I'm getting 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 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

Troubleshoot your browser
  1. Clear browser cookies
    Your browser may be referencing an outdated 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
    We recommend updating to a browser that supports HTML5 to ensure your computer is optimized for our web player. Please download the latest version of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Opera and try Netflix again. Our web player works best on:
    • Google Chrome on Windows XP Service Pack 2 or later.
    • Mozilla Firefox on Windows Vista or later.
    • Opera on Windows Vista Service Pack 2 or later.

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You may be running an outdated version of the Silverlight plug-in, or the plug-in may have become corrupted.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

Disable Extensions in Firefox

If Ad Blocker or Flashblock are installed, follow the steps below.

  1. Click on the menu icon on the upper right corner of the browser.
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. Select Extensions.
  4. Next to Ad Blocker or Flashblock, select Disable.
  5. Close and reopen the Firefox browser.
  6. Try Netflix again.

Do you have anti-virus software installed?

Sometimes anti-virus software can interfere with the player Netflix uses to play movies and TV shows.

  • Quit your anti-virus software and play your TV show or movie again.
  • If a TV show or movie resumes after you've quit your anti-virus software, this may indicate that the software is outdated or unintentionally preventing the Netflix service from playing. Please reach out to your anti-virus software manufacturer to address these issues.

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 outdated 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
    We recommend updating to a browser that supports HTML5 to ensure your computer is optimized for our web player. Please download the latest version of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Opera and try Netflix again. Our web player works best on:
    • Google Chrome on Windows XP Service Pack 2 or later.
    • Mozilla Firefox on Windows Vista or later.
    • Opera on Windows Vista Service Pack 2 or later.

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.

Disable Extensions in Firefox

If Ad Blocker or Flashblock are installed, follow the steps below.

  1. Click on the menu icon on the upper right corner of the browser.
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. Select Extensions.
  4. Next to Ad Blocker or Flashblock, select Disable.
  5. Close and reopen the Firefox browser.
  6. Try Netflix again.

Do you have anti-virus software installed?

Sometimes anti-virus software can interfere with the player Netflix uses to play movies and TV shows.

  • Quit your anti-virus software and play your TV show or movie again.
  • If a TV show or movie resumes after you've quit your anti-virus software, this may indicate that the software is outdated or unintentionally preventing the Netflix service from playing. Please reach out to your anti-virus software manufacturer to address these issues.

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.