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How to re-enable Netflix in Safari 5 (updated)

Nilay Patel

We're getting a ton of tips about Netflix being broken in Safari 5, and while we're pretty sure Reed Hastings and crew will have things patched up in the morning, we thought we'd share the quick fix with you now, since it's so simple. The problem isn't actually Safari 5, it's the browser agent string -- Netflix doesn't recognize it as a supported browser, so all you have to do is turn on the developer menu and change Safari's user agent back to 4.1. Ready? It's just a couple steps:
  1. Open Preferences > Advanced and click "Show Develop menu in menu bar".
  2. In the Develop menu, select User Agent and hit "Safari 4.1".
  3. Watch some Netflix!
Of course, you'll have to switch it back to use any Safari 5-optimized sites that check for the latest version of Apple's browser, but that's not too hard -- and like we said, we're guessing the Netflix crew will have this sorted in no time, so you shouldn't need to worry about this in the future.

Update: Told you they'd get it fixed soon enough -- reader Colin tells us things are working fine with Safari 5 as of this morning.

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