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Netflix Distorted Picture (Causes and How to Fix)

I probably don’t need to tell you that streaming services like Netflix have become a huge part of our entertainment lives. But what I do need to tell you is that when your Netflix experience is ruined by a distorted picture, it can be a real pain! As an owner of a Netflix account, I was recently frustrated by a distorted picture problem on my screen. After doing some research, I realized I wasn’t the only one having this issue. So, I wanted to write this post to share the causes of this issue and how to fix it so you can get back to your Netflix binge-watching as soon as possible!

Check Your Internet Speed

Unfortunately, an intermittent connection is the leading cause of lagging, distorted pictures and a slew of connectivity issues. So, if the resolution doesn’t get fixed even after letting your Netflix play for a minute, the first thing you should do is check your internet speed.

If you’re using a computer or a mobile device, visit Fast.com to check the internet speed.

On the contrary, if you’re using any device besides a mobile device or a computer, here’s how to check your internet speed. First, go to the Netflix Homepage, then open the menu by navigating left. If the menu doesn’t appear, try navigating up instead.

From the menu, select Settings>Get Help>Check your Network. Netflix will then detect if your device is connected to a network and the internet speed.

After testing your internet speed, ensure that your connection meets the internet speed recommendations set up by the streaming platform.

Remember that some networks might be too slow to use Netflix, such as hotspot and cellular or satellite networks.

Change Netflix Playback Settings

You can easily change your playback settings using your mobile phone, tablet, or computer.

If you’re using a mobile phone or tablet, start by signing in to your Netflix account. Next, select Menu>Account>Profile & Parental Controls, then pick the profile you want to change.

Next, select Playback Settings, then choose Change. Under Data usage per screen, select the option you want, preferably Medium or High, then click on Save.

After adjusting the playback settings, relaunch your Netflix and check if this resolves the problem.

If you’re using a computer, visit Netflix.com on a web browser and sign in. Then, under the Who’s Watching screen, select your profile. Then, in the upper right corner, just hover your cursor over your Profile, and a drop-down menu will appear. From that, select Account>Profile & Parental Controls.

Next, select the profile you need to change and proceed to Playback Settings>Change. Under Data usage per screen, select either Medium or High. Finally, choose Save.

Take note that this setting can’t be changed from a Kids profile.

Check if Your Network Can Play Netflix

If you’re using a public network like Wi-Fi in hotels, cafés, or schools, ask if Netflix or video services are blocked. Some public networks restrict them since video services use up a lot of data, slowing down the network.

For private networks, check if your connection meets Netflix’s required internet speed.

Restart Your Device

Next, turn off your device, and unplug the power cable if you’re not using a mobile device. Leave the device off for at least 30 seconds, then turn it back on. Finally, try opening Netflix and see if the issue has been fixed.

Note that although restarting your device can fix the problem now, you might want to troubleshoot your home network for a long-term fix.

Restart Your Home Network

For this next step, make sure to leave your device powered off and unplugged if you’re not using a mobile device. Turn off and unplug your modem. If you have a wireless router, unplug that as well.

Wait for about 30 seconds, then plug them both in. Next, wait until the indicator lights return to their normal state, and then turn your device back on and launch Netflix.

Contact Your Internet Service Provider

If you’re still not getting anywhere with the steps above, or if your connection speed doesn’t meet Netflix’s recommended internet speed, it’s best to contact your internet service provider.

They can help you by checking for outages in your area and fixing typical modem, or router, problems. They can also walk you through the steps of restarting or resetting your network’s connection.

Let your provider know if the problem happens only on one device or another under the same network. It’s also best to inform them if your device is connected via Wi-Fi or cable.

Wrapping Up

Experiencing Netflix picture and video distortion is mostly a product of a slow, unstable internet connection. However, it could also be just a matter of changing your Netflix playback settings.

If none of these DIY tricks work, your internet service provider can help you figure out how to fix the problem once and for all.