After a long day of making decisions at work, some nights it can feel overwhelming to sit down to watch a show or movie before bed. Even when you choose Netflix for your late night streaming service, it can be difficult to find something to watch given Netflix’s Giant Library. Here are some tips for getting the most out of the service, from finding a show to watch tonight to downloading a movie to take with you tomorrow.
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Get help finding something to watch
My least favorite thing about settling in for a night of Netflix is choosing what to watch. I quickly get lost in Netflix’s endless grid of thumbnails and am transfixed by choice. Sure, there’s the Surprise Me option to have Netflix choose something for you, but I’m too picky to give full control to the algorithm. There are plenty of sites trying to make sense of Netflix’s vast catalog of shows and movies, but two of my favorites are Flixable and JustWatch. Each site shows you what’s new and popular on Netflix with helpful filters that let you drill down to find something to watch. You can also try CNET’s Netpicks to find what to watch.
Unlock hidden gender categories
Netflix showcases a handful of genres, from comedies and dramas to realism and romance, but there are hundreds more lurking beneath the surface. You can manually search for the code for each subgenre or use a Chrome extension to access them. Here it is how to access hidden genre categories on netflix.
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Eliminate embarrassing binge eating
Your embarrassing drunkenness doesn’t have to stay. You can delete your moments of weakness and nostalgia from your watch history to eliminate any possibility of embarrassment in the future. And by doing so, you’ll improve Netflix’s recommendations, since you won’t be using your recent Too Hot to Handle binge as a guide for future suggestions. On a laptop, go to your Bill page, expand the options for your profile under the Profile and parental controls section and then click on the small View link to the right of See activity. For anything you want to hide from your history, just click the circle with a bar through it on the right.
Keyboard shortcuts for notebook readers
If your laptop is your Netflix login screen, here are some helpful keyboard shortcuts you need to know:
- space bar either get into: Toggles between pause and play.
- tap on the Correct either left arrow key: Jump forward or backward 10 seconds.
- Hold Correct either left arrow key: Fast-forward and rewind in 10-second intervals.
- Up Y down arrow key: increase and decrease the volume.
- M key: Mute and unmute the sound.
- f key: Turn full screen on and off.
- s key: Skip the introduction of TV programs.
Stop the next episode from autoplaying
Once you start, it can be hard to stop. If you find that your Netflix binge eating habits are getting out of control because Netflix starts the next episode of a show right after the end of your current episode, you can stop it. go to your Bill page, click the account you want to change settings for, and then click Playback Settings to open a new page. At the top of the new page, uncheck the box next to Autoplay the next episode of a series on all devices and click Save money. You can turn off autoplay for each profile, which means you can continue your binge-watching ways but turn it off for your kids’ account.
Prevent previews from playing automatically
Tired of opening Netflix and getting a preview of a movie or show you’re not interested in watching? In the same Bill page like the tip above, click the account you want to change the settings for, and then click Playback Settings and then uncheck the box next to Autoplay previews while browsing on all devices and click Save money. Not only will previews stop when you first open Netflix, but now moving your mouse over a show won’t cause a preview to play either.
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Download programs to go
Netflix allows you to download shows so you can watch them on the go. I urge you to download Netflix shows as part of your packing routine for any family car trip that lasts more than three hours. You can download Netflix shows and movies on any device that supports the Netflix app: iPads and iPhones, Android phones and tablets, Fire tablets, Windows devices, and Chromebooks. The biggest omission is Macs, as there is no Netflix app for MacOS.
To download a show or movie, just click or tap the Download button next to a list. Please note that not all Netflix shows or movies are available for download. All your downloaded shows and movies are conveniently listed under the Download tab in the app.
And to prevent your child from racking up data charges in the backseat of the family van while you’re driving down the road, you can block them from downloading content while you’re on cellular service. In the app, go to Application Settings your account page and make sure wifi only It is activated. While you’re here, you might also want to make sure that smart downloads is enabled. Download the next episode of a show you’re watching and delete previously downloaded episodes after watching.
One last thing: there is a limit to the number of devices you can store downloads on. One device for the Basic plan; two for Standard; four for Premium. You can manage your devices by going to your account page and clicking Manage Download Devices. Here, you can remove a device (erasing all of its downloads) so that you can download content to another device.
Do you want recommendations on what to see? Take a look at our picks for the Best Movies, TV shows either documentaries to watch on Netflix.