How to use Netflix to its full potential?

Ruth C. | April 24, 2020

Netflix is not a difficult beast to tame. Harnessing its true power means your binge-watching experience can become even more seamless. For one, creating personalized accounts for each viewer will allow users to receive more tailored recommendations. After all, Netflix has many surprises up its sleeve, and they include more than original shows and movies. The interface and navigation on this platform are one of the best in the industry. And you should know how to use Netflix to its full potential by taking advantage of all the little tweaks.

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Netflix’s growth spurt during the pandemic

With millions of people in self-quarantine due to COVID-19, Netflix is one of the few companies that thrive under the stay-at-home regime. During the first three months of 2020, Netflix broke records by getting more than 16 million subscribers. The new clients learn how to use Netflix and become proud members of this extensive network.

The pandemic also brought the Netflix Party extension to the spotlight, allowing people to watch shows together remotely. The extension syncs the movies or shows for all viewers, and you can select who has the privilege to play, pause, or rewind the video content. The setup process is beginner-friendly, meaning anyone can quickly master how to use Netflix Party and unite friends for a remote movie night.

How to use Netflix: tips and tricks to make streaming more pleasant

The first step of this Netflix user guide is to make sure that you have a device compatible with this service. It works on a myriad of devices, including smart TVs, smartphones, streaming media players, etc.

Once you are ready to commit, visit the official Netflix website and pick the plan you prefer:

After finishing the setup, you are ready to use the service. But how to get Netflix?

Simply install the app on your preferred device (Google Play, Apple Store, or Microsoft Store). You can find the Netflix app on your smart TV by accessing available apps or use it through the official Netflix website.

Another convenient feature is to learn how to connect Netflix to the TV from phone devices.

The standard trick is to open the Netflix app on your smartphone and find the Cast icon. Then, you can select the closeby TV to stream your content.

It is as simple as that! This small tip works wonders when the smartphone screen does not render video content with the expected quality.

A separate account for each viewer

Netflix learns more about your preferences with each title you watch. After some time, it will even start sending you push notifications of new shows you might like. However, your Netflix homepage should be a fortress untainted by other viewers.

Imagine hating the supernatural and Sci-Fi genre, and your family member loves it. If you both use the same account, your preferences will get cluttered.

Luckily, you can have up to five individual Netflix profiles, giving each family member a chance to create their streaming oasis. No need to worry about sitcoms or scary movies filling your homepage unless you decide it should.

Lastly, make it fun! All profiles can have a unique picture and a name. Get creative and adjust other settings as well.

Play Something

Sometimes you scroll your Netflix homepage for hours before finding a title. Would you like a third party to decide for you? The Play Something feature does precisely that.

After you click on the two intertwining arrows, Netflix will play a show or movie randomly. It will consider your previous activity to make the recommendation. Thus, you essentially spin a wheel and wait for it to land on a title. When you feel desperate to watch something, Play Something can undoubtedly help you end all debates in your family.

Continue Watching

Netflix ensures that you never forget the shows you have started watching. Your Continue Watching section contains all the titles you might like to resume.

However, the list might contain films or series that have gravely disappointed you. In other cases, you might have tuned in to see a guilty-pleasure reality show that did not work for you. You can get rid of these entries anytime you want. Thus, you can keep the Continue Watching section exclusively for the titles you wish to return to.

Turn off autoplay

Loud previews autoplaying whenever you open Netflix can startle you. Luckily, you can disable them to prevent videos from playing by default. Navigate to your Account page and uncheck “Autoplay preview while browsing on all devices.” You can also disable episodes from running automatically.

Audio and captions

Netflix proudly creates content in German, Spanish, Brazilian, and many other languages. You are welcome to enable subtitles for such shows. However, reading text might distract you from the action-packed narrative. Luckily, many Netflix shows have dubbed versions.

It might not sound as authentic, but the quality will impress you. Sometimes, you won’t be able to tell that you are not watching the original soundtrack.

Maintaining a stable connection

Buffering is an annoying inconvenience that all Netflix users have encountered. You watch an intense scene, and suddenly, everything goes dark. All you see is the loading icon, quietly mocking you. Many factors might cause this, but here are some tips on avoiding lags and sudden quality drops.

  • Use Ethernet cables whenever possible. Wi-Fi is susceptible to many interruptions. Thus, your best bet is to use a wired connection for your TV and PC. However, this might not always be possible.
  • Wi-Fi extenders. Say your TV is far away from your router. This distance plays a part in the connectivity you get. Extenders are an easy way to fix internet issues in more remote areas of your house.
  • Stop ISP throttling. Your Internet Service Provider can, at times, slow down your internet connection. It might happen when the provider detects bandwidth-heavy activities. Sadly, Netflix streaming is an activity of this caliber. Atlas VPN is a tool you can use to confuse your ISP. After all, Atlas encrypts your internet traffic, preventing ISPs from seeing what you do online. Thus, they won’t know when to throttle connections.
  • Check the quality you have selected. Does video content never load in HD? It could be that it has nothing to do with internet issues. Each Netflix profile has an “HD Toggle,” allowing you to choose what quality you prefer. You can pick from Auto, Low, Medium, or High.

Secret codes

Netflix can get highly specific when it comes to classifying its shows. There are many sub-genres that you might not encounter on your homepage. For instance, did you know that there is a category of shows called Sword & Sandal?

Netflix assigns a specific code to each of these categories. You can access the Sword & Sandal sub-genre via the 108263 number. So, the link you open should look like this:

  • netflix.com/browse/genre/108263

Shortcuts

If you watch Netflix on your TV, shortcuts won’t do you much good. However, if you watch them on your computer, they can simplify certain functions.

  • Open Full-Screen mode by pressing F on your keyboard. Press Esc to exit it.
  • Play or Pause the video by pressing the SpaceBar or Enter on PC, and Return on Mac.
  • Mute the audio after clicking the M key.
  • Rewind 10 seconds by pressing the left arrow key.
  • Fast forward 10 seconds by clicking the right arrow key.
  • Last but not least, skip those annoying intros by pressing S.

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