Netflix displays the error message "An Unknown Error Has Occurred" on my computer.

The error you're seeing is related to the Silverlight plugin, which Netflix uses to play movies and TV shows on your computer.

This error is usually caused by one of three things:

  • A computer setting preventing Silverlight from storing files it needs to play your movie or TV show
  • An issue with the Silverlight plugin itself
  • An issue with the content you're trying to play

To fix this error, follow the steps below for your Windows or Mac computer.


Steps for Windows

Uninstall and Reinstall the Silverlight Plug-in

You may be running an outdated version of the Silverlight plug-in, or the plug-in may have become corrupted.

To uninstall the Silverlight plug-in:

Windows 8

  1. Quit all open browsers - including this window! You may want to print the following steps.
  2. Swipe from the right edge of the screen, then tap Settings. (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, then click Settings.)
  3. Select Control Panel
  4. Underneath Programs, select Uninstall a program.
  5. Locate and select Microsoft Silverlight
  6. Select Uninstall

Windows 7/Vista

  1. Quit all open browsers - including this window! You may want to print the following steps
  2. Click on the Start Button
  3. Select Control Panel
  4. Set the View by in the top right to Category
  5. Under Programs select Uninstall a program
  6. Locate and select Microsoft Silverlight
  7. Select Uninstall

Windows XP

  1. Quit all open browsers - including this window! You may want to print the following steps.
  2. Click on the Start Button
  3. Select Control Panel
  4. Select Add or Remove Programs
  5. Locate and select Microsoft Silverlight
  6. Click Remove

To install the latest version of the Silverlight plug-in:

  1. Navigate to the Watch Instantly home page and click play on any title.
  2. Follow the prompts to download and Install Silverlight on Your Windows PC.

Steps for Mac

Uninstall and Reinstall the Silverlight Plug-in
You may be running an outdated version of the Silverlight plug-in, or the plug-in may have become corrupted.

To uninstall the Silverlight plug-in:
  1. Quit all open browsers - including this window! You may want to print the following steps.
  2. Click the Finder icon from the Dock at the bottom of the screen.
  3. In the menu bar at the top of the screen, select Go then Computer.
  4. Click the Macintosh HD icon.
  5. Select Library.
  6. Select Internet Plugins.
  7. Drag Silverlight.plugin to your trash.
  8. Once you have emptied your trash, Microsoft Silverlight un-installation is complete.
To install the latest version of the Silverlight plug-in:
  1. Navigate to the Watch Instantly home page and click play on any title.
  2. Follow the prompts to download and Install Silverlight on Your Mac.

Some members may encounter the message "Silverlight.dmg cannot be opened because it is from an unidentified developer" when attempting to install Silverlight. This is fairly common for applications that are not downloaded from the Mac App store. If you encounter this message, continue with the following steps to complete your Silverlight installation.

  1. Right-click or hold Control on your keyboard and click on Silverlight.pkg.
  2. Click Open on the pop-up menu.
  3. Click Open on the prompt that says "Silverlight.pkg" is not from the Mac App Store. Are you sure you want to open it? Opening "Silverlight.pkg" will always allow it to run on this Mac.
  4. Follow the prompts to complete installation.

Wait time: 4 minutes