We all use Netflix everyday, but if you haven’t made time to really explore the platform in depth you might not be aware of several handy, hidden features. If you’ve ever browsed and found nothing to watch, it might be because you’re not taking full advantage of Netflix’s search options.
If you’ve got a bad show still sitting in your ‘continue watching’ pile, there’s a fix for that too.
The latest feature to come to Netflix is ‘Streaming Roulette’, a new randomiser that’ll spit out suggested shows based on a user’s viewing history. While it’s not coming until ‘early 2021’ there are plenty of other cool features to keep you entertained in the meantime.
Let’s get stuck in with the best of them.
Clear your viewing activity
There’s nothing more annoying than Netflix suggesting you continue watching a show you absolutely hated. There’s no obvious way to remove your viewing history via the front page, so for this hack you’ll need to find your way into your settings.
Head to ‘Account’ settings under your personal icon, select ‘viewing activity’ and you’ll find a list of every episode and movie you’ve watched. From there, it’s a simple matter of clicking the cross icon and hiding everything you don’t want to see anymore.
That way it won’t appear in your recommended shows.
Master Netflix’s search tools
Netflix’s search has some incredibly helpful features, particularly if you’re looking for suggestions within a particular genre or style. Here’s a few of our best tips if you’re looking for just the right thing to watch:
- Search ‘Netflix’ to find a list of the platform’s original shows and movies
- Search by actors for a list of TV shows and films they’ve starred in
- Search by film genre ie. Comedy, Drama, Action
- Search by moods like ‘witty’, ‘irreverent’ or ‘sad’ to suit your feelings
- Search by a specific subset of a genre like ‘vampires’ or ‘LGBTQ’
Get as specific as possible, and you should be able to narrow down the right thing. If Netflix doesn’t have exactly what you’re looking for, it’ll suggest something else similar in the genre.
There’s also plenty of hidden codes around including for Children’s content (561), ‘Tearjerkers’ (6384), Mockumentaries (26) and more. Check out a more complete list from our pals at Lifehacker Australia.
Lock your phone screen
Locking your phone screen is extremely helpful if you’re using Netflix in bed or as a display. It stops you from accidentally pausing or rewinding when an errant hand flicks the screen. While not everyone will find the setting useful, it’s a great way to set up a binge session without worrying about content stoppage.
To access this setting on mobile, simply head into a TV show or film and select the ‘Lock’ icon that appears at the bottom. To get out of it, you’ll need to double tap the screen and select the lock icon.
Get tailored content suggestions
Scrolling down on a TV show’s main hub will reveal three seperate tabs on mobile: episodes, trailers and ‘More Like This’. If you find yourself getting stuck into a show and you want more in same vein, this is the place to be.
Netflix will provide a detailed list of other shows that share similar themes, genres and styles so you can keep the binge train rolling. These suggestions for people who like Disenchantment are pretty on-point. You’ll find the algorithm has great taste.
Take a chance and you just might find your next favourite show.
Save mobile data by reducing 4K content
Netflix has a bunch of 4K content if you’re on more expensive plans, but mobile users won’t find this feature very friendly. To make sure you’re not overexerting your data bandwidth when you’re watching shows on the go, you should head into your mobile settings and reduce entertainment quality.
Head into ‘app settings’ and flick ‘mobile data usage’ to ‘save data’. You can also select ‘Wi-Fi only’ and ‘standard’ quality for downloads to ensure you’re not wasting your mobile plan.
While it’s great being able to take Netflix shows on the go with the download function, it’s equally important to monitor your usage and ensure you don’t go over your cap.
Use extensions to spice up the party
There’s a bunch of great Google Chrome extensions available that’ll help make the browser version of Netflix more manageable.
Here’s what we recommend:
- Teleparty – This lets you watch films or TV shows alongside your mates who also have Netflix
- Trim – This adds IMDb ratings to your Netflix so you can see the quality of the shows you want to watch
- FindFlix – This finds all the hidden Netflix codes we mentioned earlier and lets you browse new categories
All of these tips and tools will help you have the best experience while you’re surfing the platform.
Stay tuned to Gizmodo Australia for all the latest tips, tricks and lifehacks from the worlds of tech and entertainment.