If you’re an avid Netflix viewer and want to stream on the go with your Apple Watch, then you may already know that the experience isn’t as straightforward as we’d like. Unfortunately, you can’t directly watch Netflix on your Apple Watch, but there is a workaround that can help you access your favorite content.
The Remote app on your Apple Watch can control Netflix on Apple TV or another compatible device. To use it, open the Remote app on your watch and select a device to pair. Then you’ll see a basic set of controls that you can use to pause, skip, rewind and fast forward Netflix content.
Let’s take a closer look at how to use your Apple Watch for streaming on Netflix and which watch models are compatible with the Remote app. We’ll also take a look at whether you can download videos on your Apple Watch.
Can You Watch Netflix on an Apple Watch?
An Apple Watch doesn’t have the capability to stream video content directly, so you can’t watch Netflix movies and shows on the device itself. However, with the latest models of Apple Watch, there are ways to access your favorite content from other devices.
The Remote app is an Apple Watch native app designed to make your Apple Watch into a convenient remote control that allows you to control your Apple TV or another Airplay-compatible device from your Apple Watch. It can also be used to access Netflix content on those devices through the app.
So, while you can’t watch Netflix directly on your Apple Watch, if you access the Remote app, you’ll be able to pair it with compatible devices and stream the content on them.
Are All Apple Watch Models Compatible With the Remote App?
The Remote app is part of the watchOS operating system and comes preinstalled on Apple Watch models. It’s available for all models but needs to be manually installed from the App Store if you’re using a model older than the Series 3.
To access the Remote app, look for the designated icon on your Apple Watch — it’s a blue circle with a white play button — then tap to open it.
If the app isn’t preinstalled for any reason, you can install it by accessing the App Store from your Apple Watch and using Scribble or Dictation to search for the Remote app. After downloading and installing, you’ll be able to pair your Apple Watch with compatible devices to access Netflix content.
How to Access Netflix on Your Apple Watch
Because you can’t stream videos directly from your Apple Watch, you need to have another device connected to the same WiFi network as your Apple Watch. You can then use your Apple Watch to control that device and access Netflix content.
Follow these steps to pair your Apple Watch with a compatible device to stream Netflix using the Remote app:
- Install the Remote app on your Apple Watch. You can do this by opening the App Store app on your iPhone and searching for “Remote” using Scribble or Dictation. Then, install the app on your watch by tapping the “Get” button next to the app’s listing.
- Open the Remote app on your Apple Watch.
- Tap the “Add a Device” button and select a compatible device from the list.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to pair your Apple Watch with your device. This may involve entering a code on your device or approving the connection on both your watch and your device.
- After pairing your Apple Watch and compatible device, open the Netflix app on the device, sign in, and browse for content to watch.
You can now use your Apple Watch as a remote control to navigate the Netflix library, select movies or shows, and use the Play/Pause button to pause or resume playback.
You can also use the Netflix app on your iPhone or iPad to stream content, and use the Remote app on your Apple Watch to control playback. Doing this allows you to pause, play, or skip content without having to reach for your phone.
There are some limitations to using the Remote App to access Netflix content. For example, you can’t use your Apple Watch to access the full range of features to search for specific titles on Netflix or access menus such as My List and Continue Watching.
Tips for Using the Remote App
When using the Remote App to control a device, here are some tips that can make your experience more enjoyable:
- Make sure that your Apple Watch and your Apple TV or iTunes are connected to the same WiFi network, otherwise they won’t be able to communicate.
- Use the Digital Crown on your Apple Watch to adjust the volume or navigate through menus on your device.
- If the battery is low on your Apple Watch, it may not be able to connect to your Apple TV or iTunes. Make sure to keep your Apple Watch charged so that you can use the Remote app effectively.
- You can use Siri on your Apple Watch to search for content on Netflix, or to make other commands. Press and hold the digital crown to activate Siri, and then make your request.
- Make sure to keep the Remote app up to date by regularly checking for updates in the App Store. This will ensure that you have the latest version of the app with the most current features and bug fixes.
Can You Download Videos on Your Apple Watch?
Unfortunately, you can’t download videos directly onto your Apple Watch because it doesn’t have the capability to download and store the files.
If you receive videos embedded in SMS and iMessages on your Apple Watch, you can view them directly on the device by tapping the play button within the message. Unfortunately, this same feature won’t work for videos received from other apps or services.
You can also use the Remote app on your Apple Watch to control playback of Netflix, iTunes, and Apple TV content on a connected device, as we described above, which can be more convenient than reaching for your phone or tablet.
There’s also a third-party app called WatchTube available in the App Store that allows you to stream YouTube videos on your Apple Watch. While you can stream videos through WatchTube, you can’t log in to your YouTube account to access saved videos or playlists. Nonetheless, you’ll be able to search for videos and watch them directly on the Apple Watch.
To download and use WatchTube, your Apple Watch must run watchOS 6 or later.