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iPhone Netflix Won’t Play/Load/Connect

It can be very hard to enjoy your favorite TV shows when Netflix is not playing, loading or connecting on your iPhone. Having experienced this issue, I was inspired to look into it myself to find how I could solve these problems.

Netflix will not play, load or connect on your iPhone if your network is poor or too slow to stream. Some public networks will not allow Netflix at all. You may also need to change your network settings, turn off restrictions, update your firmware, reinstall the app or restart the phone and app.

Netflix app loading on iPhone

I have listed each of these solutions in a step-by-step format below to make it easy for you to get Netflix working again if you have been experiencing these issues. Sometimes Netflix will also not work with Chromecast, but this can be easily fixed as well.

iPhone Netflix Won’t Play/Load/Connect

Regardless of why the Netflix app won’t play, load or connect, below are the most common troubleshooting methods to fix it. These may not work, in which case you can find more methods further down. However, these have been known to fix most issues.

Reset the Netflix App

Step 1: Select ‘Settings’ from the Home screen.
Step 2: Find and select Netflix.
Step 3: Change ‘Reset’ to ‘On’.
Step 4: Return to the Home screen.
Step 5: Swipe up and hold your finger on the screen until the background apps appear (or press the home button twice).
Step 6: Find Netflix and swipe it upwards to close the app.

Restart your iPhone

Step 1: Unlock your iPhone.
Step 2: Press and hold the side button and one of the volume buttons down until the power options appear (or just try holding down the sleep/wake button).
Step 3: Slide the ‘Power Off’ option to turn the iPhone off.
Step 4: Wait 10 seconds before pressing the side button to turn the phone on again.

Reinstall the Netflix App

Step 1: Find the Netflix app in the Home screen.
Step 2: Tap and hold the app icon until it starts to shake.
Step 3: Press the ‘x’ and select ‘delete’ to confirm your choice.
Step 4: Select ‘Done’ or press the Home button to exit edit mode.
Step 5: Open the App Store.
Step 6: Find and select the Netflix app.
Step 7: Press the cloud option to redownload the app.

Update your iPhone

Step 1: Open ‘Settings’ from the Home screen.
Step 2: Navigate to ‘General > Software Update’.
Step 3: Select ‘Download & Install’ if an update is available.

Update the Netflix App

Step 1: Open the App Store from the Home screen.
Step 2: Select your profile (or ‘Updates’ on older iPhones).
Step 3: Find the Netflix app.
Step 4: Select ‘Update if an update is available.

iPhone Won’t Play Netflix

Netflix logo loading on iPhone

When Netflix won’t play, you should try the following suggestions. These have been outlined above and below in more detail.

  • Restart iPhone (see above)
  • Restart home network/Improve WiFi signal (see further down)
  • Check public networks (see below)
  • Restore default network settings (see below)

Check Public Networks

If you are using a public network, make sure you are allowed to play Netflix using this network. You can determine this by contacting the network administrator. Public networks can include libraries, malls, schools, hotels, etc.

Restore Default Network Settings

There are two settings that you should return to default on an iPhone; VPN and DNS settings. The VPN settings can be located in the pathway below. You should turn any VPN you are using off.

Settings > General > VPN

The DNS settings are normally set to configure automatically. If you have changed them to a manual DNS setting, you should reset this to automatic, using the steps below.

Step 1: Open ‘Settings’ from the Home screen.
Step 2: Select ‘WiFi’.
Step 3: Click the ‘i’ icon next to the network you are connected to.
Step 4: Select ‘Configure DNS’.

Specific Errors and Their Meaning

11853 or 40104: Netflix won’t play due to network connectivity issues. Perform the following troubleshooting methods to fix these issues. These have been detailed above.

  • Restart the network and improve the signal
  • Check your access to Netflix if using a public network
  • Restart your iPhone
  • Reinstall the netflix app

CM:12646: Netflix won’t play because downloaded information needs to be refreshed. This can be fixed by redownloading the video, using the steps below.

Step 1: Within the Netflix app, select ‘Downloads’.
Step 2: Select ‘Edit’.
Step 3: Find the download that may have caused the issue and press the ‘x’ to delete it.
Step 4: Redownload the video.

10017 or 103: An error has occurred while downloading content. This can also be fixed by deleting and redownloading the video in question.

iPhone Netflix Not Loading/Opening

iPhone plugged into laptop with Netflix logo

You can try the basic troubleshooting tips mentioned at the beginning of this article to fix this issue, such as restarting the iPhone, resetting the Netflix app or reinstalling the app. You could also try altering the restrictions on your phone and troubleshooting your network.

Change your Restriction Settings

Step 1: Open ‘Settings’ from the Home screen.
Step 2: Navigate to ‘Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > iTunes & App Store Purchases > Installing Apps’.
Step 3: Select ‘Allow’.

This process is slightly different if you have iOS 11 or earlier. You can either ‘Disable Restrictions’ or adjust the ‘Allowed Content’ in these settings. You can find these settings using the following pathway.

Settings > General > Restrictions > Allowed Content > Websites > Add a Website.

You can add the Netflix website by typing ‘https://secure.netflix.com’ into this address bar. Make sure that ‘Specific Websites Only’ or ‘Limit Adult Content’ are selected when in Allowed Content.

Restart the Network

The first thing to check if you suspect you have network issues is your other apps. If other apps that require an internet connection are experiencing similar issues when loading or opening, you will know that your network is not working. Below are the steps you should take to restart your network to get it back up and running.

Step 1: Unplug the modem and router (if you have one) from their power source.
Step 2: Wait at least one minute.
Step 3: Plug the modem back in and wait for it to fully reboot.
Step 4: Once the modem has retarted, plug the router back in.
Step 5: Wait for the router to fully restart before testing the network again.

Improve your Internet Connection

Below are a number of ways that you can improve your internet connection.

  • Use cellular data instead of WiFi (but be mindful of usage)
  • Use the Netflix mobile app instead of a web browser
  • Keep your phone up to date
  • Forget and reconnect to your WiFi network

Netflix Not Connecting on iPhone

Netflix app loading on iPhone

You should use the troubleshooting methods mentioned above to fix the issue of Netflix not connecting on your iPhone. This is most commonly caused by poor internet, but can also be improved by restarting your iPhone or the Netflix app and resetting your network settings (VPN and DNS).

Check the Netflix Servers

Another thing to consider is that the Netflix servers may be down. This can happen when there are too many users on the app at once, such as when a new episode or series is released. You can check the status of Netflix on their website here.

Netflix Not Stream to iPhone

Netflix movie streaming on iPHone

Streaming issues are usually caused by slow internet, although the above troubleshooting methods may also help to improve your video playback. First, you should test your internet’s download speed, which can be done through the Netflix website.

Step 1: Open ‘Settings’ (or the cog icon) from within the Netflix app.
Step 2: Select ‘Check your Network’.

This will provide you with your current internet speed. This speed should support the minimum requirements for streaming Netflix, which have been outlined below.

  • 1.5MB/s: Recommended to load the Netflix app (0.5MB/s minimum)
  • 3MB/s: Minimum required to stream in Standard Definition
  • 5MB/s: Minimum required to stream in High Definition
  • 25MB/s: Minimum required to stream in 4K or Ultra HD

If you are not reaching these speeds and other network troubleshooting methods have not helped, you can try reducing the streaming quality to match your internet speed. You can do this following the steps below.

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

Netflix Chromecast iPhone Not Working

Netflix app loading on iPhone

If you can’t get Chromecast to work with Netflix on your iPhone, you should run through the following checks.

  • Make sure your phone and Chromecast device are on the same network
  • Delete special characters (emoji’s and symbols) from your Chromecast name
  • Update your iPhone (iOS 13.0 or higher) and Netflix (Netflix 4.2 or higher)
  • Reset the Netflix app
  • Reboot your Chromecast device

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