Netflix is among the most popular streaming services on Android TV and other devices internationally. This is not just because they were one of the first streaming services on the market, or because they have made big investments in original programming.
Netflix has invested heavily in its user experience to make using the application not just simple, but enjoyable. This starts with the download and installation process.
It is simple to download the Netflix application on any Android device from the Google Play Store, but we will take you through the process step-by-step. We will also take you through a few workarounds for getting Netflix onto an Android TV, in case you are one of the few people who have trouble with the standard download.
Make A Netflix Account
Before you get started with Netflix on any device, you will need to create a Netflix account and set up a payment method for your subscription. You can do this directly on their website at www.netflix.com/signup.
The very first step is to choose a plan. The cost of plans varies depending on the country you are in, but for the United States your choices are:
- Basic – $6.99 per month to watch in 720p with ads
- Standard – $15.49 per month for ad-free content in 1080p and the ability to download select content to watch offline
- Premium – $19.99 per month for 4K content and the ability to download select content to watch offline
If you have a 4K TV, and an Android TV box that is compatible with Netflix in 4K, the premium plan offers the best value. You can change your plan at any time if you wish.
You will then complete your account by providing an email address, choosing a password, and registering your payment details.
Download Netflix From The Google Play Store
To start watching Netflix on Android devices, you need to install the app, which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. They have versions optimized for both Android smartphones and Android TVs. The app only uses between 100-150 MB of space on your device depending on the specific application that you are using, so it should fit easily even on smaller-capacity Android devices.
If you are watching on an Amazon Fire TV device, which is a derivative of the Android operating system, there is a specific version available in the Amazon Appstore.
Once you have downloaded the app, you will use your email address and password to sign into your Netflix account. If you have an existing account, this should import any information about your usage on other devices including watch lists and recommendations based on your previous choices.
You can sign up for an account directly within the app if you did not create one earlier, and you can also manage your account by doing things like changing your plan or payment details. Hit your profile icon in the top right-hand corner when signed in and choose “Account” to manage these settings.
Sideload Netflix Onto An Android Device
On rare occasions, as an Android user, you might not be able to download Netflix directly from the Google Play Store. When you try, you may receive a message such as “Your device isn’t compatible with this version.”
This could be because you are using an older device. If you are using Android version 7.1.2 or earlier, you will not have a Play Protect certification, which will block you from downloading the app. In these cases, you can download the app directly from Netflix and sideload it onto your device.
Unlike other sideloaded apps, you should be able to install the APK directly and not need to use an installation application such as Downloader. If you have an older device with this problem, though, Netflix likely won’t be the only application you have trouble with so it’s probably worth installing and learning how to use Downloader for installing other applications.
Read our guide: How To Install Downloader To Sideload App APKs On Your Android TV Box.
Before you can install Netflix directly from their website, you will need to enable your device to install apps from sources other than the Google Play Store. Head to “Settings” and then “Security” and toggle on “Unknown Sources.”
You can then download the Netflix APK directly here. When the download is complete, select the downloaded file and an option to install should be immediately available. Follow the steps on the screen and you will be up and running in a few minutes.
If this does not work for you, you can also download the Netflix APK for Android from APKPure and install it using a third-party installer application such as Downloader or APK Installer.
How Do You Stream Netflix From An Android Phone To A TV?
If you have Netflix on your Android phone, but you don’t have the application on your TV, it is simple to stream whatever you are watching on your phone screen to your big screen. This is another user-friendly feature that Netflix has prioritized. Of course, you will need an internet-enabled TV that is able to connect to your phone. Both your phone and your TV should be connected to the same wi-fi network for this.
Open whatever you want to watch on Netflix on your smartphone and select it to start playing. On your screen, in either the upper or lower right-hand corner you will see a casting option, which usually looks like a TV with some Wi-Fi waves on it. Select this icon, and a list of available devices that are connected to the same network will appear. Your TV should appear on the list.
Choose your TV, and after a few seconds of “thinking,” your TV should start playing your program. Unlike screen sharing, you can use your smartphone for other things while streaming to your TV in this way.
Tips For Getting More Out Of Netflix
If you are watching Netflix on your Android device, there are a few tips and tricks that you can use to get even more out of the streaming experience.
Use A VPN
Make sure you are using a VPN when streaming Netflix. First, this can help you watch geo-blocked content. Some Netflix content is only available in some countries due to licensing conditions, so you will only be able to see that content if you appear to be accessing Netflix’s servers from an approved country. For USA users, this is most useful for accessing the full USA library when you are traveling internationally.
Using a VPN also protects you in a variety of ways. First, it encrypts your data, making it harder for third parties to steal valuable information such as your Netflix password and your payment details. Second, it masks your streaming activity from your ISP provider. This is important because some ISP providers charge more for streaming.
Read our full guide to VPNs for streaming here.
Adjust Your Interface
While Netflix recommends that you use their standard user interface, which has been extensively designed and tested, you can make some changes to it. In the top right-hand corner, you will see two icons; one looks like three lines, and the other looks like four boxes.
If you choose its default mode, the three lines, Netflix will sort movies and shows into categories for you to browse. If you choose the four boxes, you will get uncategorized content and you can scroll to your heart’s content.
Let Netflix Choose Your Content
Not sure what you want to watch, or really just want something on in the background? There is a “play something” option on the left side of the screen that will let Netflix choose for you. It will make a selection based on your previous viewing history, and you may find something new and unexpected.
Adjust Your Recommendations
If you watched something on Netflix and you didn’t like it, don’t let it contaminate your recommendations. When you finish watching something, give it a thumbs up or a thumbs down to give Netflix more information when recommending your next watch.
How can I watch Netflix on my Android TV?
Netflix has a version of its app specifically for Android TV. Most smart TVs come with the right version of Netflix pre-installed. If it doesn’t, you can download the app via the Google Play Store, which is available on devices that use the Android TV operating system. If your Android TV is using a version of the OS older than 8.0, you may have trouble, but you should still be able to sideload the app directly from Netflix’s website.
Why is my device not compatible with Netflix?
If you receive a message saying that your device is not compatible with Netflix when you try to download, it’s probably because you are using an older device. If you have an Android OS pre-8.0, it does not support Play Protect Certification, and therefore will have issues with many applications. You can still install Netflix by downloading a simplified version of the application directly from the Netflix website.
Hopefully, this guide will help you watch Netflix on any Android device, regardless of how old it is. Manufacturers often “force” us to upgrade our perfectly good devices by not supporting newer versions of applications on them. Fortunately, Netflix offers a version of their app that will work on older devices, though you won’t get 4K with it.
Looking for other great streaming services for amazing content? Find our recommendations for the best streaming services here.