I watch Netflix a ridiculous amount.

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I love TV and movies, and over the past few years I’ve been in a rather unique position of being able to “watch” in the background while I do boring work that doesn’t require much attention or thought. The bottom line is, if I’m going to be watching Netflix every day, I’d like to watch it in the best quality available.

You may not be watching Netflix as much as I am, but with UHD screens now commonly in use in smartphones, laptops and desktop computer monitors, many people now want to get the most out of their Netflix viewing experience.

Netflix advertises that it features 4k content, so it seems like watching Netflix in 4k on your device would be a no-brainer.

I noticed, however, that while watching Netflix on my computer, none of the content appeared to be in 4k at all, so I did some checking and found that watching Netflix in 4k requires more than just paying for any Netflix account.


4k Streaming Requires Netflix’s Premium Plan


Though they have this information available in the help section on their website, Netflix doesn’t really advertise this:

4k content is only available if you’re paying for their most expensive plan. Here’s a breakdown of what Netflix offers:

  • Basic: $7.99/month, no HD available, 1 stream at a time
  • Standard: $10.99/month, Regular HD when available, 2 streams at a time
  • Premium: $13.99/month, UHD (up to 4k) when available, 4 streams at a time


When Streaming on Your Computer, 4k Doesn’t Work on All Internet Browsers


Here’s another thing they don’t tell you up front that’s really important if you’re paying extra to stream your content in 4k on your computer:


Watching Netflix in 4k on your computer only works if you’re watching Netflix on one of these two applications:



Maximum Resolution You’re Getting On Other Applications


Here’s the maximum resolution you’re getting if you’re watching Netflix through other applications (courtesy of Netflix):

  • Google Chrome up to 720p
  • Internet Explorer up to 1080p
  • Mozilla Firefox up to 720p
  • Opera up to 720p
  • Windows 8 app up to 1080p


Checking Your Netflix Plan and Changing It


If you’re interested in changing your Netflix plan, or you’re not sure what plan you currently have, here’s how to check and change it.

Note: If you are using a computer to stream Netflix, make sure you have the right browser as detailed above. If you aren’t streaming on a computer, make sure your device can stream in 4k before you change your plan.


  1. First, go here to access you Netflix Account Settings.
  2. Under “Plan Details” you can see what plan you currently have
  3. If you currently have a plan that can stream 4k video, your plan will be “4 Screens + ULTRA HD”
  4. If you want to change your plan, click “Change plan” and select the “4 Screens + ULTRA HD” option


You Also Have To Turn 4k Streaming On Manually, Even If You Have the Premium Plan


Even if you have the right plan for 4k streaming, you need to turn it on manually:


  1. First, go here to access you Netflix Account Settings.
  2. Under “My Profile”, click “Playback settings”
  3. Check the “High” setting and click “Save”
  4. Now you’re done! Just make sure you’re watching in Microsoft Edge or the Windows 10 App and you’re good to go.

Streaming 4k On Your TV May Not Be Supported


A computer is one thing, but oddly, It’s also possible that even your 4k TV does not support streaming Netflix in 4k at all, depending on which model of TV you have, the HDMI cable you’re using, etc.

Here’s a handy list from Netflix you can check to see if your current or future TV will support 4k streaming.

Note: It’s worth mentioning that the hottest new thing in better image quality is HDR, which currently has limited support, but you can stream HDR on Netflix if you’re set up with one of a select number of the newest devices available. if you’re interested in watching Netflix in HDR, you can find details about what devices are supported by Netflix here.


The Bottom Line


Netflix in 4k is totally worth it if you have UHD screens to play it on, especially if you’re already paying for their Premium Plan. Just make sure you’re getting what you pay for and that you’re actually watching in 4k!

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