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Netflix Not Working in Chrome – What To Do

Posted by Jamie on December 18, 2018

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have Netflix. Even if they have other subscriptions too, they always have Netflix. I don’t know what I did for entertainment before it came along and I’m not sure what I would do if anything happened to it. That dependency means when anything happens to the service it has quite the impact. Like when Netflix won’t work in Chrome.

This happened the other day. I don’t use Chrome for much as I prefer the privacy of Firefox but I was using the new Chrome 70 and wanted to see how it performed. I was happily watching an episode of Suits when the screen went black and ‘There was an unexpected error. Please reload the page and try again’ appeared on screen.

So what now?

Troubleshooting Netflix on Chrome

Netflix works perfectly 99% of the time but that one percent can have quite the impact. While my error was ‘There was an unexpected error. Please reload the page and try again.’ I know there are other errors that happen. I’ll try to cover most of them here.

Here are a few things you can try if your Netflix won’t work in Chrome.

Refresh the page

The first thing to do is to force a refresh of the page. Chrome is quite memory intensive and can freeze occasionally if there is a lot going on. If playback stops and you see any kind of error, forcing a refresh tells Chrome to reload the page as if it was the first time. A force refresh is different from a ‘normal’ F5 refresh as that just reloads the page using existing data.

Using Ctrl + R on Windows bypasses the cache and forces a complete reload of the page. For Mac, use Cmd + Shift + R to achieve the same goal. This will reload the page and hopefully restart playback without the error.

Clear the Chrome cache

If reloading the page around the cache doesn’t work, try clearing the cache altogether. It will clean out any potentially corrupt files that is causing Netflix to not work in Chrome. There is a specific error code for this, C7053-1803, but clearing the cache can work for many browser playback issues.

Open a new tab in Chrome and type or paste ‘chrome://settings/clearBrowserData’ into the URL bar. Select All Time and Cookies and site data as well as Cached images and files. Select Clear data. You will need to sign into Netflix again and restart the stream but it should work fine now.

Try Chrome Incognito Mode

For some reason, using Incognito Mode can work where clearing the cache doesn’t. Incognito Mode uses a different profile with no cache to work and will only accept session cookies. In theory, it doesn’t do anything that clearing the cache doesn’t but it can work around issues with Netflix.

  1. Right click your Chrome icon and select Incognito Mode.
  2. Navigate to Netflix and log in.
  3. Start a stream and see if it plays without erroring.

Check your extensions

If you have added a new extension to Chrome and Netflix suddenly decides to stop working, it is worth checking out. Disable the extension, force reload the page and see if playback works normally again. If it does, remove the extension. If it doesn’t, try the next step in the list.

Try a different Chrome profile

I haven’t had to use this method before as clearing the cache usually does it for me but I have been reliably informed by a buddy that this works too. Sometimes, an issue with your Chrome profile can cause problems with video playback. Creating a new Chrome user profile can work around that.

  1. Select Settings from the Chrome menu.
  2. Select Manage other people from the People box and select Add person.
  3. Select a name and profile image and then Save.
  4. You will be asked to sign in using the new persona

If you don’t have a spare Google account, you can also use Chrome as a guest. You can either log out of Chrome or go to People in Settings, select Manage other people and Browse as Guest at the bottom of the popup box.

Try using a different browser or the Netflix app

You may be attached to Chrome but it is not attached to you. If it won’t work properly with Netflix, try a different browser. If you’re using Windows, try the Netflix app. It has been redesigned and much improved and now work very well.

One of those fixes should do the trick if Netflix won’t work in Chrome. Got any other suggestions? Tell us about them below if you do!

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