Netflix Not Working on Samsung TV: 11 Simple Fixes

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Netflix’s streaming service has too much binge-worthy content for you to get stuck dealing with a broken app. In this article, we’ll detail the nine easiest fixes for when Netflix is not working on Samsung TVs.

1. Make Sure Your Samsung TV Is Compatible With Netflix

The Netflix app works with all Samsung TVs manufactured since 2012. However, a 2019 update broke the Netflix app’s compatibility with some 2010 and 2011 Samsung TV models. You can check the year and operating system version of your Samsung TV on their website here.

Incompatible smart TV models from prior to 2012 will show an on-screen notification about the problem when you try to run the Netflix app. If you see that notification, your only real options are to replace the TV or add a streaming stick. Obviously, a streaming stick is a cheaper and easier option.

You can play Netflix on any TV (smart or otherwise) by adding a Fire TV Stick or a Roku streaming stick. Both are easy to use and have all of the major streaming apps. Unless you already have a preference, I’d go with Fire TV largely for the Fire Stick Alexa voice controls.

2. Power Cycle Your Samsung TV

Often, app problems are caused by random TV software glitches. As with most software problems, the best solution is to turn it off and back on again.

The easiest way to restart Samsung TV apps is to restart the entire TV. However, when you hit the power button on your remote, it doesn’t actually turn off the TV. Instead, it sends it into standby mode, which won’t force a restart of your active app.

There are two different ways to force a restart of a Samsung TV.

Restart your TV using the remote

This first method is the easiest, assuming you have your remote handy.

  1. Make sure your TV is on (not in standby mode).
  2. Hold your remote’s power button. The TV will turn off immediately, but you need to keep it pressed until the power comes back on.
  3. Press the Home button.
  4. Open the app you were trying to restart.

Since this restarted all of your apps and the TV itself, your app should be working normally again. If not, we’ve still got a few more tricks to try.

Restart your TV manually

The second way to reboot your TV is to power cycle it manually. This method doesn’t require a remote, so it should be possible for anyone. You can also use this process on non-Samsung Smart TVs, so it’s one of the only universally applicable solutions on this list.

  1. Unplug your TV’s power cord from the wall outlet or surge protector.
  2. Wait two minutes.
  3. Plug your TV back in and turn it on.
  4. Press the Home button.
  5. Select the app you were trying to restart.

As with the method above, power cycling restarts every app plus the TV operating system itself. It’s the smart TV version of the first suggestion IT people gives for every computer problem: Try turning it off and back on again.

3. Check Your Internet Speed

Slow internet can often cause buffering issues with Netflix and other video and streaming apps. In extreme cases, your internet may be too slow or unreliable to even connect to the Netflix servers.

You can do an internet speed test on your computer or phone. Make sure the device you are using is on the same network as your TV. For your phone, that also means turning off mobile data and connecting only to Wi-Fi.

You’re going to need speeds of at least 3–4 Mbps for standard streaming and 5–8 Mbps for HD. If your speeds are slower than that, you’ll need to:

  • Check for sources of interferences (e.g., too many walls between your router and your TV).
  • Restart your router (see the next section).
  • Contact your internet provider to see whether there are network problems or whether you need an upgrade.

4. Restart Your Router

Often, the problem is with your local Wi-Fi network rather than your TV or the Netflix app.

Rather than try to debug every potential network problem, it’s easier to just restart your entire network to see if that sorts everything out. You’ll generally want to do this once a month or so anyway to keep your network functioning at its best.

Before proceeding, make sure that nobody in your home is actively using the internet. This process will shut down all network and internet connections for roughly five minutes during the reboot.

Okay, let’s get started.

  1. Unplug the power cable from your router and modem.
  2. Wait 30 seconds.
  3. Plug the power cables back in.
  4. Wait a few minutes for the modem and router to boot up.

Once your TV connects to the network again, try to run the Netflix app. If your network speeds were slow when you tested them, this is also a good time to run another test. Restarting your router will often boost your speeds for a short while, but it won’t fix every underlying problem.

5. Update Your Samsung TV Firmware

Just like app updates, firmware updates will often fix your TV app problems for you.

Samsung smart TVs still update automatically, but they also have an option to manually force a firmware update. This shouldn’t be necessary, but it is nice to have in case the automatic updates fails without telling you.

  1. Press the Home button on your Samsung TV’s remote control to open the smart hub.
  2. Click Settings in the smart hub menu.
  3. Select the Software Update tab.
  4. Click Update Now.
  5. Wait for the download to finish.
  6. Install the update following the on-screen instructions.

Once the firmware is updated, try the Netflix app again.

6. Clear Your Netflix App Cache

Instead of reinstalling the app, Samsung TVs let you clear an app’s cache. This is the equivalent of clearing the cookies in your internet browser, and often it will solve random glitches in the app.

  1. Press the Home button on your Samsung TV’s remote control to open the smart hub.
  2. Click Settings in the smart hub menu.
  3. Select the Apps tab.
  4. Click System Apps.
  5. Select the Netflix app.
  6. Click Clear Cache.
  7. Press OK to confirm.

7. Reinstall the Netflix App

Clearing the cache fixes most app glitches, but sometimes you need to do a full reinstall. To do that, you’re going to need to delete the app and then reinstall it.

How to delete the Netflix app

  1. Press the Home button on your Samsung TV remote.
  2. Select Apps from the on-screen menu.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Navigate to the Netflix App.
  5. Select Delete.
  6. Press Delete in the pop-up to confirm.

How to reinstall the Netflix app

  1. Press the Home button on your Samsung TV remote.
  2. Select Apps from the on-screen menu.
  3. Select the Search icon (the magnifying glass) in the Apps screen.
  4. Enter Netflix in the search box. 
  5. Press the Install button.

Now try the Netflix app again. You’ll need to enter your log-in information, as it won’t carry over from the previous install.

8. Turn Off Your VPN

Those of you that don’t use a virtual private network (VPN) can ignore this step. If you don’t know what a VPN is, you’re probably not using one.

Most video apps and streaming services try to block VPN traffic. If you’re running a VPN that Netflix has managed to block, you likely won’t have access to your streaming content. The easiest way to test this is to turn off the VPN and try the connection again.

9. Try Netflix on Another Device

We’ve covered nearly everything we can try on your TV itself. Before resorting to our most drastic option, let’s see how widespread the problem is. Try opening Netflix on your computer or any other device on your network.

If Netflix works on your other devices but not your TV, it’s time to contact Samsung support.

But if Netflix isn’t working on any of your devices, the problem may be with your Netflix account or with Netflix’s servers.

10. Check Netflix Server Status

You can use Downdetector to check whether other users in your area are having problems with Netflix. Most of the time, Netflix outages are local and quickly fixed. You can also check the “Is Netflix Down?” page in the Netflix help center.

If you can’t find anything on Downdetector, it’s probably time to contact Netflix support for more info. They’ll have more up-to-date information than I can provide in this article.

11. Factory Reset Your TV

Since we’ve tried all of the easy fixes, it’s time to try one last option: a factory reset. This will erase all of your TV settings, including those for your Netflix app. By erasing all of the settings and app data, though, it might fix your streaming app problems.

  1. Press the Home button on your Samsung TV’s remote control to open the smart hub.
  2. Go to the Settings menu.
  3. Open the General tab. (Or Support -> Self Diagnosis on some TVs.)
  4. Select Reset. If you’re asked for a pin, enter your pin or the default of 0000.
  5. Confirm the reset process by clicking OK.

Now, try running the Netflix app one more time. This should have fixed nearly any software or firmware issue that could have been preventing Netflix from running on your Samsung TV.

What’s Next?

Samsung’s Tizen OS offers a lot of control over your streaming apps, which is great when Netflix or HBO Max stops working on Samsung TVs. When Netflix doesn’t work on Vizio TVs, there’s very little that you can do. But extra power, as always, comes with extra problems.

Samsung TVs have a lot of advanced features that I love, but they also have their share of bugs. Aside from app-specific issues, sometimes the Samsung TV volume gets stuck or the Samsung Smart Hub keeps updating in a loop. But those are problems for another day.

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