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Why is your Netflix not working? Try these steps

We’ve all been there. You’re finally home after a long day at work, ready to relax. You pour yourself a drink, plop down on the couch, and fire up Netflix. And…nothing. Your video won’t load, and you don’t know why.

Best case scenario, you get some kind of error code, but many times your device simply says “We can’t play that video right now.”

It’s a real pain when Netflix isn’t working. We’ve come to expect it to always be available, just like free-to-air TV. But most of the time the problem isn’t really Netflix; it’s something you can solve yourself.

Next time Netflix (or another streaming service, for that matter) goes down for you, try these steps below:

1. Isolate the problem

Your first step is to isolate the problem. Is it really a Netflix problem? Is it device specific? Work through these steps first to be sure your troubleshooting the right thing.

Strategy 1: Check your internet connection
Is your Internet working in general? Can you browse the web using your computer? If you can’t, then the problem isn’t Netflix. It’s your internet connection itself. See Solution 1 below.

Strategy 2: Try another device
If Netflix won’t load on your streaming device (Chromecast, Apple TV, or your Smart TV) try loading the service on another device, like a smartphone or computer. If it works OK on one device but not the other, then you’ve narrowed the problem down to the problem device and you can jump to Solution 2. If it doesn’t work on any device, keep working through this guide.

Strategy 3: Check service status
While it’s rare, even services like Netflix can experience outages. Use a website like Down Detector to see if other users near you are experiencing problems using Netflix. If many people are, then it’s likely that the problem is with Netflix, not with you.

2. Solve the problem

Now that you’ve isolated the problem, here’s how to solve it for each of the above.

Solution 1: Internet connection problem
If your Internet connection is the problem, never fear. We’ve prepared this handy tutorial to get you up and running again. Should that not work, call your Internet Service Provider for further help.

Solution 2: Device problem
If you learned from Strategy 2 that you’re having a device-specific problem, it’s time to troubleshoot the device. If the device isn’t loading content from any service – reset the device. Power it completely off and then back on again. Sometimes these “always-on” devices just get stuck, and a simple reboot is all they need to get going again.

Are other apps on that device working, just not Netflix? Sometimes individual apps just need to be restarted. If you’re not sure how to do this, then just restart the whole device.

Is Netflix giving you a specific error code, like NW-2-5 or 10000? These all have specific meanings, and Googling “Netflix error code ####” will often show you what to do to fix the problem.

Solution 3: Netflix outage
If Netflix really is down, well… how do we say this? Now’s the time to settle once and for all whether the book really was better than the movie! Or you could play a board game, or even, gasp, watch free-to-air TV?!

All kidding aside, just be patient. Netflix will work things out before too long, and you’ll be back to streaming bliss.

Nobody enjoys the frustration of not being able to watch Netflix (or other streaming services). But often a little troubleshooting is all it takes to get the service working. Follow the steps above to do so, and happy binge-watching!

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