Netflix adds feature that automatically downloads content you'll like

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Netflix has launched a new feature that will automatically download recommended TV shows and movies to your mobile device based on your tastes, as determined by your Netflix watch history. It's optional, of course, but it sounds like it's worth trying out.

Called Downloads for You, the feature is now available globally on Android (should users opt in to automatic downloads) and will be tested on iOS in the coming months. 

In a statement announcing the feature (opens in new tab), Patrick Flemming, Director of Product Innovation at Netflix, said Downloads for You intends “to make it even easier for members to discover and enjoy new series and films.” 

“Whether you’re a comedy fan stuck on a long car ride or a rom com lover without internet,” he added, “we do the work so there is always something new waiting to entertain and delight you.”

When using the Netflix app for the first time since being updated with the new feature, users can toggle it on or off in the Downloads tab. Subscribers will then be able to select the amount of storage space they want to dedicate to saving these recommended downloads on a given device (which the streamer specifies as 1GB, 3GB or 5GB). The more space you allow, the more recommendations Netflix will download for you.

Downloads for You

(Image credit: Netflix)

Don’t worry, though – content will only be downloaded when you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network, and will be limited to, say, the first few episodes of a TV show (rather than adding the whole lot to your library immediately). 

Once you’ve watched (or decided against) the recommendations, you’ll be able to delete them from the device to free up more space for further content suggestions. As you watch, delete or ignore them, Netflix will learn from your viewing habits in an effort to improve the recommendations it makes in the future, much like it does with the regular Netflix library. 

Anything you can currently download for offline viewing from Netflix will be supported by the new feature.

Not entirely new

The feature is intended as an addition to Netflix’s existing downloads option, Smart Downloads, which allows users to save content for offline viewing.

First launched in 2018, Smart Downloads was intended to benefit the viewing tendencies of Netflix users in emerging countries as much as it was to commuters and travellers using the service on flights and underground trains.

Now, Netflix users across the world who enable Downloads for You will enjoy a curated library of pre-downloaded recommendations ready for whenever the internet might prove less-than-stable. 

Via TechCrunch (opens in new tab) 

Axel Metz
Staff Writer

Axel is a London-based staff writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the newest movies to latest Apple developments as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion. 


Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned a gold standard NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.