A Netflix for Mac app does not exist but you can still stream Netflix movies on your Mac with a subscription as long as you have Silverlight for Mac installed. You need Silverlight to watch Netflix because its a Microsoft plugin that allows you to watch certain types of video on your Mac but it’s not specifically a Netflix Mac app.
The closest thing to a Netflix for Mac app is Friendly for Netflix. However, it’s really not worth it. Friendly for Netflix doesn’t offer any advantages over using Netflix in a browser and only allows you to play trailers, see Rotten Tomato ratings and see when new movies are uploaded to Netflix. So until Netflix release an official app for Mac, you’re stuck with using the Silverlight plugin.
How to fix problems with Netflix on Mac
Some users find they have problems when trying to stream Netflix on Mac using Silverlight. The problems are usually related to bugs in the Microsoft Silverlight plugin (Microsoft/Apple incompatibility software glitches are all too common). Sometimes the user keeps being prompted to install Silverlight but when they try to, receive an error message that a “newer version of Silverlight is already installed”. Some users get a “2015 error” when trying to play Netflix movies, Whatever the problem is, whether it’s being constantly prompted to install Silverlight when you open Netflix or problems watching films the most simple solution in these cases is to uninstall and reinstall the Silverlight for Netflix plugin. However, the important thing is to fully remove the Silverlight plugin from your system.
Here’s how to fix Netflix problems on Mac:
Before following the steps below, by far the simplest thing to do is force Netflix to use HTML5 instead of Silverlight to watch films. To do this, simply go to Netflix Playback Settings and select Prefer HTML5 player instead of Silverlight:
Close your browser and then reopen it and you should find Netflix works again on your Mac. However, if it doesn’t help, follow these instructions to make Netflix work with Silverlight:
1. Close any browsers that are open e.g. Firefox, Safari, Chrome etc.
2. Stop or remove any antivirus software you are using. In some cases, this can fix Netflix errors on Mac instantly as the antivirus often has a firewall that blocks Silverlight. If this doesn’t work, continue with the steps below.
3. Install a free app removal utility called AppCleaner
4. Search for Silverlight and then select the installed components that AppCleaner finds and delete them.
5. Now download and reinstall Silverlight again. Netflix movies should now play on your Mac.
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 it’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 you still have problems running Netflix on your Mac:
- 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.
- Finally, if you’re still having problems in all browsers, it’s probably because Silverlight hasn’t been fully removed from your Library Plugins folder. It’s extremely important you follow these instructions to ensure Silverlight is fully removed from the Plugins folder.Click on your Macintosh HD and select Library and then Internet Plugins and delete the Silverlight file. 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.
June 3rd 2014 Update: Netflix now supports HTML 5!
The good news is that Netflix now supports HTML 5 in Safari on the latest version of OS X 10.10 Yosemite (due to be released in Fall). This means no more Silverlight problems for OS X 10.10 Mac users using Safari to watch Netflix! Netflix report that they’ve been working closely with Apple to enable reliable and smooth HTML5 Netflix streaming in 1080p HD definition. So the advice is, if you’re sick of problems with Netflix on your Mac and none of the above or below has helped you, upgrade to OS X 10.10 Yosemite in the Fall (which will be free) and use Safari to stream Netflix movies instead and you should have no further problems.
If this still doesn’t help, let us know the exact problem you’re having in the comments below.