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Force Netflix To Stream In HD By Selecting A Higher Video Bitrate

The basic Netflix plan doesn’t support HD streaming but the HD and Ultra HD plans, as their names signify do. Streaming in HD doesn’t just require you’re subscribed to the right plan but also that you have the bandwidth to receive an HD video stream. Assuming you have both the right plan and bandwidth to support it, you might still end up with a low resolution video. Netflix might start streaming in SD and then switch to HD but if it is stuck in SD despite the conditions for it to stream in better quality, here’s how you can force it to steam in higher quality.

Open Netflix and start watching. Even if it starts streaming in low quality, give it a few minutes. If it doesn’t start streaming in HD, you’re free to take matters into your own hands. With the stream still open, hit Ctrl+Alt+Shift+S.

A pop-up will appear with information on the video bitrate available for the stream. Select a higher bitrate, such as 450, and click ‘Override’. Give it a few seconds. The video might start buffering again and if it does, wait it out. Once it starts playing again, the stream will be in HD.


A few things you should make sure you’ve already done before you try this. Make sure you’ve set the playback quality under Account Settings to high. Make sure you’re on the right plan because this in no way helps you get HD for a cheaper price. Make sure your bandwidth isn’t being throttled or consumed elsewhere.

Leave a comment

  • Mohammad Fazal

    Just for help 🙂

    Resolution: Stream in HD if your Internet connection supports 5 megabits per second or more.

    Google Chrome up to 720p

    Internet Explorer up to 1080p

    Microsoft Edge up to 1080p

    Mozilla Firefox up to 720p

    Opera up to 720p

    Safari up to 1080p on Mac OS X 10.10.3 or later

    • patt

      which buttons do you click on keyboard on mac? just want to test out few things.

      • Mohammad Fazal

        Just hold down Option instead of ALT as the third key, and it should work like a charm on a Mac.

    • Is there any way to override Netflix’s restriction of 720p for Chrome?

      • No. It’s not a Netflix restriction. It’s a Chrome limitation. You’d have to use Internet Explorer if you want to watch in a higher resolution.

        • OK, thanks. I still feel it may be a shared responsibility/blame since, for example, VUDU streams in 1080p to Chrome just fine.

          Other threads implied it had to do with more advanced DRM available in IE/Edge that Netflix trusts, but I don’t have any confirmation or details on that.

  • skywire

    a bit rate of 450? 450 of what number of bits per what unit of time?

    • bitboi

      “bitrate” means bits per second.

      • Edward Morgan

        450 bits per second would be really slow, even for pure text. PRETTY SURE it’s kilobits per second, since 450 megabits per second would require an awesome internet connection.

  • scoupdogg

    the bitrate is not selectable, not working as of this writing, we can just see it, can’t edit or override. buttons dont click.

    • Paddy Alfan

      happen to me also

  • great and informative article thanks author.