Hot Netflix Hacks You Might Not Have Heard Of

Netflix is good - but you can make it even better (Shutterstock)

Come rain or shine, few things beat a chilled-out Netflix sofa session after a long day’s slog in the office.

But what many of you may not know is that there are many tips and tricks out there to make your next binge even better. Planning a big night in tonight? Why not test one of these bad boys out?

Use keyboard shortcuts

Sometimes Netflix takes us to the depths of our laziness, and that’s just fine. If you want to pause or play your movie quickly and easily from a laptop with faffing around looking for the button, simply press the Spacebar to pause and the Enter key to play. Press F for full-screen viewing, Hold Shift or Left Arrow to rewind and Shift or Right Arrow to fast forward. The Up and Down Arrows change the volume accordingly and M turns mute on or off.

Rid your account of other people’s dodgy tastes

If a friend or family member has been using your account then chances are you’re getting recommendations that do not match your (far superior, naturally) taste.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Hover over your name in the top right corner of your profile and select ‘Your Account’ from the menu.
  2. Scroll down to ‘My Profile’ and select ‘Viewing Activity’.
  3. Click the ‘X’ next to anything you want to delete, clicking ‘Remove Series’ where possible to speed things up.
  4. Ratings can cause issues too, so select ‘Rating’ on your ‘My Activity’ page and do the same thing there.
  5. Give it 24 hours and ta da, all traces of dodgy tastes are gone!
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Stop the annoying buffering

Buffering stresses us right out. Open a secret settings menu by clicking on any video while pressing Shift+Alt, or Shift+Option+Click on Macs. Under ‘Stream Manager’ you can then adjust the bandwidth usage setting manually, rather than waiting on Netflix to automatically do so as you’re streaming and often failing.

Change the appearance of subtitles

If you want to watch the Scandi version of The Bridge or that Danish crime thriller that looks just your thing, but can’t stand the garish yellow, hard-to-read subtitles Netflix automatically provides, change them. Go to ‘Your Account’, then ‘Your Profile’, and select ‘Subtitle Appearance’. Change the colour, font and size until you’re happy.

Unlock secret categories

There are over 76,000 categories of movies and TV shows available on Netflix, each identified with a number. To change the genre category, you simply need to change the number at the end of the URL.

The link below brings up all the Disney films on Netflix (feel free to do a happy dance) because 67673 is the Disney category’s special code:

For a full list of numbers, click here, or try the popular Crime Documentaries (9875), Biographical Documentaries (3652), Tearjerkers (6384) or Showbiz Dramas (5012) categories by inputting the numbers in brackets into the URL.

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Consider some out of hours sessions

The time of day has a huge effect on the quality of streaming, as you may have suspected. Prime time is 9pm, meaning the system is clogged and it gets much harder to stream in high-definition. Next time you find yourself awake at 2am, you know what to do.