19 of the best Netflix tips and tricks

Become a next-level Netflixer with our streaming masterplan...

Like The Simpsons and deep-fried Mars bars, Netflix has hidden depths lurking beneath its simple exterior.

We don't blame you for missing them - after all, it's so easy to just fire up another episode of Archer (they're only twenty minutes long, after all).

But with a little tinkering with settings and third party software, you can personalise your binge-watching experience in ways that don't initially seem possible.

From manually ordering your 'My List' to delving into Netflix's hidden menus and sub-genres, we've rounded our favourite ways to get the most out of our favourite telly streamer.

Let's get started, (you'll be back to watching Luke Cage in no time, promise)...

The Basics

1) Rate everything

We’ll happily admit that we’re pretty lazy when it comes to leaving reviews and rating services. But in Netflix’s case, it really is worth spending an extra second to rate things you’ve watched.

For starters, Netflix’s algorithms use both your viewing history and ratings to serve up suitable suggestions. And unlike most rating systems, which show off averages taken from all users, Netflix shows off the ratings based on viewers with similar tastes to you.

This means that while Adam Sandler’s latest movie might show up as only one or two stars for you, it’ll show up as five stars for your mate Akshay, whose idea of a cinematic masterpiece is Air Bud 3.

Got a bit behind on your star ratings? Do it all in one go by going to Netflix in a web browser and heading to Profile, then 'Viewing History'.

2) Play with profiles

Your little niece might adore Peppa Pig's deep plot lines, but you don’t want it skewing your recommendations away from Jason Statham and John Woo films.

Having separate profiles for your kids, mum, cat and goldfish Gary means that none of their muck will get mixed in with yours, and ensure your recommendations keep running smoothly.

If you're lucky enough to be the only one using the account, you can also use profiles to personalise Netflix's interface and boost your couch potato efficiency - for example, having one profile for 'TV shows' and another for 'Movies'. Just make sure you use ratings to help Netflix cotton onto your plan.

3) Manual mode

Think you know better than Netflix’s algorithms? Luckily, there is a way to manually rearrange the handy ‘My List’ section, which is ordered automatically by default, and create a personal Netflix playlist.

Head on over to this link and select to order your list manually. Once that’s done, go here, and drag around to rearrange to your heart’s content.

Any edits you make will sync across all devices, such as the PS4 app, and once it's in manual mode this list will let you add notes to TV shows and tells you which are due to expire soon. 

Find your match

4) Extend yourself

If you’re anything like us, you’ll spend more time flicking through endless pages of things to watch than actually watching anything.

That's why it's worth building your Netflix watchlist in Chrome, where you can use browser extensions to pull in extra info. The FindFlix extension handily lets you search Netflix's many hidden sub-genres, like Asian action movies, alien sci-fi and werewolf horror movies. If you’d rather not use an extension to do this, you can pop on over to Netflixcodes.me instead.

Combine either of these with the powerful FlixPlus extension, which, among other things, pulls in reviews from Rotten Tomatoes, and you’ll be the most efficient binge-watching machine since the Binge Watcher model IV 3000.

Install FindFlix for Chrome

Install FlixPlus for Chrome

 

5) Ask a bot

While AI bots (thankfully) remain a fair way away from infiltrating your toaster and burning you in your sleep, they’re still pretty clever.

Take Facebook Messenger's AndChill bot. It’ll fire over some surprisingly good movie recommendations based on things you tell it you like, along with some trailers so you can get a feel for its choices. 

 

6) Shuffle mode

If you’re feeling particularly flustered after a hard day’s graft and want to choose something with minimal effort, Netflix Roulette will recommend something completely at random.

Well, not completely random, otherwise you might end up watching Avalanche Sharks. Choose filters like actor, genre and star rating, but make sure a strict 'no re-spin' policy is enforced.

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