Netflix may be your default streaming service for those times when you just want something on in the background, but you can use Netflix for so much more than that. For movie buffs, Netflix has tons of hidden codes and third-party tools that you can use to enhance your experience.
If you’re tired of Netflix and chill and want to see what the streaming service can do when used to its fullest, try these hacks and cheats to enhance your next Netflix binge.
Take advantage of Netflix codes
By default, Netflix organizes its content into separate genres, but those genres sometimes overlap or are just too broad to be useful. The good news is that Netflix has a huge number of codes that are not openly advertised. Just type any of them into your browser to see many more genre listings.
There are many category codes and they range from broad categories like “Westerns” to very specific ones like “20thousand Works of the period of the century, based on real life.” There are hundreds of these categories, but not all of them contain content. You can find the full searchable list here.
To enter a code, enter it Netflix.com/browse/genre/ and then find the code you want to use. Enter this code after the final / and press Enter. For example, if you want to find comedies of the absurd, you should enter netflix.com/browse/genre/77213.
Unfortunately, Netflix category codes will not work through the Netflix app. This is a browser-only hack.
Use the correct browser
Many people use their standard browsers to watch Netflix, but that may not be the best option — if you want to watch in the highest quality, anyway. Chrome and Firefox (and Opera if you use it) only stream at a maximum resolution of 720p.
On the other hand, Safari, Internet Explorer and Edge stream at a maximum resolution of 1080p. Ironically, the web browsers with the most Netflix-related add-ons cannot stream anything above standard definition. Your viewing experience may also be reduced if your Wi-Fi is not strong enough. Netflix requires at least 5 Mbps for the best quality.
Customize your offers
One of the reasons why Netflix is such a great streaming service is that it learns your preferences based on your viewing history and suggests relevant content that you might like. How many times have you found a new series because of this? On the other hand, if you’re just browsing a show or find something you don’t like, you don’t want Netflix to consider those searches as part of your history.
You can clear your continue browsing queue and delete items from your browsing history. Go to Account > my Profiles and select your profile from the list. Scroll down and click Browsing history to see a complete list of the content you’ve viewed.
To remove something, simply select the Hide symbol to the right of the episode or movie title to remove it from your story. Netflix will then automatically adjust your viewing suggestions without taking this content into account.
Improve your subtitles
Just as Netflix hides the ability to customize suggestions in a sub-menu, it does the same with subtitles. The default subtitle view isn’t the only option. If you like to leave subtitles on or enjoy foreign movies, making the subtitles a little easier on the eyes is a great way to enjoy Netflix more.
Go to Account > My profiles and select your profile, then select Appearance of subtitles. You can choose everything from the font and color of the subtitles, the size of the text and whether you want to add a shadow to the text, to whether you want the subtitles to be displayed in the window or not.
After completing subtitle settings, select save
Get rid of the “Are you still watching?”
Like most people, you’ve probably said something like, “Netflix, let’s just say I’m always watching.” “Are you still watching?” prompt exists as a power saving tool, but there is no way to disable it by default.
The Never Ending Netflix Chrome extension disables the prompt. Additionally, it also allows you to skip title sequences and search Netflix by genre. Perhaps its best feature is that it prevents Netflix from automatically playing previews on the home page, a feature that desperately needs to be part of the core lineup.
Stay up to date with the latest features
Netflix is constantly releasing new features, tweaks, and other tools to improve the platform, but most people don’t become aware of these features until after major updates. If you want to stay up to date with Netflix and participate in the first tests of the platform’s features, sign up to become a tester.
You can do this directly from your account screen. Go to Account > Participation in testing and make sure the switch is set to Enabled. That’s all you need to do. As new features become available, they’ll automatically be available for you to try out.
Learn keyboard shortcuts
You don’t have to rely on your mouse with Netflix. If you learn the basic keyboard shortcuts for the platform, you can control your browsing with just a few clicks. You can find the full list of supported commands here.
The most common keyboard shortcuts you will use include: Gap to play and pause content, F to switch to full screen mode, and WITH to skip the intro.
Netflix puts thousands of hours of content at your fingertips. With summer just around the corner, set aside a day or two to explore all that the platform has to offer and don’t be afraid to explore content outside of the norm. By using category codes, you can find a whole new genre that you like.