UPDATED April 13, 2016 – If you’ve been enjoying watching Netflix on your iPad, and your Netflix app has suddently stopped working, read on. The excellent – and free – Netflix app for the iPad allows you to instantly stream and watch both movies and television shows to your iPad, for nothing more than the cost of a Netflix membership. But some users are finding that after enjoying the Netflix iPad ‘Watch Instantly’ experience for a while, suddenly the ‘watch instantly’ option stops working. After selecting a show to watch, the Netflix application just hangs and hangs. After a great deal of testing, we have determined that a problem with Netflix ‘watch instantly’ is almost always caused by the same thing. Here’s how to fix it. (Bonus: We also explain what the Netflix “6 digit phone service code” is.)
The way that the problem will most likely manifest is that you will run the Netflix app, and all will seem fine:
Netflix iPad Application Loading Screen
In fact, you will even be taken into your Netflix account, further suggesting that there is no problem, and that all is fine and dandy with Netflix and your iPad.
Netflix Account Home Screen:
Than you go into the “Watch Instantly” area (where, again, everything seems fine), and you select something to watch. Here we have selected the awesome movie, Julie & Julia.
After selecting a movie or television show to watch instantly, you see this screen, and this is were the trouble starts, because instead of loading your movie or tv show, your iPad just hangs at this screen:
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Or, it may then go to a black screen which may or may not indicate “authorizing”, which lulls you into thinking that it is actually doing something:
In reality, however, your show never starts, and eventually you end up back at this screen again, if you ever left it:
The problem is that while your iPad is hanging at one of those two screens, while it seems as if your iPad is connected to Netflix, in reality it is desperately trying – and unable – to connect to the actual movie server itself.
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Nobody actually knows why iPads may suddenly experience this problem – you may have used your iPad for weeks, watching Netflix movies and tv shows with the Netflix iPad application, having nary a hiccup with the “watch instantly” option, and suddenly – nada.
But we know how to fix it.
Here is what you have to do:
First, go into the ‘settings’ area of your iPad, by clicking on the “Settings” badge from your home screen:
Next, way down at the bottom, select “Reset”:
Next click on “Reset Network Settings”:
This will bring up a confirm window, and you will confirm by hitting “Reset” – Note: You will have to re-enter your wifi settings after this, but it’s a small price to pay to get your Netflix app working again!:
There – all better!
Here is a bonus screenshot of one of our favorite television shows, being watched on the iPad with the Netflix ‘watch instantly’ option – bonus points to readers who can identify this show!
And finally, we told you that we’d explain Netflix’ “six digit phone service code” to you. When you call Netflix customer service, the recorded message tells you that for faster service, please enter your 6 digit phone service code. But if you haven’t dialed Netflix as a result of going through their customer help area on their website, you will have no idea what that is, or what it means.
When you seek help on the Netflix site, in the help area, there is a link for “contact us”, which takes you to the Netflix customer support contact page. On that page is a customer service telephone number, and under the number is a six-digit code that is the phone service code that they want you to key into the telephone when you call their customer service number. We didn’t have a code, and we still were assisted within a minute by the excellent Netflix customer service representative, Jason.
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