With well over 100 million subscribers worldwide and over 50 million in the U.S. alone, it’s safe to declare Netflix the MVP of the streaming video world. Yet anyone who has used Netflix for even a few days can tell you that there are a lot of frustrating aspects to the service. Sometimes it can be downright difficult to browse new content. The parental controls can be hard to locate. And then there are the often lousy recommendations Netflix gives all of us. All told, Netflix may have some of the best content but it can still cause headaches for the average user.
Now, however, we have some solutions. Through extensive research, we’ve compiled a complete guide to useful hacks, tips, and tricks for getting the most out of your Netflix subscription.
1. Use Hidden Netflix Codes to Unlock More Genres
Netflix has far more categories than it advertises. For almost every broad category available on Netflix, there are multiple subcategories that make finding content easier. The only problem? You’ll need the code for it.
Click here to check out our ultimate guide to hidden Netflix codes.
Note that Netflix codes will only work in the web browser version. To use hidden codes, you’ll need an address like this one (www.netflix.com/browse/genre/XXXXX) with the “XXXXX” replaced with a specific code. For example, the code for Anime Drama is “10695, making the web address you’d use “https://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/10695”. You will also need to be logged into your account in order to use the codes correctly.
Don’t like doing the searching manually? Try one of the following Chrome browser plugins that will search the hidden library for you:
2. FindFlix: Netflix Secret Category Finder
A quick and easy hidden codes search plugin. Type in a genre and you’ll get a long list of subgenres. Clicking the subgenre link will load up the appropriate Netflix genre page.
3. Netflix Categories
Similar to FindFlix, but lets you browse the entire subcategory menu without having to type in the category name first.
4. Better Browse for Netflix
This Chrome plugin will add a new dropdown menu to the main menu on your Netflix home screen.
5. Give Ratings to Get Better Suggestions
After watching a movie or TV show on Netflix, have you given it a thumbs up or thumbs down? If not, you’re likely getting a lot of recommendations that seem a bit off-the-wall. According to Netflix, there are three things that go into providing recommendations for you:
- The genres of TV shows and movies available.
- Your streaming history, and previous ratings you’ve made.
- The combined ratings of all Netflix members who have similar tastes to you.
We suggest taking a moment to go through your Netflix watch history and leaving ratings for the TV shows and movies you’ve seen. To access your watch history, go to www.netflix.com/MoviesYouveSeen. This will take you to an abbreviated Netflix browsing history You’ll need to click on the title name, go to its individual page on the site and then give it the thumbs up or down.
Want to get more out of the Netflix rating system? Try one of the following Chrome browser plugins to enhance the rating experience:
6. Film Scores for Netflix
This Chrome plugin will let you see a larger list of TV show and movie ratings, right inside Netflix on your web browser. The extension shows ratings from IMDb, Metacritic, Nflix.pl, and Filmweb.pl.
7. IMDb Ratings for Netflix
This simple extension does more than add in IMDb ratings. If you hover over the rating, you’ll get the full movie or TV show synopsis directly from IMDb.
This Chrome extension adds IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes ratings to movies and TV shows, where available.
Use a third-party site to browse Netflix
Sometimes you’ll need to go outside of Netflix in order to effectively search its library of content. And if you’re looking for titles unavailable in your region, your best best to find them is using one of these websites.
The unofficial Netflix online Global Search is one of the best third-party Netflix browsing sites available. The reason why we recommend this site is because it allows you find content available in 20 of the largest Netflix regions, including the U.S., U.K., Canada, Japan, and Germany. uNoGS lets you search using over half a dozen criteria, including by what titles have been added in the past 24 hours.
JustWatch.com allows for a similar level of searching available through uNoGS.com. You can also choose to search the content library for a larger number of countries. The key benefit to JustWatch, however, is that you can use it to help fill the gap in your Netflix viewing. If you find Netflix doesn’t have a TV show or movie you’re looking for, JustWatch will let you know which streaming service has it. Even better, you can launch individual series’ pages right from the JustWatch’s website.
Reelgood.com is similar to JustWatch, with a few added benefits. For example, instead of just launching a series page on Netflix, you can launch individual episode pages. You can also add shows and all of Netflix to your watchlist to more quickly learn when there’s new content available. And unlike Netflix, Reelgood has social plugins that you let you share what you’re watching with your friends.
How to Enhance Your Netflix Viewing Experience
Netflix is wonderful for providing high-definition content options. However, a handful of third-party tools can offer video streaming enhancements that you might not realize you needed.
12. Flix Plus by Lifehacker
Flix Plus is one of the most comprehensive and well-put-together Netflix tools. Added to your Chrome browser as an extension, Flix Plus will let you take care of the most common complaints regarding Netflix. That includes adding in ratings from third-party sites, hide spoilers (video and text-based), stops the credits screen shrinking, and more. In all, there are over a dozen features included with this tool that makes using Netflix a far more friendly experience.
13. Super Netflix
This Chrome extension combines a lot of features available in individual plugins into one. Using Super Netflix, you can force Netflix to only play at the highest bitrates for better streaming quality, turn on subtitles from external sources, change the video to black and white, blur out scenes, and add in a 10-second fast-forward or rewind option.
14. Magic Actions for Netflix
This Chrome plugin is equivalent to Super Netflix, but with a few different features. Unlike Super Netflix, you can use Magic Actions to get TV and movie ratings from Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb. You can also use Magic Actions to change the brightness of your Netflix videos, and to browse the hidden categories.
15. Floating Browser
Tired of having to choose between streaming Netflix and browsing Netflix? The Floating Player Chrome extension quickly opens up a small, floating Netflix window, freeing you up to browse the web while watching Netflix.
16. Netflix Party
Netflix is notoriously stingy with how many simultaneous devices it allows. While you can’t simply add in more users without paying more money to Netflix, you can at least use a the Netflix Party tool to watch together with your friends. The Netflix Party Chrome plugin to create a shared screen that synchronizes your video playback with your friends’ Netflix accounts. The plugin creates a link to share with friends and family and opens up a screen share of your browser on your Netflix tab. From there, you can watch together and even use an included chat option in the window.
17. Reelgood.com Netflix Roulette
If you really can’t decide what to watch, a few sites or services will help pick for you. Most don’t work, however, leaving just Reelgood.com as the best option for randomly launching Netflix videos.
Among its many features, Reelgood includes a Netflix Roulette feature. You can add in a few parameters to get a movie fitting some minimal criteria, or just let it search all of Netflix. Either way, you can launch the title directly from Reelgood.com
Control Your Video Playback and Video Settings
Netflix doesn’t offer any controls over how your video quality looks. The following Chrome plugins can help you adjust different video settings.
18. Video Adjust for Netflix
This Chrome browser plugin will let you adjust brightness, saturation, and contrast on all of your Netflix streams.
19. Ultrawide Display Aspect Ratio for Netflix
Netflix only includes minimal aspect ratio settings. With this Chrome plugin, you can change your aspect ratio to get some additional options out of your browser viewing experience.
20. Skipflix: Auto Skip Netflix Intro
What’s annoying on Netflix? Having to watch TV show intros every single time. Skipflix automatically skips right past the credits for you.
21. Netflix Flip
First world problem: trying to watch Netflix on your laptop. Netflix Flip solves the screen rotation problem for you. Just install the plugin, play your video, then click the flip button until you get the angle just right.
Hack Your Subtitles
Netflix has one of the most comprehensive subtitle systems of any online video service. Still, sometimes the subtitles can be annoying or extremely limited. Here are a few functional options to hack your subtitles.
22. Unsubtitle for Netflix
Want to watch foreign films and TV shows without subtitles? Unsubtitle for Netflix will remove the forced subtitles found on some Netflix titles.
23. SUFLI – Netflix subtitles translator
Want to use the subtitles to learn new languages? The SUFLI Chrome extension will let you interact with the subtitles on a TV show or movie and bring up a translation for your chosen language. Thankfully, this extension will pause your video while it brings up the translation, making sure you don’t miss anything.
24. DubFellows: Subtitles & Audio for Netflix
Looking for additional subtitle languages not available? Try DubFellows. This plugin sources additional plugins from independent parties and displays them for a selection of popular TV and movie shows available on Netflix.
Control Your Video Playlist
Netflix has a watchlist available, but sometimes you may want to have more control. The following tools will add more options to your video playlist.
25. Netflix Continue Watching
One major annoyance with Netflix is the “Continue Watching” section. For some reason, Netflix often places this section lower on the screen instead of at the top of the page. The Netflix Continue Watching Chrome extension will move that section right up to the top for you.
26. The Anti-Netflix
Having trouble controlling your (or someone else’s) Netflix habit? The Anti-Netflix extension will automatically turn off Netflix after a preset amount of time. After the time is up, you’ll be greeted with an image from South Park letting you know that it’s time to get back to whatever else you should have been doing.
Tips for Parents
Netflix has a large amount of quality content for families, but as a parent, you may want to keep young eyes far away from the likes of House of Cards. Here are a few quick tips to ensure you make Netflix as safe environment for your kids.
27. Set parental controls from your web browser
Netflix only lets you adjust your profile settings from your web browser. To do so, you’ll need to go to your account settings, and then turn on to the parental controls. From there, you can adjust what TV and movie ratings you want to show up on your account or on specific profiles.
28. Quickly check ratings before watching a movie or TV show.
Did you know that Netflix incorporates ratings from Common Sense Media? To find the ratings in your web browser, hover over a show’s tile then click the down arrow. Then, click on “details”. If a TV show or movie has a Common Sense Media rating, you’ll see it in the right corner (you may have to hit the right arrow to scroll to the side). Otherwise, you’ll at least can find the TV or movie maturity rating there.
Just For Fun: Additional Tools for an Enhanced Netflix Experience
Not every Netflix hack needs to be a practical tool. If you just want to have a little fun with Netflix, the following tools will add a bit of flavor for the Netflix super fans out there.
29. Netflix Fan Club Tab
Looking for some high definition Netflix photos? Want Netflix photos as your browser background? The Netflix Fan Club Tab makes your Chrome browser tabs into a Netflix-themed browsing experience.
30. Random Office Netflix Episode
Who doesn’t like the office? Now you can watch a random episode from Netflix, whenever you want. Just install the Random Office Netflix Episode extension to Chrome and you’re all set. You can click on the button and boom, all the Michael Scott you could ever want.
31. Plot Guru
Our only suggested tool just for mobile devices (iOS only!), Plot Guru makes watching Netflix more interactive by adding trivia questions. There’s also a competitive element to Plot Guru, as you can connect with friends and see who scores the highest points. Combine this one with Netflix Party to create a real party out of Netflix watching.
Have more tips, tricks, tools, or hack that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments below!
Sam Cook is a full-time content strategist by day, a part-time freelance content writer since 2015. In another life, he was a high school English teacher for nearly a decade. Based in sunny New Orleans, he writes long-form educational content on technology, including Insurtech, Fintech, HRtech, and content streaming. He loves whittling down complex ideas within these areas that make decisions easier for buyers. When he’s not reading books with his son Miles and playing video games with the family, you can find him immersed in his growing collection of Euro-style board games.