If Netflix is not working on your Mac then it’s probably due to problems with Microsoft’s Silverlight plugin but it can be fixed. As of 2014, Netflix streaming problems on Mac were reduced significantly when Netflix moved to using HTML5 instead to stream movies in glorious 1080 HD. Although initially this only worked for Safari users on OS X 10.10 Yosemite or higher, it now works in Chrome for OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or higher. We highly advise switching to either Chrome or Safari depending on which version of OS X you are using and your Netflix streaming issues should become a thing of the past. However, if you want to stick with Silverlight, here we show you the most common fixes. We also look at fixes for some streaming issues that have already emerged with HTML5 on Mac. Note that there’s no way to make Netflix work on a non-Intel Mac – even if you can find an old version of Silverlight to install on your PPC Mac, Netflix will request you to upgrade to an Intel Mac before it will play anything.
First Tip: Switch To Chrome or Safari!
You’ll save yourself a lot of hassle by simply cutting-out Silverlight and using HTML5 streaming instead. HTML5 provides a much more reliable streaming experience that using the Silverlight plugin. There are two ways to activate it:
1. Upgrade To OS X 10.10 Yosemite and use Safari
If you upgrade to OS X 10.10 Yosemite or above, Safari automatically supports Netflix streaming in HTML5. To upgrade though, you must have a late 2011 Mac or older and the latest version of Safari. You can check your Mac age and specs by clicking on the Apple logo in the top left corner of your screen and selecting “About This Mac” to see exactly what version of OS X you are using and how old your Mac is:2. Switch to Google Chrome
If you’re still using an older version of OS X (from OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or higher) Google Chrome allows you to stream Netflix in HTML5 although you must “force” it to do so. Simply open Netflix in Google Chrome, go to Netflix Playback Settings and select Prefer HTML5 player instead of Silverlight:
Close Chrome and then reopen it and you should find Netflix works again fine on your Mac with no need to go through any Silverlight troubleshooting.
If Netflix Is Not Working On Safari Using Yosemite
Unfortunately, this HTML5 trick doesn’t work for all Safari users on Yosemite and some users simply don’t want to switch to Chrome. In particular, Yosemite users trying to watch Netflix in Safari with two monitors connected to their Mac may find using HTML5 doesn’t work to stream Netflix. Some users report experiencing a “Please ensure your monitor is HDCP compliant and is not mirrored using airplay” error when trying to play Netflix videos using Safari in HTML5 mode. It seems to mostly affect those using a Thunderbolt-VGA adapters and although there is no official solution or fix for this problem, there are a few tricks that have worked for some. They are:
- Activate the Develop Menu in Safari. To do this open Safari and go to Preferences – Advanced and select “Show Develop menu in menu bar”:
The in the Develop menu in Safari, select an older version of Safari:
This basically makes Safari revert back to an older version that Netflix works properly with. Note that if you open a new tab, you’ll have to do this process again. Other fixes include:
- If you’re using DisplayLink drivers for your monitor, updating to the latest DisplayLink drivers can also help.
- Try using a a Thunderbolt-DVI adapter instead
- Switch to Chrome for Netflix streaming
- Switch back to Microsoft Silverlight to watch Netflix assuming that Silverlight is working for you. If it isn’t, read some of the suggested fixes below.
If none of these work, then you must simply unplug the second monitor until Apple or Netflix issue a fix for the problem.
Another common problem is receiving Error Code S7363-1261-FFFFD000 when trying to stream Netflix using both Silverlight and HTML5 in Safari on Yosemite. There’s no solution to this as yet other than to use Chrome until Apple or Netflix issue a fix for it.
How To Fix Silverlight On Netflix For Mac
If you don’t want to use HTML5 for whatever reason, then you must fix Silverlight. The first thing to do is to make sure you definitely have Silverlight is installed. Although a Netflix for Mac app does not exist, you can still stream Netflix movies on your Mac with a Netflix subscription as long as you have Silverlight for Mac installed. Silverlight is a Microsoft plugin that allows you to watch video in Microsoft’s Silverlight format on your Mac. There are two ways to install it – either via Microsoft’s site or by trying to play a video in Netflix which will prompt you to perform the installation automatically. Netflix also provide full instructions how to install Silverlight on a Mac.
If you’ve already got Silverlight installed, then it’s likely the problem is to do with the installation. The real problems start when this plugin starts to malfunction so if you’re experiencing problems with Silverlight, there are various fixes and solutions you can try described below.
Common Silverlight Problems On Mac
The problems are usually related to bugs in the Microsoft Silverlight plugin (Microsoft software on Apple products often never ends happily). Signs that something is wrong with Silverlight on Mac are errors such as:
- Being constantly prompted to reinstall Silverlight
- Getting an error code such as Error 2104 or Error 2015
- Videos not loading
- Blank or black screens
- Silverlight keeps crashing
- Videos keeps freezing
- Netflix is choppy
- Netflix full screen mode is not working
If you’re experiencing any of the above, here’s how to fix them:
- First check to see if Silverlight is working with your other browsers such as Firefox, Chrome or Safari by opening Netflix in them depending on which one you are using. If Netflix is working, then the problem is simply with your browser. Clean both the cache and cookies which in Chrome you can do by going to Preferences, Settings scroll down to Show Advanced Settings and then click Clear browsing data….Then try using Incognito or Private Browsing mode by going to File and New Incognito Window and try Netflix again.
- If this doesn’t work and you’re using Chrome, check that Silverlight is definitely installed by typing: chrome://plugins/ into the Chrome URL bar and scroll down the list to see if Silverlight is installed and enabled.
- If you have the HTTPS Everywhere plugin installed, disable it by clicking on the HTTPS Everywhere icon.
- Disable any antivirus software you may be using.
If none of this works, then it’s a problem with your Silverlight plugins folder. If you have more than one user account on your Mac, the Silverlight plugin is duplicated in both your Root Library folder and User Library folder. You must therefore go to: ~/Library/Internet Plug-Ins in your local folder and clear out old versions of the plugin which are causing the problem. The problem is that Netflix has been constantly trying to access the outdated local user version rather than the root version. The solution is to fully uninstall and reinstall the Silverlight for Netflix plugin by following these instructions:
- Close any browsers that are open e.g. Firefox, Safari, Chrome etc.
- Install a free app removal utility called AppCleaner
- Search for Silverlight and then select the installed components that AppCleaner automatically finds and delete them:
- Now download and reinstall Silverlight again. Netflix movies should now play on your Mac as normal.
- If this doesn’t work, try deleting the files manually instead. Click on your Macintosh HD and select Library and then access both the Internet Plugins and Receipts folders to delete all Silverlight files. These include:
- /Library/Internet Plug-Ins/Silverlight.plugin
- /Library/Internet Plug-Ins/WPFe.plugin
Then go back to Macintosh HD and select System and then Library, Internet Plugins and make sure any Silverlight files are deleted.
- Finally, go to back to Macintosh HD and select Library, Application Support, Microsoft and delete the entire Silverlight folder. Empty Trash and reinstall Silverlight.
How To Fix Netflix For Mac Silverlight Problems In Firefox
Firefox can be particularly fussy when it comes to Silverlight on Mac. If you’re seeing an error page or a black/blank screen when trying to watch Netflix on your Mac then again, t’s probably due to a problem with the Silverlight plugin. This can be due to various issues but sometimes its because if Silverlight is not updated regularly, Firefox automatically disables the plugin for security reasons. Make sure that Silverlight is Enabled in Firefox by going to the Tools menu and selecting Add-Ons. Click on Plugins and make sure that Silverlight is enabled.
- Close Firefox.
- Follow the uninstall instructions above using AppCleaner to make sure you have completely removed Silverlight from your Mac.
- Open Firefox and go to the Silverlight DRM Test page. Click on the box that says Install Microsoft Silverlight.
If none of the above helps fix Netflix on your Mac, try the following solutions:
- Try going to the Tools menu, select Add-ons and the Extensions tab and disabling any other add-ons that may be blocking Silverlight especially ad or tracking blockers such as Ghostery.
- If you are using Lion, some folders are hidden from view and you may be receiving an N8156-6013 error or an n8151 error. You must unhide your Library folder and delete some folders. To unhide folders in Lion, install invisibliX which allows you to easily toggle hidden files in Lion. You must then delete the PlayReady folder in your Library in both your User folder and your Macintosh HD. There’s no need to restart your Mac afterwards – Netflix should start working again.
How To Force Netflix on Mac in HD
Netflix automatically chooses the bitrate to play videos on your Mac based on your connection speed and even if you have a fast connection, it doesn’t always select HD by default. To force Netflix to open in HD simply click on the video window to make sure it’s selected, hold down the Control+Shift+Option+S keys at the same time and Netflix will manually switch to HD.
Netflix For Mac Apps
Until Netflix launch an official app for Mac, users are stuck with either Silverlight or streaming in HTML5. There are some third party apps however that allow you to manage and browse Netflix but not actually watch content within them, The closest thing to a Netflix for Mac app is Friendly for Netflix although you can’t watch movies or shows in it. Friendly for Netflix simply allows you to play trailers, see Rotten Tomato ratings and see when new movies are uploaded to Netflix. It also automatically opens your browser when you want to watch movies.
There is an official Netflix app for iPad and iPhone however which allows you to watch Netflix movies and TV shows within the app.