Even Netflix's most prolific users seem to have gripes with the app, but there are some customizable settings that might help them enjoy the streaming experience more. Netflix does its best to pull viewers in and guide their experience, but it still leaves some control in your hands. Some of these settings are harder to find than others, however.
Netflix has set the standard for the streaming industry in many ways, and some of its most contentious features are being picked up by other apps. That includes autoplay, recommendations and individual profiles. However, at the end of the day these streamers are still computer programs that can be manipulated from the user's end to suit their needs. Here are some of the things you may not have realized you could do on Netflix to perfect your streaming experience.
Turn Off Autoplay for Previews
Many users dislike the way Netflix autoplays previews if you simply hover over a title. This feature can actually be turned off. To do so, you need to tap the account icon and select "Account." Under the heading "Profile & Parental Controls," select your user profile and tap the downward-pointing arrow to the right of your picture. You should see a section reading "Playback settings" – click the link that says "change" beside it.
Here, you should see six checkboxes allowing you to customize your viewing experience, including one that says "Autoplay previews while browsing on all devices." Uncheck that box if you want to scroll in silence. Here, you can also enact the next tip described below.prevnext
Turn Off Autoplay for Next Episode
From the same menu described above, you can uncheck the box reading "Autoplay next episode in a series on all devices." This will prevent TV shows from autoplaying the next episode if you're not in a binge-watching mood.
Once again, to get to this menu you'll need to click the account icon in the upper righthand side of the Netflix homepage, then scroll down and select "Account." From there, find your own profile under "Profile & Parental Controls," then click the arrow beside your profile icon. Scroll down to the item reading "playback settings" and click the link to the right of it which reads "change." You can make several changes to your viewing experience from there.prevnext
Edit Watch History
Netflix keeps careful track of your viewing history to make recommendations to you and to influence the company's renewal decisions on TV shows and movies. However, you may not want to face your own viewing history all the time – or you may not want other users on your account to see it. Fortunately, you can remove embarrassing titles from your history from the Account page.
Click your profile icon in the upper-righthand corner of the Netflix homepage and select "Account" once again. Find your user icon and tap the downward-facing arrow beside it. In the options that appear there, one should read "Viewing activity." Tap that one. It will show you your own history in detail, but each title should have a circle with a diagonal line through it on the right-most column. Click this icon to remove a title from your history.prevnext
Secure Your Profile
Just because you share your Netflix account with other users doesn't mean you need to give them access to your profile. You can secure your little slice of Netflix with a personal identification number (PIN) from your Account settings. Again, click your profile icon, select "Account," and click the dropdown menu beside your own account.
This time, select "Profile Lock" from the options available. Click "Change" to add a PIN to your profile. You will be able to create a code so that no one else will be able to get into your profile, preserving your queue at last.prevnext
Download Content on Mobile Devices
Users who watch Netflix on the go absolutely must look into content downloads. Not only does this allow for offline viewing, it allows you to watch movies and TV shows without eating into your data. If you find yourself in a place with free public Wi-Fi, you can take full advantage by downloading some titles to watch later without impacting your own data charges. This feature can also use less battery on smartphones, tablets and laptops as well.
You'll need to open the Netflix app on your mobile device and find the "Download" button. This will not be available on a browser, so laptop users will need to install Netflix's app for MacOS or Microsoft. With that, titles that allow downloads should simply display a "download" button alongside the other options.
Netflix even has a feature called "Smart Downloads" which prompts the streamer to download upcoming episodes of shows you're watching whenever possible. This prevents clutter and saves space on your device, without forcing you to manage the process yourself. You can toggle that on under the "App Settings" menu.prevnext
Limit Mobile Date Usage
Whether you're downloading titles ahead of time or streaming them, you can still save on data by customizing your mobile settings. First, tap on your profile icon and go to the App Settings menu again. This time, select the "Cellular Data Usage" menu, then select "Video Playback." Here, you can specify that Netflix should only download content or stream content while you are connected to a Wi-Fi network. This will prevent unexpected upcharges when your cell phone bill arrives.
From this same menu, you can also choose "Save Data," which is a more moderate option. This will ensure that Netflix favors lower video quality while you're away from Wi-Fi, which can still save a lot of money in the long run.prevnext
Finally, those who use Netflix on a laptop or computer frequently may want to familiarize themselves with keyboard shortcuts to control video playback. First, you can tap the spacebar or "Enter" key to pause and play your content at any time. You can also tap the left or right arrow keys to rewind or fast forward in 10-second intervals. Holding those directional keys will allow you to skip several intervals at once.0comments
The up and down directional keys control volume from the Netflix video player, but not from our device itself. The "M" key will instantly mute your content, and tapping it again will unmute. The "F" key toggles full-screen mode in the same manner. Finally, tapping the "S" key automatically skips the intro of a TV show if applicable.
Netflix is constantly changing, so be sure to test out features like these for yourself to see if they're still applicable on your devices and in your area. The streamer has more changes planned in the months to come.prev