How to Watch a Netflix Movie Instantly on Your PC

by Aaron Parson

Netflix streaming works on almost any computer, as long as you have a high-speed Internet connection: 0.5 megabits per second is the bare minimum, but Netflix recommends 5Mbps for HD video. If you're not a subscriber yet, join with the Start Your Free Month link on Netflix's home page. As of publication, a basic subscription costs $7.99 per month, while a standard plan including HD video and up to two simultaneous streams costs $8.99. After joining, you can watch videos on a PC using either the website or the Windows 8 app.

Netflix in Your Browser

Select or create a profile.
1

Visit Netflix's home page in Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer. If you use Internet Explorer on systems prior to Windows 8.1 or use Firefox, you need to download and install Microsoft Silverlight before using Netflix. IE for Windows 8.1 and Chrome do not require a plugin.

Sign in and select a profile. Profiles keep your viewing history separate from other people in your household. To make a new profile, click Add Profile and enter a name.

Browse the listings.
2

Browse through titles on the front page, or point to Browse to select a specific category of TV show or movie. To find a particular title, enter its name in the Search bar.

The Search bar also works to search for genres or actors.

Pick a program.
3

Mouse over a show poster and click the video's name to see more information. To start playing right away, click directly on the poster instead.

Play a show.
4

Click the play button on the large poster image to start a movie or resume a TV show from where you left off. To pick a particular episode of a TV show, use the list lower on the page.

Adjust the video.
5

Use the menu bar beneath the video to adjust playback. From left to right, the buttons to the right of the title skip to the next episode, display an episode selector, set audio and subtitle languages and switch to full screen. On movies, only the last two buttons appear.

After a TV show ends, Netflix automatically plays the next episode after a few seconds, unless you click Back to Browse.

Netflix Windows 8 App

Search for the app.
1

Open the Windows Store app and type Netflix to open the search bar and search for the Netflix app. Select it from the list.

Install the app.
2

Press Install to download the app. After you see the notification that installation has finished, quit the Store app by pressing Alt-F4.

Open the app.
3

Open the Netflix app from the Start screen.

Browse the listings.
4

Sign in, pick a profile and browse through listings, similar to the Netflix website. To see the list of genres or search, use the icons next to your profile picture.

Pick a TV show or movie's image to see its information, select an episode and start playing.

Change settings.
5

Click or tap the screen during playback to show the options bar and pick another episode or change the languages.

Tip

  • check The Netflix website and app use your same account, so you can move back and forth between the two. You'll find the exact same listings in both places, so use whichever method you find easier. The only major difference is that with the browser method, you can leave Netflix in a small window to see other programs at the same time.

About the Author

Aaron Parson has been writing about electronics, software and games since 2006, contributing to several technology websites and working with NewsHour Productions. Parson holds a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Image courtesy of Netflix