The Netflix Offline Windows 10 Storage Folder is Revealed

cageymaru

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Recently Netflix started allowing their customers to download shows to be played offline. This is particularly useful for long plane trips or to keep the kids quiet on a road trip. The savvy techs over at Into Windows have discovered where Netflix stores the downloads on Windows 10 for those shows that are playable offline. By navigating to the C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Packages\4DF9E0F8.Netflix_mcm4njqhnhss8\LocalState\offlineInfo\downloads location, you can view the files of the shows that have been stored on your PC. Of course you will have to replace UserName with your user name unique to your PC. It is virtually impossible to determine the identity of the shows as they aren't tagged with a recognizable name, but I suppose you can guess according to their size. There they are and you can move some of them out of the folder via drag and drop to make space on your PC if you are running low on C: drive.

I wonder what type of DRM is installed on the files as they will only play if in the correct folder and opened by the Netflix app. Also I was wondering if it was possible to xcopy and mklink them to another folder on another drive if your C: drive is full. I used to use SteamMover a lot to do that with Steam games.

Please bear in mind that Netflix app will not recognize or play contents if you rename or change the files. So, don’t try to rename downloaded Netflix contents. If you are wondering, you cannot change the default location where downloaded Netflix contents are saved on your PC (at least in the current version of the app). However, you can copy downloaded contents to another location or drive. When you want to watch TV shows or movies, copy them back to the original location. As said before, Netflix will not recognize contents if you rename or try to edit files.
 
D

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If you have a Netflix sub, I don't really comprehend why you'd want to map the actual media content files from their root folder location to some other device considering that you can watch Netflix on most any device nowadays: desktops, laptops, consoles, smartphones, tablets, etc. I do get the concern about storage concerns but, Netflix isn't doing this just so people can download hundreds of movies to watch whenever they want, that's just not what the idea is and I presume most people actually have some grasp of that.

I thought the whole idea of using Netflix and similar streaming services was you watch the content while it's being sent to you and no otherwise. I get that some folks WILL prefer to download stuff and watch it later on but, think about it: what's the actual difference between watching content in a stream of live data coming down the pipe or watching it locally - I know the first response would be "I'm not wasting bandwidth if I decide I want to watch the content a second time..." or something similar but I'd still go back and say that's not really a qualifier of standing I suppose. Sure there will be people on data-strapped limited bandwidth connections that could have issues but honestly if you're on such a connection why the hell would you sign up for a by-design streaming video service in the first place? :D

I don't currently have a Netflix but I have had one in the past and for me personally I just don't see the point in the actual downloading of content which is so heavily encrypted that it'll only be functional in the application/program used to normally stream it live anyway. It doesn't matter if you watch it now or later, the content is still going to require basically the same amount of actual bandwidth to get it start to finish (give or take a few megabytes either way off the full complete content size).

If you're running low of space on the C:\ drive then get some more storage and move shit or get a larger system drive, that's my advice - also, watch the content off the stream it was designed for and be done with it. :D
 

Stiler

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If you have a Netflix sub, I don't really comprehend why you'd want to map the actual media content files from their root folder location to some other device considering that you can watch Netflix on most any device nowadays: desktops, laptops, consoles, smartphones, tablets, etc. I do get the concern about storage concerns but, Netflix isn't doing this just so people can download hundreds of movies to watch whenever they want, that's just not what the idea is and I presume most people actually have some grasp of that.

I thought the whole idea of using Netflix and similar streaming services was you watch the content while it's being sent to you and no otherwise. I get that some folks WILL prefer to download stuff and watch it later on but, think about it: what's the actual difference between watching content in a stream of live data coming down the pipe or watching it locally - I know the first response would be "I'm not wasting bandwidth if I decide I want to watch the content a second time..." or something similar but I'd still go back and say that's not really a qualifier of standing I suppose. Sure there will be people on data-strapped limited bandwidth connections that could have issues but honestly if you're on such a connection why the hell would you sign up for a by-design streaming video service in the first place? :D

I don't currently have a Netflix but I have had one in the past and for me personally I just don't see the point in the actual downloading of content which is so heavily encrypted that it'll only be functional in the application/program used to normally stream it live anyway. It doesn't matter if you watch it now or later, the content is still going to require basically the same amount of actual bandwidth to get it start to finish (give or take a few megabytes either way off the full complete content size).

If you're running low of space on the C:\ drive then get some more storage and move shit or get a larger system drive, that's my advice - also, watch the content off the stream it was designed for and be done with it. :D

Netflix gets rid of things and changes their lineup.

Imagine if you find a movie you want to watch but it's leaving netflix in a few days and you don't have the time right then to watch it or something.

Though this kind of thing is something that the studios definitely would not want you to be able to do.
 

lironmiron

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I can't help but feel that they did something nice that we had been asking for for a long time and we're saying thank you by stabbing them in the back with it within a day. I mean, I'd be all for this if we purchased movies/shows in Netflix, but for a buffering service in an all-you-can-eat streaming service, it feels a bit... mean to publish this stuff.
 
D

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Netflix gets rid of things and changes their lineup.

If you're thinking you can download a movie or TV show episode or an entire season of it and continue to watch it from local storage after Netflix pulls the show, you're obviously not understanding how this stuff works. The encryption as well as the DRM used to protect the media content has more than enough information in it - especially the now capable files for local playback - that will not allow playback if Netflix itself no longer has a license to distribute the material to begin with aka a movie or TV studio network has pulled their content and licensing rights from said service.

Netflix knows when they're going to lose the distribution and licensing rights to every piece of content they offer in their catalog and that content is quite thoroughly marked with that kind of information, and even in a situation where a file might need to be updated that'll happen basically whenever you log into your Netflix account and the local content gets checked for validity for local playback.

Also, just because you CAN play the file offline using this new capability that doesn't alleviate the fact that you have to log into the Netflix account to verify the credentials and whether or not you're allowed to play that very material and during that process - you can log in, get situated, then log out and go - that information is checked and verified against the media content you've already got in that offline storage folder.

The whole reason this entire concept of the offline storage and playback took THIS long to implement is Netflix had to spend years finding out every possible way this kind of functionality could and more than likely would be exploited for people to steal the media content and then re-distribute it aka pirate it. The system they've created now that's rolling out is pretty damned bulletproof from every research report I've read about it so far and they spent almost 8 months in a beta program asking people to hack the hell out of it and rip 'em off for that content and so far as I'm aware nobody was ever successful in their attempts and I'm pretty certain some very talented coders/developers and "hackers" went to work on that system with nothing positive for all their efforts.

Sure, it's entirely possible someone might find a particular exploit that could potentially make it a snap or even a click or two to decrypt and break the DRM on the local content once it's downloaded - we already know Netflix streams can be captured, so even with all the time and expense put into this new functionality it could eventually get itself cracked pretty fast, or never, that remains to be seen.
 

westrock2000

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On mobile device the expiration of offline content is real short, like 2-3 days I think. Was a little disappointed when realized that cause I thought it was perfect for my small children but it becomes a hassle reauthorizing frequently.
 

heatlesssun

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I can't help but feel that they did something nice that we had been asking for for a long time and we're saying thank you by stabbing them in the back with it within a day. I mean, I'd be all for this if we purchased movies/shows in Netflix, but for a buffering service in an all-you-can-eat streaming service, it feels a bit... mean to publish this stuff.

That folder location isn't a secret, store apps use C:\Users\<UserName>\AppData\Local\Packages by default to cache data locally so it's the first place anyone familiar with store apps would look for app downloads. If you have store apps installed you'll see a lot of folder there.
 

Galvin

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Netflix shows are always downloadable off usenet and i'm sure other places. So if you want offline to watch any time you want, there's way to get it.
 
D

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Netflix shows are always downloadable off usenet and i'm sure other places. So if you want offline to watch any time you want, there's way to get it.

But... that's advocating piracy. ;)
 
D

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Capturing the data as it's being fed to the video card or the stream itself isn't really all that difficult, but the encryption and the DRM on the local files will more than likely prove to be a bit more challenging this time out. Remains to be seen if the scoundrels will figure it out quick or slow or perhaps never.
 

c3k

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I travel frequently and have a Netflix subscription. Being able to download several episodes of a show (my flights often last more than 6 hours), would be such a boon. Thanks, Netflix. I hope this ability to download instead of stream stays part of Netflix.
 

M76

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If you have a Netflix sub, I don't really comprehend why you'd want to map the actual media content files from their root folder location to some other device considering that you can watch Netflix on most any device nowadays: desktops, laptops, consoles, smartphones, tablets, etc. I do get the concern about storage concerns but, Netflix isn't doing this just so people can download hundreds of movies to watch whenever they want, that's just not what the idea is and I presume most people actually have some grasp of that.
It shouldn't be that hard to imagine that people don't have enough bandwith or data to watch streams on the go. Try watching a stream over a hotel wifi. Or on a 100MB/month data plan. Or 1$/MB.

Netflix gets rid of things and changes their lineup.
That's why I don't sign up to netflix. Well that, and geolocking.
 

kju1

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If you're running low of space on the C:\ drive then get some more storage and move shit or get a larger system drive, that's my advice - also, watch the content off the stream it was designed for and be done with it. :D

Some of us prefer to use the OS drive for just the OS and to host content on other drives. Still yet others prefer to use high speed caches for these things. And others prefer to keep transient files like this off their expensive SSDs.

Moving the folder could be for a myriad of reasons all of which are perfectly legit.
 

phred15

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Some of us prefer to use the OS drive for just the OS and to host content on other drives. Still yet others prefer to use high speed caches for these things. And others prefer to keep transient files like this off their expensive SSDs.

Moving the folder could be for a myriad of reasons all of which are perfectly legit.
 

phred15

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I agree with kju1 If you are using a small operating system drive change the location of the folder to another drive. If you have a laptop you could use a external device for the packages folder.
 

bigstusexy

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Why don't people know about or use system variables?

C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Packages\4DF9E0F8.Netflix_mcm4njqhnhss8\LocalState\offlineInfo\downloads location

Becomes

%appdata%\..\Local\Packages\4DF9E0F8.Netflix_mcm4njqhnhss8\LocalState\offlineInfo\downloads location
%localappdata%\Packages\4DF9E0F8.Netflix_mcm4njqhnhss8\LocalState\offlineInfo\downloads location

You might say that it's not that much shorter than the hard path (depending on the user name) However it's absolute, that exact line works for me, for you, for your grandma, whatever (as long as that netflix folder name doesn't change)
If your system drive isn't C, if your profile is stored somewhere else, none of that matters.

If you want a list of them, don't look at environment variables in windows, it won't list them all. Open up a command prompt and type set and hit enter, that'll give you a full list.
 

bigdogchris

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I find it irritating by these types of programs that do not let you change the storage location. I have used a program before called Desksite which companies can use to deliver HD media content automatically to your PC. Like Netflix, Desksite does not allow you to change the directory. So it fills my SSD with content into c:\programdata folder. Like suggested in the headline, I use Link Shell Extension to create symbolic links to point the folder to my secondary HDD. It works great. I bet it would work for Netflix app.
 
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Koolthulu

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Mar 24, 2011
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I don't currently have a Netflix but I have had one in the past and for me personally I just don't see the point in the actual downloading of content which is so heavily encrypted that it'll only be functional in the application/program used to normally stream it live anyway. It doesn't matter if you watch it now or later, the content is still going to require basically the same amount of actual bandwidth to get it start to finish (give or take a few megabytes either way off the full complete content size).

If you're running low of space on the C:\ drive then get some more storage and move shit or get a larger system drive, that's my advice - also, watch the content off the stream it was designed for and be done with it. :D

I have a 300Mbps connection at home and there are still times when Netflix has to buffer a show or lower the quality because of issues I have no control over. If I can fully download a show/movie in a couple of minutes and avoid any playback issues, why not? Also I don't have fast unlimited data service, so if I'm travelling then I have to download ahead of time if I want to watch anything at all.

Of course I don't try to download everything in their library all at one time and I delete stuff when I'm finished watching, so storage isn't an issue. And decent SSDs don't die as fast from file writes as most people here seem to think they do.
 
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