Streaming Netflix Movies in Chrome with the Windows 10 Technical Preview

By Tom Ledford | The Practical Computer

Streaming Netflix with Chrome on Windows 10 Tech Preview

Although the Windows 10 Technical Preview installation went without problem, my first evening of living with the new OS didn't go as well. Netflix wouldn't stream movies on IE, Chrome, Firefox or Safari. Each gave me a different message, or offer to install Silverlight. 

From my efforts to get Netflix to stream on Linux, I thought the issue was that Netflix would support HTML5 playback on Chrome, but it didn't recognize the Windows version. This could be fixed with a User Agent spoofer, to basically "lie" to Netflix about the Windows version.

First, I wrote a little script to display the HTTP_USER-AGENT from Windows 10 with IE 11, Chrome 42, Firefox 35 and Safari 5.1. I wanted to find what Netflix was objecting to. I listed them here so you won't need the script. Here are the results:

Windows 10 browser HTTP_USER-AGENT strings

Internet Explorer user agent = "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; WOW64; Trident/7.0; rv:11.0) like Gecko "
Chrome user agent = "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/40.0.2214.111 Safari/537.36 
Firefox user agent = "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; WOW64; rv:35.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/35.0" 
Safari user agent = "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.2; WOW64) AppleWebKit/534.57.2 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1.7 Safari/534.57.2"

Ultimately, I got Chrome to work with Netflix, by using the extension —
User-Agent Switcher for Chrome.  

The extension didn't work on any of its preconfigured settings. After I reviewed the different User Agent (UA) strings, I saw that, indeed Netflix must be objecting to the OS version.

I modified the Chrome User Agent for a lower Windows version and added it to the UA spoofer options. Netflix now streams and Chromecasts with Windows 10, because it thinks it is streaming with Windows 7!

User Agent Switcher for Chrome

After the extension is installed, right click on the toolbar icon, and add the new agent string, with other settings as shown above. Then, just make sure you have selected the correct one when you view movies. I haven't had any issues while leaving mine on and going to other websites, but I can always turn the UA Spoofer off if I do.

Old Chrome User Agent string:
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/40.0.2214.111 Safari/537.36 
New Chrome User Agent string:
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/40.0.2214.111 Safari/537.36

I'm sure, I will continue to find issues with Windows 10. Hopefully I can address them, so I can continue to use it as my only desktop. It has been almost a month now, and so far, so good! Check back here and I will keep you updated about my Windows 10 journey.