How to watch Netflix for free — you can now stream ‘Stranger Things,’ ‘Bird Box,’ and other titles without a subscription

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stranger things
"Stranger Things" season 3
  • Netflix is currently offering free access to 10 original movies and TV shows on its website.
  • The selection includes full movies, like "Bird Box," and the first episode of select shows, like "Stranger Things."
  • The free streaming titles are only available via a web browser.
  • No subscription is necessary to watch, but each preview includes a 30-second commercial for Netflix.

Netflix is now offering a preview of 10 of its original series and movies for free to non-subscribers. The previews include a few full movies, like "Bird Box" and "Murder Mystery," along with the first episode of hit Netflix series, like "Stranger Things" and "When They See Us."

If you don't have a Netflix account, or someone willing to share one with you, you can visit Netflix.com to check out the previews today, but you'll have to watch a 30-second commercial showing off more Netflix shows before each preview. 

Netflix is expected to have 158 million subscribers by the end of 2020, after adding more than 10 million so far this year. The service currently offers three subscription plans: Basic, Standard, and Premium.

The Netflix Basic plan costs $8.99 a month, and supports standard definition streaming on one device at a time. The Netflix Standard plan allows HD streaming on up to two devices for $12.99 per month. Finally, the Premium plan offers up to 4K resolution with HDR color on up to four devices for $15.99 per month.

How to watch Netflix for free

To watch Netflix's free selection of movies and shows you simply need to visit the Netflix Watch Free website. You can browse the library of free titles and click "Watch Now" to stream the movie or show you'd like to preview. No subscription or account information is needed.

Netflix Watch Free movies and shows are currently only viewable via a web browser. A 30-second Netflix promo is included before each title. The free selection is expected to change over time.

If Netflix's free selection isn't enough for you, you can sample the service's entire lineup by signing up for a free 30-day trial. Netflix free trials are only available to new subscribers. After the trial expires, you can either cancel your membership or continue to pay the regular monthly fee.

Below, we've put together a full breakdown of Netflix's current selection of free shows and movies:

"Stranger Things"
Will Mike Eleven Max and Lucas in sauna room Stranger Things 3 Netflix
Eleven and the kids on Netflix's "Stranger Things 3."

"Stranger Things" is one of the most compelling science fiction series you can watch right now, with each season unfolding a new layer of supernatural mystery. The show explores the small town of Hawkins, Indiana, where a group of middle schoolers encounters a savage monster, a young girl with psychic abilities, and a shadowy government agency working to cover its tracks.

The first season of "Stranger Things" won the Screen Actors Guild award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2016.

"Stranger Things" is now entering its fourth season, though production has been halted due to the coronavirus pandemic. The show's creators said they want the series to continue through at least season five, and the stop in production has given them an opportunity to plan further into the future.

You can watch the first episode of "Strangers Things" for free here.

"Murder Mystery"
murder mystery
Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler in "Murder Mystery."

This comedic mystery stars Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston as a middle-class married couple that finds themselves investigating multiple murders when a billionaire invites them to join a family trip in Europe. 

"Murder Mystery" is one of Netflix's most watched movies of all-time, with more than 70 million households watching the film in its first four weeks.

Aniston and Sandler also starred in the 2011 romantic comedy "Just Go With It," but sadly that film isn't available on Netflix.

You can watch "Murder Mystery" for free here.

"Elite"
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"Elite"

"Elite" is a teen crime drama that follows three working-class students who get admitted to a prestigious private school. Disagreements between the new students and their wealthy classmates escalate, resulting in a murder.

The show's first season premiered in 2018, and the third season debuted in March 2020. A fourth and fifth season have already been ordered.

"Elite" is available in its original Spanish language audio track with English subtitles, or with an English language audio dub.

You can watch the first episode of "Elite" for free here.

"The Boss Baby: Back in Business"
the boss baby back in business netflix

"The Boss Baby: Back in Business" is a TV series that continues the story from the 2017 film "The Boss Baby." JP Karliak replaces Alec Baldwin as the voice of Boss Baby, an infant employee of a company dedicated to defending the cuteness of babies.

The Boss Baby regularly adventures with his older brother Tim, working to keep their parents from finding out about Boss Baby's job.

Season three of "The Boss Baby: Back in Business" was released on March 20, and "The Boss Baby 2" is expected to hit theaters in 2021.

You can watch the first episode of "Boss Baby" for free here.

"Bird Box"
Bird Box
Directed by Susanne Bier.

In this Sandra Bullock-led thriller, the world has been thrown into disarray by supernatural beings that force people to kill themselves when seen. Survivors struggle to understand the phenomenon that's attacking their sense of sight, and scramble to protect themselves as the threat continues to spread and seek them out.

"Bird Box" was watched my 89 million people in its first month on Netflix, making it the second-most watched Netflix original ever. 

You can watch "Bird Box" for free here.

"When They See Us"
when they see us

"When They See Us" is a series based on real-life events impacting five Black teens from New York City. The "Central Park Five" were accused and wrongly convicted of raping a white woman in 1989 in a case that many have said demonstrates racial bias in the American justice system and media portrayals of minorities.

The series follows the five young men from the initial days of the allegations, through their criminal trial, and later, the hardships they face as men as they sue New York City for wrongful conviction and try to readjust to a society that demonized them as children.

"When They See Us" won a Peabody Award for Entertainment in 2019, and two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Casting and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie.

You can watch the first episode of "When They See Us" for free here.

"Love Is Blind"
love is blind

This reality dating show is hosted by married couple Nick and Vanessa Lachey. The series features single men and women who go on dates and get engaged without every seeing each other.

"Love is Blind" premiered on Netflix in February, and two additional seasons have been ordered.

You can watch the first episode of "Love is Blind" for free here.

"The Two Popes"
The Two Popes Netflix

"The Two Popes" is a drama based on a play written by Anthony McCarten and inspired by true events.

The movie stars Anthony Hopkins as Pope Benedict and Johnathan Pryce as Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio. When Bergoglio considers resigning from his position, Pope Benedict attempts to persuade him to stay in his post. Bergoglio would then go on to succeed Benedict as Pope Francis. 

"The Two Popes" is directed by Fernando Meirelles ("City of God"), and currently holds an 89% Fresh" rating on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes.

You can watch "The Two Popes" for free here.

"Our Planet"
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"Our Planet" is a stunning eight-part documentary series from the producers of "Planet Earth."

Each episode highlights a specific habitat across the planet, offering breathtaking wildlife footage and interesting commentary on climate change and conservation. David Attenborough serves as the series narrator.

You can watch the first episode of "Our Planet" for free here.

Full episodes of "Our Planet" are also available to watch for free on YouTube.

"Grace and Frankie"
grace and frankie

"Grace and Frankie" is a comedy starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. After the women find out that their husbands are romantically involved with each other, Grace and Frankie's once contentious relationship begins to turn into a friendship.

The show originally premiered in 2015 and will return for a seventh and final season in 2021.

You can watch the first episode of "Grace and Frankie" for free here.

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