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This article was published on July 10, 2018


Netflix’s ‘Smart Downloads’ will save your phone’s storage

Netflix’s ‘Smart Downloads’ will save your phone’s storage
Napier Lopez
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Napier Lopez

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Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in his free time. Follow him on Twitter.

It was less than four years ago that Netflix said offline downloads were ‘never going to happen.’ Thankfully, the company has changed its tune since and offline downloads are now a common practice for watching video on mobile devices.

There’s only one problem: downloaded video takes up a lot of space – especially if you opt for high quality.

Netflix is now easing the burden. Starting today, the app will be able to automatically delete downloaded videos once you’ve watched them. Better yet, it’ll automatically download the next one too, so you’re always ready to continue your binge. If you save more than one video at a time, Netflix says it works like this:

  1. You download Season 1, Episodes 1-3.
  2. You finish watching Season 1, Episode 1.
  3. Smart Downloads deletes Season 1, Episode 1, and automatically downloads Season 1, Episode 4.

The feature, called Smart Downloads, is available initially on Android devices running the latest version of the Netflix app. It appears it will be enabled by default, but you can turn it off from the app’s setting menu or download section.

Keep in mind the feature only works over Wi-Fi though, so it won’t be much help if you’re bingeing on the go. No word on when it’ll arrive on iOS, but I imagine it’s just a matter of time.

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