13 Effective Solutions to Fix Netflix Not Playing in 4K on PC

Netflix offers a wide range of streaming qualities, including 4K, but many users find themselves frustrated when they can't watch content in 4K on their Windows PC. If you're facing this issue, don't worry! We've got you covered with 13 effective solutions to troubleshoot Netflix not playing in 4K on your PC.

1. Check Your Plan

Make sure you're subscribed to Netflix's Premium plan, which offers 4K content. If you or someone with access to your account downgraded the plan, that could be the reason why you can't play content in 4K.

netflix change plans

To check your plan, visit the Netflix Change Plan page. Your current plan will have a blue checkmark. If needed, you can upgrade to the Premium plan.

2. Check Internet Speed

To stream Netflix in 4K, you need a decent internet speed. Netflix recommends a minimum of 15Mbps, but most experts suggest 25Mbps for optimal 4K streaming.

netflix 4k streaming internet recommendations

You can use Fast.com, a speed testing tool owned by Netflix, to check your internet speed.

3. Hardware Requirements

Ensure that your Windows PC meets the necessary hardware requirements for streaming Netflix in 4K. These requirements include:

  • A 60hz display with HDCP 2.2 support (used for copyright protection)
  • An Intel 7th gen core CPU or above, or an AMD Ryzen CPU integrated graphics card
  • HEVC Codec (most PCs already have it, but you can download it from the Microsoft Store if needed)

You can check your system specifications in Settings > System > About. Use the Speccy tool for more detailed information.

4. Netflix Playback Settings

By default, Netflix automatically adjusts playback quality based on your internet speed. However, you can visit the Netflix Playback page and change the settings from Auto to High to force 4K playback on your PC.

netflix playback settings

5. For Dual Monitors Setup

If you're using multiple monitors, ensure that each monitor meets the hardware requirements mentioned earlier. If a monitor doesn't meet the criteria, disconnect it while watching 4K content on a compatible monitor.

6. Check Netflix Status

Netflix has servers worldwide, and sometimes they experience downtime, leading to lower video quality. If you're experiencing issues with 4K playback, visit the Netflix Status page or Downdetector to check for outages.

check Netflix outage status

7. Number of Devices

If multiple users in your household are streaming content simultaneously, it can strain your internet speed. Multiply 25Mbps by the number of people under one roof to ensure everyone has enough bandwidth for 4K streaming.

8. Content Availability

Not all content on Netflix is available in 4K. Look for shows and movies marked with UHD, 4K, or DV (Dolby Vision) logos. These indicate content shot in 4K. Keep in mind that content may be marked differently depending on your country.

netflix 4K, DV, UHD content

9. Supported Browsers, Apps, and OS

Chrome doesn't support 4K playback on Windows. To stream Netflix in 4K, use the Edge browser or download the official Netflix app from the Microsoft Store. Chrome only supports up to 720p on Windows and Linux, and 1080p on ChromeOS and macOS.

10. Enable Hardware Acceleration

If you're using the Edge browser, make sure hardware acceleration is enabled. Open the browser settings, go to System and performance, and enable the “Use hardware acceleration when available” option.

11. Check If Netflix Is Playing in 4K

To confirm if Netflix is streaming in 4K, play a movie marked as UHD, 4K, or DV, and press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+D on your keyboard. If the playing bitrate is 3840×2160, you're streaming in 4K.

12. Windows Display Settings

Check if your Windows computer screen supports HDR and 4K resolution. Open Settings, go to System > Display, and check the HDR and display resolution settings.

13. Update Video and Display Drivers

Outdated display or graphics card drivers can prevent 4K playback. Open the Device Manager, right-click on the graphics card, and select “Update driver.” You can also try uninstalling and reinstalling or rolling back the drivers.

By following these solutions, you can fix the issue of Netflix not playing in 4K on your Windows PC. Enjoy your favorite shows and movies in stunning 4K resolution!