloader
  5. Copy the share link of your favorite show or movie and paste it into the downloads section of the app to start downloading the title.

You can stack multiple titles to download, but the download speed will suffer a bit. MovPilot offers monthly, yearly, and one-time payment plans that start at $15.95/month and allow you to download any number of movies from Netflix. A similar alternative to MovPilot is Kigosoft Netflix Downloader for Mac.

Download Kigosoft Netflix Downloader for Mac

Related Read: How to Download Netflix Movies and Shows on Any Platform

Record and Watch Netflix on Mac

The most straightforward way to stream Netflix on Mac is to record your screen and save the content. As easy as it is, it has many drawbacks, so this method should be your last resort. All you need to know for this method is how to record your Mac’s screen and capture internal audio while recording your screen. But you need to know the drawbacks before you proceed.

  1. This method is indeed not legal, as per Netflix’s books. With potential piracy-related concerns, Netflix will certainly not entertain such things and may even terminate your account permanently for good. So, try this at your own risk.
  2. Recording an entire web series, or a full-length movie for that matter, can be stupidly tiring and inconvenient.
  3. No matter what, you can’t match the actual quality of the movie or web series you are recording due to recording limitations. It sure will be watchable, but you can’t expect it to be in full resolution as that of the original one.
  4. You may also find the screen recording not as smooth and jitter-free, as most screen recordings are capped at 30 frames per second.
  5. Screen recordings take up a lot of storage space, so you must use an external storage drive, like a pen drive or external SSD, to store the recordings.

Enjoy Binge-Watching Netflix on Your MacBook

Even though Netflix has limited most ways to watch Netflix on Mac, there are still many ways to do it anyway. The easiest, safest, and fastest way is to install the Netflix web app from a browser of your choice. Second is downloading Netflix titles with apps like MovPilot and Kigosoft, which are equally straightforward but require an upfront payment.

PlayCover is also a great option. If you’re adventurous, Boot Camp Assistant lets you install Windows on your Intel-based Macs and enjoy Netflix natively. Recording full-length movies may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you can do it if you have the time.

FAQs about Installing Netflix on MacBook

1. Can You Transfer Downloaded Netflix Content From an iPhone or iPad to a Mac?

While it’s possible to download Netflix content to an iPhone or iPad and then transfer it to a Mac, you’ll end up with nothing but a blank screen. That’s because the video streams aren’t transferred, only the audio. Of course, you don’t want to have an audio-only version of your favorite movie or show on Netflix.

2. Is Netflix available on Mac?

Netflix is available on the Mac, but not natively. Netflix doesn’t have an official app for macOS yet, but there are workarounds to get Netflix on the Mac. You can install the web app version of Netflix, sideload it from the App Store, install Netflix using Boot Camp Assistant on a Mac running Windows, and use the other methods mentioned above.

3. Is it safe to record Netflix content and watch it offline?

To be honest, you shouldn’t do that, even if it’s possible. According to the law, recording and taping movies and web series is illegal, and Netflix can even cancel your account. Not only that, you can even get into legal trouble if you’re caught sharing or selling.

It’s fine if you keep the recorded content private and within your circle of friends, but your Netflix account can still be terminated. Therefore, it’s best to avoid recording and sharing titles.

4. Can I sideload Netflix on any Mac?

Unfortunately, sideloading was only available up to macOS Big Sur 11.2.3. So, the latest macOS versions, like Ventura and Sonoma, can’t sideload apps from the App Store. If you’re lucky enough to have an Apple Silicon-based Mac running macOS Big Sur 11.2.3 or earlier, you can sideload Netflix.

To do so, go to your Mac’s App Store and select iPhone & iPad Apps. Then, search for Netflix and install it just like other apps.

5. Are web apps similar to real apps?

On the surface, web apps are very similar to real apps – they sit between other apps, open and close like real apps, and even have their own app icons. But on the inside, web apps are pure websites and, therefore, can’t be considered apps. They open in a separate browser window, giving the feeling of using an app. Web apps even support browser extensions.

6. Why can’t I AirPlay Netflix from my iPhone or iPad?

Unfortunately, Netflix has limited AirPlay support since April 2019. Since Netflix is unable to detect the type of device you’re using, it has decided to stop supporting AirPlay. So you can’t play Netflix via AirPlay from an iPhone, iPad, or even Apple TV.

Further Reading

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