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iPhone Netflix Not Working

iPhones are great for keeping us entertained while we wait, and one of the best apps for passing the time is Netflix. However, sometimes Netflix won’t work on the iPhone, leaving you to entertain yourself. There seem to be a number of reasons why this might occur, which I have explored in this article.

When Netflix stops working on your iPhone, you should check your internet connection and download speed, ensuring it is fast enough to stream your video. You may also need to restart the app or phone, reinstall Netflix, update the firmware, clear storage space or turn off restrictions on your phone.

Holding iPhone and getting ready to watch Netflix

I will explain how these troubleshooting methods will help fix your Netflix app and take you through each one step-by-step. Sometimes you may need to download an older version of the app, which I have also explained further down.

iPhone Netflix Not Working

When Netflix doesn’t work and you’re not sure why, there are a number of basic troubleshooting methods that you could try. These have been outlined below. If there is a specific issue that you have identified, you can find more solutions further into this article.

Restart the Netflix App

Step 1: Swipe up with your finger and hold it there until your background apps are displayed.
Step 2: Navigate left or right to find the Netflix app.
Step 3: Swipe up with your finger to close the app.
Step 4: Tap the home screen in the background to return to the home screen.
Step 5: Open the Netflix app to try it again.

If you have an older iPhone with a ‘Home’ button, press this twice to open the background apps instead. Closing the Netflix app will allow it to reload, hopefully without the issues you have been experiencing.

Update the Netflix App

Step 1: From the ‘Home’ screen, open ‘App Store’.
Step 2: Select the profile icon in the top right of the screen.
Step 3: Find and select the Netflix app.
Step 4: Select ‘Update’.

iPhones running iOS 12.0 or earlier will need to navigate to ‘Updates’ within the App Store to find the Netflix app. Updating the app will instal new firmware that may have ‘bug fixes’ for the issues you have been experiencing.

Update your iPhone

Step 1: From the ‘Home’ screen, open ‘Settings’.
Step 2: Navigate to ‘General > Software Update’.
Step 3: If an update is available, select ‘Download and Install’.
Step 4: Select ‘Install’ to update the iPhone, or ‘Later’ to install automatically at a later time.

Reinstall the Netflix App

Step 1: Find the Netflix app on your Home screen.
Step 2: Tap and hold the app until it starts shaking.
Step 3: Select the ‘x’ on the Netflix app and then ‘Delete’.
Step 4: Select ‘Done’ (or press the ‘Home’ button) to exit this mode.
Step 5: Open the App Store.
Step 6: Find and select Netflix.
Step 7: Select the cloud icon to reinstall the Netflix app.

Reinstalling the app will download the latest firmware and clear any small errors that have occurred. It will also clear the app cache, which can sometimes become overloaded with unnecessary temporary files.

Restart your iPhone

Step 1: Unlock your iPhone.
Step 2: Press and hold the side button and one of the volume buttons for 3-5 seconds.
Step 3: Once the sliders have appeared, use the ‘Slide to Power Off’.
Step 4: Once the phone has turned itself off, wait 10 seconds.
Step 5: Press the side button to turn your phone back on.

Keep in mind that older iPhones have a ‘Sleep/Wake’ button at the top of the phone instead of a side button. Hold this button by itself to turn an older iPhone off and press this button again to turn it back on.

iPhone Netflix Won’t Download / Install

Female confused with iPhone in hand

Check your Storage Space

Step 1: From the Home screen, open ‘Settings’.
Step 2: Navigate to ‘General > iPhone Storage’.

The Netflix app only requires around 100MB of storage space. However, there’s still a chance that you don’t have enough space available to download or install the Netflix app on your iPhone. You can clear space by deleting other apps, photos or videos, or unloading these onto iCloud.

Check your iOS or Download an Older App

Step 1: From the Home screen, open ‘Settings’.
Step 2: Navigate to ‘General > About > Version’.

You need to have at least iOS 14.0 in order to download Netflix onto your iPhone. If you have an earlier version, update your phone using the method detailed above. If your phone no longer receives updates, you will only be able to get the Netflix app if you have downloaded it previously, using the steps below.

Step 1: From the Home screen, open the App Store.
Step 2: Select the Profile icon in the top right corner of the screen.
Step 3: Select ‘Purchased’.
Step 4: Search through ‘All’ or ‘Not on this iPhone’ to find the Netflix app.
Step 5: Select the cloud icon to download the older Netflix app.

Turn Off Restrictions

Step 1: From the Home screen, open ‘Settings’.
Step 2: Navigate to ‘Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > iTunes & App Store Purchases > Installing Apps’.
Step 3: Select ‘Allow’ to enable new apps to be installed.

These restrictions are usually used as a parental control, so can be turned back on once the app has downloaded if you still want to restrict what children have access to. This process is slightly different for iPhones running iOS 11 or earlier, which has been outlined below.

Step 1: From the Home screen, open ‘Settings’.
Step 2: Navigate to ‘General > Restrictions’.
Step 3: Select ‘Disable Restrictions’ or ‘Allowed Content > Websites > Add a Website’.
Step 4: If allowing the Netflix website, enter https://secure.netflix.com and select ‘Done’.

Can’t Find Netflix On iPhone

Person in pajamas sitting in bed watching Netflix on phone

As I mentioned earlier, you will not be able to download the Netflix app on your iPhone if you are running iOS 13 or earlier. This prevents you from seeing the Netflix app in the app store. You can follow the steps above to update your iPhone or access an older, previously downloaded version of the app.

Restrictions can also affect whether or not you can see the Netflix app on the app store. Therefore, follow the steps outlined above to allow new app installations on your iPhone.

If you still cannot find the app, use your web browser to open the app store. Once in your web browser type or click this link to access the Netflix app: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/netflix/id363590051.

Netflix Frozen/Keeps Freezing/Crashing On iPhone

Young male researching on iPhone

Netflix will usually freeze due to network issues or errors within the phone or app. Errors can include firmware bugs, an overloaded cache or temporary glitches. Below is a number of things to try before moving on to troubleshooting your network connection, detailed further down.

  • Restart your iPhone or Netflix app
  • Reinstall the Netflix app
  • Update your iPhone and Netflix app
  • Close other background apps
  • Clear space on the iPhone

Check your Network Speed

One of the biggest reasons your Netflix app will freeze is that the network’s download speed is too slow. Having slow internet means that the iPhone cannot download the video in time with the video playback. If the video has not downloaded enough, there will be no data to play once you reach that point in the download.

Below is the recommended internet speed for playing different video qualities on the Netflix app. As long as your download speed is faster than these, you should not have troubles with the video freezing, or ‘buffering’.

  • Loading Netflix: 1.5MB/s (0.5MB/s minimum)
  • Standard Definition Videos: 3MB/s
  • High Definition Videos: 5MB/s
  • 4K or Ultra HD Videos: 25MB/s

You may not be sure what your download speed is, and this can also vary at different times throughout the day. You can check your internet speed at any given time through the Netflix app, using the steps below.

Step 1: From the Home screen, select ‘Settings’ (or the cog icon).
Step 2: Select ‘Check your Network’ and wait for the results.

If you have slow internet, you should continue with the troubleshooting below. One possibility is reducing the quality of the video.

Reduce the Video Quality

Reducing the video quality can only be done through a web browser. ‘Low’ and ‘Medium’ settings are both variations of Standard Definition, making them the best option if you have slow internet. Follow the steps below to adjust your playback settings.

Step 1: Open Netflix on a web browser.
Step 2: Navigate to ‘Account > Profile & Parental Controls’.
Step 3: Select your profile.
Step 4: Open ‘Playback Settings’ and select ‘Change’.

Restart the Modem

Step 1: Unplug the modem and router (if you have one) from the power.
Step 2: Wait at least one minute.
Step 3: Plug the modem back into the power.
Step 4: Wait for the modem to fully reboot before plugging in the router.
Step 5: Wait for the router to fully reboot before testing the internet again.

Restarting your modem is only an option if you are accessing your Netflix from home. You could also use your cellular data instead of your home network, which can sometimes be faster than your WiFi signal. You can turn off WiFi under ‘WiFi’ in ‘Settings’.

Forget and Reconnect to your Network

Alternatively, you could try forgetting your network in your iPhone’s WiFi settings and then reestablishing a connection. This will reconnect with a potentially stronger signal. You can try this using the steps below.

Step 1: From the Home screen, open ‘Settings’.
Step 2: Select ‘WiFi’.
Step 3: Select your WiFi network (which should be at the top and connected already).
Step 4: Choose the option ‘Forget this Network’.
Step 5: Return to the WiFi settings and find your Network again.
Step 6: Once you have selected your network, enter your password to reconnect.

Improve your Internet Signal

Make sure you are connected to a reliable network. Public networks will generally cut in and out or will be too slow to stream videos on your iPhone.

If you are using cellular data, ensure that your internet plan is fast enough and that you have not exceeded your monthly download allowance. Many phone companies will drastically reduce your internet speed once you have used your allocated data for the month. This will then cause the app to freeze or crash.

You should also consider if there is anything obstructing the signal. Some thick phone cases may affect this, or being too far away from your modem/router can weaken the signal if you are using WiFi.

iPhone Netflix Black Screen/No Picture

Netflix app on phone

Having no picture or a black screen on the Netflix app is a glitch in the software. Therefore the best thing to do is restart your iPhone, using the steps mentioned above. You could also try some of the other troubleshooting methods, including restarting the app, reinstalling the app or updating the firmware on your app and iPhone.

Network issues can also cause this issue because the home screen on video cannot load when there is no, or limited, internet. If this is the case, you should try the troubleshooting methods for improving your network connection, mentioned above.

iPhone Netflix Login/Sign-in Problems

Confused brunette female looking at phone

Sometimes restarting your iPhone can remove small errors that have occurred in the system that may have been preventing you from signing in. If this does not work, follow the suggestions below instead.

Verify email and password

The first thing to check if you cannot login to Netflix is that you have the right credentials. You will need to use the email address you signed up with and the password is always case sensitive. You can check your emails to see if your password has been reset recently.

If you still can’t login, you should reset the password. This will send an email or text message, depending on which one you choose, that will erase your previous password and allow you to create a new one. Once you receive the text or email, simply follow the instructions provided.

Remove your Password from iCloud Keychain

iCloud Keychain is an area on your iPhone where all your passwords are saved for different apps on the phone. Your phone will only save the passwords if you have allowed it to.

If you have the wrong password saved in Keychain, this may be causing login problems in Netflix. To remove your saved password, follow the steps below.

Step 1: From the Home screen, open ‘Settings’.
Step 2: Select ‘Passwords’ or ‘Passwords & Accounts’.
Step 3: Select ‘Website & App Passwords’ and enter your passcode if required.
Step 4: Find and select the Netflix password.
Step 5: If this is the wrong password, select ‘Delete’.

iPhone Netflix Not Full Screen

Phone on table with movie streaming

Normally, you can rotate your iPhone to landscape and the Netflix video will automatically become full screen. However, this will not occur if you have screen lock enabled. This can be unlocked by swiping down from the right corner of the screen (to open the quick settings menu), and disabling the icon with the padlock and circular arrow around it (next to the moon).

Otherwise, you should also be able to make the video full screen by using two fingers over the video and pinching out. Double-tapping the video will achieve the same thing. If these methods are not working, adjust the ‘Test Participation’ settings using the steps below.

Step 1: Open Netflix in a web browser.
Step 2: Navigate to ‘Account > Test Participation’.
Step 3: Select ‘Off’.

iPhone Netflix Keeps Logging Out/Signing Out

Confused male pointing on phone with black screen

Netflix will sign you out of your account if your account information has changed. Usually it will not sign you out of one device if you sign into another, so this should not be the cause.

Another possibility is that there is a bug that is logging you out of your account each time. This has been noted by several users, but is fixed by updating your iPhone and keeping it up to date with the latest firmware. Unfortunately sometimes you need to wait for the developers to release a new update to fix bugs in the previous one.

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