I'm seeing a black screen with no player controls 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 two 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

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


Steps for Windows

Troubleshoot your browser
  1. Clear browser cookies
    Your browser may be referencing an out-dated or corrupted setting in the cookie file.
    1. Go to netflix.com/clearcookies to clear the Netflix cookie. This will sign you out of Netflix.com.
    2. Select Netflix Home, then Member Sign In to log back in and play your movie or TV show again.
  2. Restart your browser
    Sometimes restarting your browser can clear this issue.
    • Quit your browser, restart it, and play your movie or TV show again.
  3. Try another browser
    A browser extension, plug-in or add-on may be causing this error. Try playing your movie or TV show in another browser.
    • If you're unable to play your movie or TV show in multiple browsers, there may be a problem with the Silverlight Plug-in used by Netflix.com.

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You may be running an outdated version of the Silverlight plug-in, or the plug-in may have become corrupted.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. Select Programs & Features
  5. Locate and select Microsoft Silverlight
  6. 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.

If Installed, Disable Ad Blocker in Firefox

From the black screen:

  1. Click the orange Firefox button in the upper-left corner of the browser window.
  2. Select Options.
  3. Make sure there is a check mark next to Add-On Bar.
  4. A bar should appear along the bottom of the browser window. In the bottom left corner of the bar, click the red stop sign.
  5. Click Disable on movies.netflix.com.
  6. Press the back arrow to return to the Instantly Watch home page.
  7. Try playing your movie or TV show again.

If disabling Ad Blocker causes you to see ads when streaming from Netflix, please see our Ads and Pop-ups When Streaming to Your PC or Mac article.

Do you have anti-virus software installed?
Sometimes anti-virus software such as Webroot, Kaspersky, Immunet, or Intego VirusBarrier can interfere with the player Netflix uses to play movies and TV shows.
  • Disable your anti-virus software and play your movie or TV show again.
  • If playback resumes after disabling the anti-virus software, you may need to reach out to the manufacturer of your anti-virus software for help on adjusting your settings.

Remove Adware That May Be Installed On Your Computer

The issue may be caused by adware installed on your machine. For detailed steps for resolving this problem, see our Ads and Pop-ups When Streaming article.

Steps for Mac

Troubleshoot your browser
  1. Clear browser cookies
    Your browser may be referencing an out-dated or corrupted setting in the cookie file.
    1. Go to netflix.com/clearcookies to clear the Netflix cookie. This will sign you out of Netflix.com.
    2. Select Netflix Home, then Member Sign In to log back in and play your movie or TV show again.
  2. Restart your browser
    Sometimes restarting your browser can clear this issue.
    • Quit your browser, restart it, and play your movie or TV show again.
  3. Try another browser
    A browser extension, plug-in or add-on may be causing this error. Try playing your movie or TV show in another browser.
    • If you're unable to play your movie or TV show in multiple browsers, there may be a problem with the Silverlight Plug-in used by Netflix.com.

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.

If Installed, Disable Ad Blocker in Firefox

From the black screen:

  1. Click View in the Firefox menu at the top of the screen.
  2. Select Toolbars.
  3. Make sure there is a check mark next to Add-On Bar.
  4. A bar should appear along the bottom of the browser window. In the bottom left corner of the bar, click the red stop sign.
  5. Click Disable on movies.netflix.com.
  6. Press the back arrow to return to the Instantly Watch home page
  7. Try playing your movie or TV show again.

If disabling Ad Blocker causes you to see ads when streaming from Netflix, please see our Ads and Pop-ups When Streaming to Your PC or Mac article.

Do you have anti-virus software installed?
Sometimes anti-virus software such as Webroot, Kaspersky, Immunet, or Intego VirusBarrier can interfere with the player Netflix uses to play movies and TV shows.
  • Disable your anti-virus software and play your movie or TV show again.
  • If playback resumes after disabling the anti-virus software, you may need to reach out to the manufacturer of your anti-virus software for help on adjusting your settings.

Remove Adware That May Be Installed On Your Computer

The issue may be caused by adware installed on your machine. For detailed steps for resolving this problem, see our Ads and Pop-ups When Streaming article.

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