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Netflix is the streaming giant that many of us turn to when there’s nothing good on TV; it’s got all of our favorite shows and top hits at the click of a button. Netflix also offers a wide selection of original content, movies, and documentaries. But with thousands of titles and shows, this website can be overwhelming, and it can be hard to make the most of it. It can sometimes be easy to get stuck watching the same shows repeatedly, especially without using the right tips and tricks to streamline things.
As intuitive as the website may already be, there are still some ways to make watching Netflix even easier and more enjoyable. So here are the top Netflix hacks that will take your streaming experience to the next level.
1. Getting Rid Of Pausing Between Episodes
Have you ever binge-watched a show and had a “still watching?” alert interrupt between the previous episode and the next? That can annoy, and it can serve as an unwelcome reminder of just how much Stranger Things you’ve watched today. But there are ways to get rid of this alert and have a smoother, interruption-free experience! One of which is a handy Google chrome or opera extension.
This Netflix hack is as easy to install as any other add-on, just check out Rob Toledo’s Netflix Pause Removal, download it, and be ready to stream without interruptions. Although people are still working on developing a similar extension for other browsers, for chrome users this is a great solution.
2. A Netflix Hack To Stop The Buffering
There’s nothing more frustrating than being in the middle of a show, or right at the climax of the story, then being forced to wait while the episode buffers. It’s definitely a mood dampener! To get around this with a quick Netflix hack, just type in type in shift+alt and left click, or shift+option and click on a mac.
This keyboard shortcut will pull up another menu that is normally hidden. There you can find the stream manager menu and manually coordinate the buffering rate to the playback rate. This trick helps cut down on the loading time and the unwelcome interruptions!
3. Find Original Content
Netflix has hundreds of original series on its website. Many of them feature an interesting storyline and a plot you wouldn’t be able to watch on a major network television channel. Let’s not forget that Orange is the New Black and Stranger Things, both Netflix Originals, are currently some of the most popular and talked about shows out there!
There’s an easy Netflix hack to filter your picks and find the best new original shows; just type in Netflix.com/originals. This will take you straight to all of the best Netflix created content. Alternatively, you can also go to the Netflix website and navigate to the Netflix Originals section from there. If you want to filter the shows down a little more though, there are great third-party services that help you refine your search.
4. Netflix Roulette And Netflix Bible
Netflix Roulette is a great way to find new shows and movies based on a number of options, like genre and rating. Once you put in what you’re looking for (like top rated horror movies from the past year) and click the spin button, the website will give you a recommendation. There are then options to get more information on the show, spin again, or go directly to Netflix and start watching.
The Netflix ID Bible
This website lets you search for exactly the genre and specifications you want. Just use the Netflix search URL: http://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/ and after the last backslash type in the ID number of the genre you’re searching for from the genre list on the Netflix ID website. This Netflix hack lets you find exactly what you’re looking for; if you’re into Korean dramas, use the number 67879. Horror movies more your thing? Just type in 8711 after the search URL. Finally! A way to watch your favorite drama without having to rely on Netflix’s algorithm to guess your preferences.
5. Delete Titles From Your History
Maybe you’re sharing an account with friends and family and don’t want them to know how many romantic comedies you’ve binge-watched. Or, perhaps you’ve lent your Netflix login to a friend who has a different TV taste than you and has now ruined your recommendations with 70’s sitcoms. There’s an easy Netflix hack to fix this and get your account back on track-just clear out your history and have a fresh start.
First, log in to your profile and go to your account. Then go to the My Profile section, and click the link to see your viewing activity. This will give you your entire viewing history, and also options to delete certain titles from it. It can take up to a day before the title is removed, but once it’s gone it will no longer be in your history or influence your recommendations. If you want to completely wipe your history and don’t feel like going through everything and deleting episodes one by one, you can always just delete your old profile and create a new one!
6. Customize Closed Captioning and Subtitles
Netflix allows you to customize the font, size, and opacity of subtitles and captioning. It also lets you change the color of the words, as well as the background color. Once you apply these settings on one device, they will automatically be applied to other devices you’re logged into. These settings will also be saved for the next time you restart watching on them. To customize these settings on the website, just sign into Netflix, then choose your profile. After that go to subtitle preferences and choose your settings.
If you’re doing this on your phone, go to settings, then general, then accessibility. After that, you’ll be at the Subtitles and Captioning menu, where you’ll be able to customize subtitles and closed captioning to your preferences.
7. Disable Dubbing On Foreign Films
The default setting on Netflix is to play the dubbed version of a show or movie if it’s available, rather than streaming it in the original language with subtitles. However, the dubbed version doesn’t always match up as closely with what’s being said as the subbed version does. It can also be annoying to watch a movie where the words don’t line up with the actors speaking. So for people who prefer accuracy over an easier viewing experience, this Netflix Hack is for you!
While watching the dubbed version, just go to the subtitles box at the bottom of the screen to reach the audio menu. There, you can change from English to the original language of the show. If you’re not a speaker of the language, you can always then choose to enable your (customized!) English subtitles.
8. Watch Shows Together Using Rabbit
Rabbit is another awesome chrome extension that lets you watch your favorite shows with friends. This Netflix hack lets you share any tab you have open in Chrome with someone else. This means you cannot only stream with friends in other rooms but even other countries as well! Instead of having to coordinate the exact moment when you start an episode with someone else, you can watch the same show at the same time. This is also useful for streaming shows that aren’t available in your home country. Downloading it is simple-just sign into Rabbit, sign into Netflix, click the rabbit icon while on the show you want to watch together, and click start sharing!
9. Know The Keyboard Shortcuts
As we mentioned in an earlier Netflix hack, one way of knowing keyboard shortcuts can be useful is to open up the secret menu and change the buffering rate. But there are also plenty of other keyboard shortcuts that make things easier and faster.
Here’s a list of the basics:
- up/down arrows: raise/lower volume
- left/right arrows: rewind/fast forward
- s key: skip intro
- m key: mute volume
- f key: full screen
- esc: exit full screen
- space+ctrl: move frame by frame
- ctrl+shift+alt+m: menu
- ctrl+alt+shift+d: get A/V stats, like framerate, movie ID, buffer size, and other information
10. Optimize For HD Or Ultra HD
Many shows on Netflix offer high-quality streaming, but knowing how to turn that feature on is a different matter. First, go to your account menu. Then click on the playback settings. After that, you should see a section called ‘Data Usage’, and by clicking high on that you’ll be able to stream in HD. Another Netflix hack is to make sure you’re using your WI-FI instead of your cell phone data to stream in HD, so you don’t use up your data plan. Now you can watch your favorite shows with clear quality.
11. Use the profiles that Netflix gave you.
You can set a number of profiles with one account. By giving each user their own profile, you can avoid interrupting a family member’s binge-in-progress. You’ll also get personalized recommendations that apply to only what you watch and rate.
Additionally, parents can set controls for minors, limiting their access to adult movie titles.
12. Search the secret categories.
If you’re tired of seeing the same recommended titles over and over, check out this directory of hidden categories. You can find a guide online to all the different categories you never knew existed. It’s Aladdin’s cave of entertainment treasures. (Although Aladdin is not currently on Netflix streaming, you can get it on DVD.)
If you also use a Smart TV, you’ll need to check out the categories on your desktop or laptop and add them to your list to access them for viewing.
Click to go to the Netflix Codes Guide and then click on the categories. Add them to your list for watching on other devices.
13. Check out Flicksurfer for better browsing.
This free-to-use guide is so much easier than scrolling through Netflix to find something new to watch. Sometimes, it feels like Netflix has some sort of agenda when it comes to feeding suggestions. So, an independent guide is one of the better hacks. Flicksurfer is a great way to work around that.
Now, if only they had a “Don’t ever suggest this awful TV show again!” button.
14. Get really specific with Netflix genres.
If the list of categories above isn’t specific enough for you, try this list of sub-sub-sub categories and genres.
This guide breaks down Netflix streaming by directors, themes, subgenre, era, and more. For those of us who like “slow-moving North European crime dramas featuring a cynical and divorced detective in his fifties with lots of seagulls in the background,” this guide is essential to our viewing pleasure.
This list breaks down Netflix shows and movies into unique categories like: “British Independent Dramas from the 1980s” or “Cerebral Movies directed by Akira Kurosawa.” In the mood for a Critically-acclaimed Cerebral French-Language Drama? How about a Mind-bending Psychological Sci-fi and Fantasy movie?
15. Tell Netflix what you really want.
If you haven’t done so in a while, revisit your “Taste Preferences” and update your likes and dislikes. If you already have a history of watching shows that didn’t flip your switch, you should also take a few minutes to rate them to avoid seeing their like again.
One of the better hacks is to clear your recent viewing history. That way, Netflix won’t recommend more movies just like that complete bomb you didn’t finish. Go to “My Account” and then “Viewing Activity.” Delete the ones you should have never even started.
16. Consult a professional.
You’re not the only one that’s disappointed with Netflix’s decision to remove the star rating system. And you’re probably not the first to end up watching some complete loser of a movie because you didn’t have that helpful rating to guide your decisions.
Check out Netflix Enhancer. This handy extension lets you check IMDB ratings and see trailers before you commit. (It also shows the secret categories.)
17. Stop the judgey-ness.
Tired of that passive-aggressive popup that reminds you of your mother nagging you to do homework? The one that says “Are you STILL watching?” Well, dismiss it summarily like the diva you are with Flix Assist. Don’t let anyone tell you when you’re done watching Grey’s Anatomy! This extension will stop that popup from… well… popping up. It also kills the countdown timer between episodes.
18. Binge with a friend.
Sometimes you just can’t make it to your friend’s Annual Supernatural Rewatch Binge Party. But you can watch together from separate locations with Netflix Party. This Chrome extension will sync playback between viewers and show a chat window so you can talk about the latest episode.
19. Learn these keyboard shortcuts.
Save some time by becoming a keyboard commando. Use these keyboard shortcuts to drive your Netflix viewing on your laptop or desktop.
- Up arrow = volume up
- Down arrow = volume down
- Spacebar = play/pause
- F = Full screen
- M = Mute
- ESC = exit full screen
- Shift + Left Arrow = rewind
- Shift + Right Arrow = fast-forward
20. Choose the right browser for best viewing quality.
Unless you’re using a Chrome extension for one of these other Netflix hacks, it’s not your best choice for watching on a laptop or computer. Electronics news site BGR.com notes that Chrome, Opera, and Mozilla Firefox reduces quality to just 720p HD. For full 1080p HD quality, use Safari, OS X, or Microsoft Edge, instead.
21. Try more extensions for expanded categories.
The extension adds an extra menu that allows you to find the “hidden categories” that let you really narrow down your choices.
22. Download movies and shows for offline viewing.
In some cases, you can download episodes of shows or movies for viewing offline. It will depend on the deal that Netflix has with the distributor, but if you’re tired of endless buffering and fluttering connections to your device, see if you can download it and watch it offline for seamless viewing. This is one of the better hacks for travelers who want to watch while inflight or out of Wi-Fi range.
We hope these hacks make your Netflix viewing easier and more fun.
Netflix is a great way to stream shows and movies, especially when you’re doing so in the most efficient way possible. Good luck with using these Netflix hacks to make streaming quicker, smoother, and more enjoyable!