HOW TO: Fix NetFlix “Retrieving” Problem

A common problem with many new netflix users is that they revive a message every 5-10 minutes that says “Retrieving”. It is very annoying, especially when you are in the middle of a movie or TV episode. I had this issue, when i contacted netflix they never told me what the problem is/was. I soon determined that it was not a problem with their network. It was with mine. I investigated and did a series of things to fix this annoying issue. Soon after i fixed it, the retrieving issue disappeared/stopped. In this blog post, i will discuss how to fix this issue.

If you are using the Wii, Xbox or other mobile system (such as a laptop), move your WiFi router closest as you can to the point where you will use the device. I would recommend that you put the router in the same room as that device, Then test by watching a movie and check to see if it made a difference. It may, but it does not always fix the problem, if it does not fix the issue, then it requires more attention..and more money.

If the problem is still there, it is probably caused by low bandwidth. You can fix this in one of two ways. (1), if you have any other internet connected devices that are running, such as a Xbox, shut it off. These devices use up your internet, even if you are not using them. Thus, slowing down your internet connection to netflix. If the problem still continues, even after every other internet connected device is shut-off then you will need to pay a little extra a month to upgrade your internet bandwidth.

Bandwidth is the amount of speed that your ISP allows you to use. Normally, if you have a service like roadrunner, then the bandwidth should be plenty. But if it is not then you will need to contact your ISP and ask them to upgrade your internet to at least 3MB/s . Meaning your netflix will be able to download the movie at a speed of 3mb/s, or 3000kb/s. Which should probably work a lot better then your current speed.

I had the same issue, and my internet speed was not even a MB/s. As soon as i ordered an internet speed upgrade (which was extremely cheap to do) i noticed a drastic change in both the speed of the loading of the movie, and the speed at which i could download and transfer my files on my computer. To upgrade your internet, i would not expect your provider to charge any more then 10 dollars a month…as it should pretty much already be at 3mb/s, that is below the average speed.

If the issue is not resolved even after this point, i would tell you to call netflix and ask them what your internet connection speed is. They keep a record of this for diagnostic purposes (in case you ever have an issue, they can refer to that to make sure that that is not the issue).


Ryan is a technology addict. He loves to keep up-to-date with the latest gadgets, and know what is going on in the technology world. In order to keep all this information, he created the site known as "Tech-Junkie"... He likes to think of it as an archive of technological history, and a place for people whom are not as tech-savvy to get good and reliable information. For more information about him, email him at ryanpianesi@tech-junkie.org -- Or just contact him through the form on the "Contact" page.

  • fudge hoo lala

    Or you can check your internet download/upload speeds at speedtest dot net and buy a better router that handles larger packets of data like wireless N or the newest standard wireless ac.

  • Same problem but not wireless

    What if you are not using a router but instead have a laptop connected directly to an adapter provided by my ISP?

  • Noah Kort

    I’m out in the boonies, 768k is the fastest internet we can get. I have my PC running Netflix on the Silverlight software on a Windows 7. This works fine, normally low picture quality, sometimes working at medium. If someone uses a lot of internet somewhere else in the house, downloading something on a phone for example, Netflix is interrupted. Which is to be expected, point being that it does work if it has most/all of the bandwidth available to it.
    Now on my smart tv (or wii) it loads frequently, even when I have the TV hard wired in. The Silverlight software must be better at adjusting picture quality, than the Wii or Samsung Smart TV’s Netflix app. So for now I wait for faster internet to be available I guess.
    On an unrelated note one place I see this same kind of silliness is at The Daily Show’s Website and other Comedy Central Sites, others too i’m sure. The video that you are watching will adjust quality but the commercials will not and buffer frequently.

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