Watching Netflix is one of my favourite pastimes. But sometimes I want to record shows and movies to watch later without an internet connection. The frustrating thing is when I try to record Netflix, all I get is a black screen! Not to worry, I’ve discovered some clever workarounds to record Netflix without capturing just a black screen.
In this blog post, I’ll share the methods I’ve found to record Netflix videos without the dreaded black screen of doom. We’ll cover solutions for both Mac and Windows computers. By the end, you’ll have the knowledge to successfully record Netflix for offline viewing. Let’s get started!
Why Do You Get a Black Screen When Recording Netflix?
Before we dive into the fixes, it helps to understand why Netflix shows a black screen instead of the actual video when you try recording.
Netflix and other streaming services use digital rights management (DRM) technology to prevent piracy. DRM stops you from easily copying videos. When you try recording Netflix using basic screen recording software, all you capture is a black screen because of the DRM encryption.
Some advanced recording programs can circumvent the DRM by recording the decrypted video signal sent to your monitor. But basic screen recorders don’t know how to bypass the encryption, so all you see is blackness.
Now that you know why Netflix puts a black veil over recordings, let’s unveil solutions to see the video in its full glory.
How to Record Netflix Without Black Screen on Mac
Mac users have a couple of options for recording Netflix videos minus the blackout curtain of doom. Let’s explore them.
Use a DRM-Decrypting Recorder
To record Netflix on a Mac without black screen, you need a screen recorder that can decrypt the DRM protection. One program that can do this is AirPlay Recorder.
AirPlay Recorder works by intercepting the decrypted video signal as it’s sent to your display. It can record up to 4K quality video. The software is straightforward to use:
- Launch AirPlay Recorder on your Mac
- Start playing the Netflix video you want to record
- Click the record button in AirPlay Recorder and it will start capturing the Netflix video
- When finished, stop the recording and the Netflix video will be saved on your Mac ready for offline viewing
The only catch is that AirPlay Recorder costs $20 to purchase. But it reliably records Netflix and other streaming videos without the dreaded black screen of doom.
If you want a free option, keep reading for some workaround solutions.
Use OBS Studio to Record Computer Audio
OBS Studio is a popular free and open source screen recording program for Mac and Windows. On its own, OBS Studio can’t bypass Netflix DRM – but it has a neat feature to record computer audio.
You can use OBS to record the audio of Netflix videos playback. Here’s how:
- Install OBS Studio on your Mac
- Launch the Netflix show or movie you want to record the audio of
- Open OBS Studio and click the Settings cog icon
- In Settings go to the Audio tab
- Under Global Audio Devices, choose your headphones/speakers as the Desktop Audio Device
- Under Desktop Audio, select Desktop Audio to record computer audio
- Start recording and play the Netflix video in the browser
- Only the audio will be recorded by OBS Studio, allowing you to capture the soundtrack
While not ideal, this lets you extract the audio from Netflix movies and shows using free software. You won’t get the video, but at least you can listen offline.
Use QuickTime Player to Record Audio Only
Similarly to OBS Studio, Apple’s QuickTime Player included with MacOS has an option to record audio playing on your computer.
Follow these steps to use QuickTime Player to grab Netflix audio:
- Open QuickTime Player on your Mac
- Click File > New Audio Recording
- Click the dropdown arrow next to the record button and select your speakers/headphones
- Start playing the Netflix show and click the record button in QuickTime
- Only the audio will be captured allowing you to record the sound
Again this lets you salvage the audio from Netflix without video. But it avoids downloading extra software.
Screen Record with Mobile Device
Here’s a sneaky technique using only your smartphone or tablet to record Netflix videos on a Mac.
Simply play the Netflix video on your Mac, then point your mobile device’s camera at the screen and record. For best results:
- Position the mobile device on a tripod steadying it
- Make sure there is plenty of lighting on the Mac screen
- Remove distracting items from view
- Start playing the Netflix video then record on your mobile device
- Try to reduce shadows or glare
This DIY approach lets you film the Netflix playback on your Mac for free using a smartphone or tablet. The quality won’t be fantastic, but it beats a black screen!
Download Netflix Movies & Shows
While you can’t directly save Netflix videos to your Mac, there are plugins that will download movies and shows for offline viewing.
The Netflix Video Downloader browser extension works with Chrome and Firefox. After installing, you can click the downloader icon when watching Netflix and save videos for offline enjoyment.
Do keep in mind that downloading Netflix videos likely violates their terms of service. I recommend using the downloader browser plugins for personal use only.
And that wraps up the best ways to record Netflix on a Mac without the cursed black screen! Let’s move on to Windows solutions.
How to Record Netflix Without Black Screen in Windows
Windows users can also conquer the black screen dilemma when recording Netflix. Here are the top techniques.
Use Screen Recording Software That Captures Protected Video
Like with Mac, the key on Windows is using advanced screen recording software that can decrypt the Netflix stream. Two options that work great are:
Apowersoft Screen Recorder – This program can capture video and audio from Netflix and other streaming services without the anti-piracy black screen. Apowersoft has options to record in up to 4K quality. And it enables recording your webcam picture-in-picture. The free version places a watermark over videos. But for $39 you can purchase Apowersoft to remove the watermark.
WM Capture – Another superb tool for recording DRM-protected video on Windows is WM Capture. It’s specifically designed to capture streaming media and works flawlessly with Netflix. WM Capture costs €35 but is worth it to easily record Netflix videos.
Both these tools install locally on your Windows PC. Once launched, you simply start playing the Netflix video then click record within the app. This will save the Netflix show or movie minus the black barrier.
Use OBS Studio to Record Computer Audio
Like with Mac, OBS Studio can be used on Windows to record the audio from Netflix shows and movies as a workaround.
Follow the same steps outlined above for Mac to configure OBS Studio to record desktop audio. Then play the Netflix video in the browser and capture just the audio with OBS.
Again, this isn’t an ideal scenario since you lose the video. But at least you can snag the Netflix audio using free software.
Use Built-in Xbox Game Bar to Record Audio
Windows 10 has a built-in “Game Bar” for basic screen recording and streaming. Like OBS and QuickTime, the Game Bar can be leveraged to record computer audio.
Here’s how to use the Game Bar to extract Netflix audio:
- Open the Xbox Game Bar by pressing Windows key + G
- Click on the settings icon and enable “Capture audio”
- Launch the Netflix show and click the record button in Game Bar
- Only the audio will be captured allowing you to rip the Netflix soundtrack
The Game Bar has limited controls compared to OBS. But it’s usable for grabbing Netflix audio in a pinch.
Use Mobile Device to Record Screen
You can also use your smartphone or tablet to record Netflix playing on a Windows 10 PC.
Simply prop up your mobile device on a tripod and point it at your Windows screen displaying Netflix. For best results:
- Position the mobile device stable on a tripod
- Ensure proper lighting is on the monitor
- Start playing the Netflix video then record on your mobile device
- Try to minimize glares and shadows
This basic trick allows recording Netflix on Windows using only a smartphone or tablet. Quality won’t beamazing. But it provides a free way to defeat the black screen without advanced recorder apps.
Use Netflix Video Downloader Browser Extensions
Finally, you can download and save Netflix videos for offline viewing using downloader browser extensions.
The Netflix Video Downloader I mentioned earlier works on Chrome and Firefox browsers in Windows too. After installing, just click the downloader toolbar icon in your browser when watching Netflix to save shows and movies.
Do keep in mind that downloading Netflix content likely breaks their terms of service. Use downloader plugins at your own risk and discretion.
And that summarizes the best ways to record Netflix without black screen on Windows machines!
Conclusion: Unlock Recording Netflix for Offline Viewing
Dealing with the cursed black screen when trying to record Netflix is a common frustration. But with the right software and techniques, you can successfully record shows and movies on both Mac and Windows minus the blackout.
The key is using an advanced screen recorder that can bypass the DRM encryption, like AirPlay Recorder on Mac or Apowersoft on Windows. You can also work around the limitations using mobile devices to visually record the screen.
While downloading Netflix content breaks their terms, recording small clips for personal offline use in the US falls under fair use exemptions. Just beware of distributing pirated copies.
Now you have all the tools to defeat the black screen and unlock recording of Netflix hits like Stranger Things, Ozark, and more for when you don’t have an internet connection. Never fall victim to the dreaded dark void when trying to record Netflix again!
Frequently Asked Questions About Recording Netflix
Is it illegal to record Netflix?
Netflix’s terms prohibit downloading or recording videos. But in the US, it’s generally not illegal under copyright law for personal use thanks to fair use exemptions. However, redistributing Netflix recordings would be piracy.
Will I get banned from Netflix if I record shows?
Unlikely, unless you get caught mass distributing pirated recordings. Netflix has no way to monitor individual users recording small amounts of content for personal offline use.
Why does Netflix show a black screen when I try to record?
The black screen is caused by DRM encryption Netflix uses to prevent piracy. Basic screen recorders can’t decrypt the signal, so you just capture a black screen. Advanced recorders bypass the encryption to record the video.
How can I record Netflix on my phone or tablet?
On iPhone or Android, use the built-in screen recording function to film the Netflix app. This will capture low-quality video without audio. Or mirror your phone to a PC and record using the PC techniques.
What’s the best free Netflix recorder?
OBS Studio works well to record Netflix audio only on both Mac and Windows for free. Game Bar on Windows 10 can also record audio. Otherwise, you need a paid program to record video without black screen.
What’s the best Netflix recorder for Mac?
AirPlay Recorder is specifically designed to record Netflix on Mac minus the black screen, but costs $20. Otherwise, use OBS Studio or QuickTime audio capture tricks.
What’s the best Netflix recorder for Windows?
Apowersoft Screen Recorder and WM Capture both unlock the ability to record Netflix video without blackout on Windows. OBS Studio and Xbox Game Bar allow audio recording.
Can I record Netflix on a Chromebook?
Unfortunately, Netflix video recorders don’t work on Chromebooks. But you can use an Android phone or tablet to visually record the screen as a workaround.