Netflix introduced its ‘download feature’ for offline viewing back in 2016, allowing its users to download content and enjoy it offline while they are on the go. The feature has caught on in the Indian market, with some daily commuters relying heavily on it to keep themselves busy even when they don’t have access to the internet.
The feature itself comes in handy when you don’t have an unlimited data plan on your mobile device or in a place where the Wi-Fi charges are unjustifiably high. However, Netflix’s download feature has some restriction, something most of you might already be aware of in case you case you are a frequent user.
If you are a heavy user who downloads loads of movies or TV shows, then you might have noticed or encountered some download limits related errors, which prevents you from downloading any more content. So what precisely is the download limit on Netflix and how can you get around this limit? To find out about this, continue reading.
What is the Netflix Download Limit?
While the platform allows its users to download Netflix movies to enjoy offline, they also place a limit which prohibits users from downloading too many TV shows and movies. According to a Netflix support page, a user can only download a maximum of 100 titles in a single device at any given time, following which they will be greeted by an error which will prevent them from downloading any more content on that device. Additionally, depending on the Netflix subscription plan you are using, you will only be able to download titles on up to four devices at any given time.
The downloaded titles also have an expiration time, but it varies from title to title based on the licensing agreement both Netflix and the creator has of that particular title. Users are only notified about expiring downloads 7 (seven) days before the expiration date, and in the case where downloaded content is deleted from the platform, the download expires automatically. But why does Netflix impose a download limit in the first place?
If you are already paying for the service, so why does the platform limit you from downloading the content that you have already subscribed for? To answer that, let’s look at Netflix’s policy o downloads.
Why Does Netflix Have a Download Limit on its Content?
In recent years, Netflix has invested a lot in original content and has created a big archive of movies, TV shows and documentaries, but the platform still has a lot of content which is licensed from other content creators. The Netflix download limit is something that is being controlled by these license holders, and it varies from title to title.
Netflix does not show the download limit set on each title and its users are only alerted about the download limit when there is just one last download left.
The download expiration of titles owned by another creator is also something set by the content creators, and that too varies quite a bit from creator to creator. This means that while some downloaded titles may not expire for weeks on end, some might expire in just two days (48 hours). There is no way to find out the exact date a title is going to expire, which is convenient, especially if you are not able to watch the title within the set expiration date, which will still count towards your total number of downloads.
However, once you have expended the number of times you can download a particular title, you might have to wait for a long time before you will be able to download the exact title again, provided the content creator has a provision for that in their agreement with Netflix. And even though the same reason for limiting downloads should not be applicable on Netflix Originals, but the platform does not provide any clarification on why there is a download limit on original content as well.
Common Netflix Download Limit Errors You Might Confront
Since the platform is not upfront towards its download limits, there is no way to know when you have passed a threshold, but until you get an error message when you are trying to download Netflix shows. There are few different errors you might come across when you download Netflix movies to view offline, and you need to know what these errors mean before you can try to get around them. Here are some of the most frequent errors you may encounter while downloading Netflix content for offline viewing:
Netflix error code:10016-22005 "You have too many downloaded videos"
According to Netflix, users can save up to a maximum of 100 titles on a single device at a time. So in this case, if you exceed that download limit, which seems to be quite unlikely, you will get an error on your app which will tell you that you have too many downloaded videos on your device. To download more titles, you will need to delete older videos from your device.
Error code: 10016-23000 "You have downloads on too many devices"
Based on your subscription plan on Netflix, you are allowed to download content on up to four devices at any given time. But if you try to download any more titles, an error will pop up notifying you that you have downloaded on too many devices. So to continue downloading movies and TV shows on a new device, first you will have to delete all older download from another device or upgrade your subscription plan to enable you to exceed the device limit.
Error code: 10016-22007 "You have reached the yearly download limit for this video"
As mentioned previously, Netflix can stop you from downloading a single title more than a couple of times, with the number of downloads based on the licensing agreement the platform has with the content creator. And in case you have downloaded a particular file more than a couple of times, Netflix will alert you that you have reached the yearly download limit for that specific title. There is no way to avoid this download limit, and you have no choice than to wait for the stipulated time before you can download the title again.
How Can You solve the Netflix Download Limit Errors?
Now that you’ve acquainted yourself with the most common download limit-related errors you might encounter on Netflix, let’s take a look at how you can resolve the errors:
How You Can Fix Netflix’s “You Have Too Many Downloaded Videos” Error
If you are trying to download a video and Netflix alerts you that you have already downloaded too many videos, then you will need to delete older downloads before you can continue with the current download. You can remove older downloads by heading to the Download section within the app on either Android, Windows 10 or iOS and select the titles that you wish to download.
The platform also enables you to delete all your previous downloads all at once, to free up some significant amount of space which will then give way for you to download more titles all at once. But in case you come in contact with any trouble while deleting older downloads, this Netflix support page lists down quick and easy steps on how you can delete old downloads on Netflix for Android, iOS and Windows 10.
How You Can Fix Netflix’s “You Have Downloads on Too Many Devices” Error
If you encounter the ‘You have downloads on too many devices’ error, and you will need to remove all the downloads from an older device to start downloading on a new device. You can follow the same steps as mentioned above to delete all downloads from an older device, but in case you have no access to the device, you can follow these steps to delete downloads from the older devices:
Open your Netflix account in your browser, move your mouse towards the profile icon in the top right corner of the page and click on the ‘Account’ option in the drop-down menu.
Now, click on the ‘Manage download devices’ option under the ‘Setting’, and you will be redirected to another page which lists all your connected devices that have downloaded content.
Remove the older devices from the list by clicking on the ‘Remove device’ button under the corresponding device.
Now, your older device and all of the downloaded videos on the device should now be removed and allowing you to download more videos on your new device.
Use Netflix Smart Downloads to Manage your Downloaded Content
If you no longer want to go through with the stress of maintaining the downloaded videos on your devices, you can also make use of the Netflix Smart Downloads feature. This feature which was released for Android devices earlier this year, downloads the next episode in a series automatically (only if you are connected to Wi-Fi), while also deleting the episodes that you have already seen.
This feature is only available on Android device, and as you would expect, it only works with TV series. You can enable the ‘Smart Downloads’ feature on your Android device by navigating to the Downloads tab and then taping on the Smart Downloads option which is located at the top left corner.
Note: Smart Downloads feature will only work if there are additional episodes to download in your TV show, but in case there are not many episodes left, the last watched episode won’t be deleted.
Watch Netflix Offline without Worrying About any Download Limit
Now that you’re aware of the information mentioned above, you should be able to face any issue that may arise with the Netflix download limit. However, you will still be required to be careful about the number of times you download a specific title, or you might have to wait up to a whole year to be able to download it again.
In case you reach the maximum download limit for a particular video, you will still be able to stream it online, but you will not be able to download it. Are you a part of the millions of people who use offline Netflix? What are your thoughts about the imposed limitations on downloadable content? Let us know your views in the comments section below.