Why won't Netflix load?
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Problems with loading the Netflix video streaming service can be caused by an issue with your Internet connection, your browser software or another application on your system. If you're running one of Netflix's mobile or console apps then the root cause of the problem could be the app itself.
The Netflix platform may also be suffering technical issues, which is another possibility to check for.
Netflix and Internet problems
Netflix requires a connection speed of at least 0.5 Megabits-per-second, and you can use an online tool such as Speedtest.net to verify whether or not you're getting this speed from your Internet Service Provider. If your connection seems unstable and you're having problems with other online apps and streaming services, resetting your router, switching to a wired rather than a wireless connection and downloading the latest drivers for your network hardware (from the manufacturer's website) may all help to improve the situation. In addition, check for details of Netflix outages on the Netflix Twitter account and the Netflix Watch Instantly home page.
A bug or faulty extension within your browser may be preventing Netflix from loading correctly, and you can quickly determine whether or not this is the case by testing the service in an alternative browser program. If your default browser does seem to be at fault, uninstall the software and download the latest version, then reinstall your plugins and extensions -- this process replaces key browser files that may have been damaged or deleted and improves compatibility with the latest Web technologies employed by Netflix. Make sure you are running the Silverlight plugin developed by Microsoft -- if you see a Silverlight-related error on screen, run Microsoft's own troubleshooter tool which is available from the Netflix support pages.
Other third-party software tools may be interfering with Netflix and preventing it from working correctly. Shut down any other applications that may be using Silverlight or putting strain on your Web connection. Check the configuration settings of your installed firewall and anti-virus programs to make sure that Netflix is allowed to run without any limits as a trusted website. It's also worth running a full system scan with your security software to look for malware that may be causing problems with your Web browser or trying to monopolise your connection to the Internet.
- Other third-party software tools may be interfering with Netflix and preventing it from working correctly.
- It's also worth running a full system scan with your security software to look for malware that may be causing problems with your Web browser or trying to monopolise your connection to the Internet.
Standalone Netflix apps
If you are experiencing problems connecting to Netflix through an app on a TV, phone, tablet or games console, check that you have a steady data connection to the Web. Uninstalling and reinstalling the app in question, rebooting the device and logging out and back in to Netflix should be enough to fix the majority of problems by resetting the app's configuration settings and removing any corrupted temporary data files. If you're running Netflix on an iOS device, check that the device has the correct date and time through the Settings screen.
An information technology journalist since 2002, David Nield writes about the Web, technology, hardware and software. He is an experienced editor, proofreader and copywriter for online publications such as CNET, TechRadar and Gizmodo. Nield holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and lives in Manchester, England.