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8 Netflix Hacks To Get The Most Out Of Your Subscription

Regina King in The Harder They Fall
(Image credit: Netflix)

At one point or another, anyone with a Netflix subscription has found themselves in the situation - or one very like it - where they want to watch a movie but can't seem to find exactly what they're looking for thanks to the thousands of titles hidden behind arbitrary categories in a user interface that is more like a labyrinth than anything. There has to be a better way to navigate the streaming service and find the next Netflix show to binge. Surely there are some tips and tricks to cut down on searching so you can watch more of the best movies on Netflix.

Well, I've got some good news for you. There are so many options, so many workarounds, and so many time-saving methods you can utilize to get the most out of your Netflix account. From everything including using those "secret" genre codes, making the most of the browser mode, and turning off those oh so annoying autoplay trailers, the possibilities are endless.

Jason Bateman in Ozark

(Image credit: Netflix)

Use The Browser Version For A Better Way To Find Titles

I know, you would think it's easier to use the Netflix app on your Roku, Apple TV, smart tv, or video game console, but the browser version, aka the original streaming method, is the way to go when it comes to browsing for content. The reasons to go this route are just about endless and just about all of them will make your streaming life much easier to navigate and enjoy.

For starters, the browser version of Netflix has more options that are easier to maneuver than, say, the cumbersome Roku version that I use in my bedroom and living room. One thing I like to do is search for the best true crime documentaries on my browser, add them to "My List," and then enjoy them on my other devices later on. Being able to actually read the descriptions of the different titles without jumping from my couch to get closer to my television is pretty nice, If I'm being honest.

Another reason the browser mode is so great is the inclusion of the "New & Popular" tab at the top of the screen that shows you what’s trending, the latest additions, and titles that will soon be released. All you have to do is click on the “Remind Me” prompt and they’ll be added to your list upon release.

Stranger Things cast

(Image credit: Netflix)

Use The Netflix Genre Codes For Better Results

Have you ever spent close to an hour searching through the lengthy list of genres, categories, and other lists on Netflix that seem like they were created by an evil robot obsessed with finding the most arbitrary and senseless ways of sorting movies? Don't worry, we all have. But there's a way to get around this: genre codes.

There are literally hundreds of unique codes that will take users to a menu that shows every movie associated with that genre. For example, there are codes for genres like “adventures,” “biographical dramas,” “dramas based on books,” and so much more.

If you would like to check out even more of these hidden genre codes, TechRadar has a fairly comprehensive breakdown of a lot of the better options.

Dan in front of video with Melody and Anabelle on Archive 81

(Image credit: Netflix)

Base Your Netflix Subscription Around Your Viewing Habits

When it comes to streaming plans, Netflix has a number of different options, meaning there is an option for just about every budget. If you are someone who likes to watch their favorite movies, shows, and David Attenborough nature specials in the highest quality possible, a premium 4K plan will be your best bet. This plan also gives you the ability to watch on four different devices at the same time, which should prevent some awkward conversations.

But if you don’t care about the quality of your stream and just want to watch on one screen at a time, the basic plan will hold you over. There is also the standard plan which offers full HD streaming and the ability to watch on two devices at the same time.

Jesse Plemons and Kirsten Dunst in The Power of the Dog

(Image credit: Netflix)

Why It's Worth Having Separate Profiles Among Family Members

Anyone who shares their Netflix account with their immediate family knows the benefits of having individual profiles for each person. This is one of those situations where there are only advantages and no disadvantages as it makes the streaming experience a lot less chaotic in a number of ways.

First and foremost, setting up “Kids” accounts for your children is a great idea because it prevents them from accessing not-so-kid-friendly shows and movies. Secondly, setting up multiple profiles prevents a situation where your Netflix algorithm (which makes suggestions based on your viewing habits) gets all out of whack because someone with access to your account spent a night watching a bunch of shows or movies you have no desire to watch.

Doing this will avoid awkward conversations with your children after walking in on them breaking down the Squid Game ending to their siblings as well as those where your spouse tells you to quit watching so much junk on their account.

Lily Collins on Netflix's Emily in Paris

(Image credit: Netflix)

You Can Turn Off Those Annoying Autoplay Trailers

There's nothing worse than trying to read the description of a title on Netflix before those annoying autoplay trailers start up. And while some aren't as bad as others, the whole idea is nerve-racking to say the very least.

There is a way around this though. If you're in browser mode, click on the dropdown menu near your profile's avatar, click on account, and then scroll to the bottom where you see "My Profile." From there, click on the "Playback Settings" link, and make the changes from there. You can turn off autoplay entirely or turn off the previews. You'll be able to browse in peace in no time at all.

Peyton List and Mary Mouser in Cobra Kai.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Titles Can Be Downloaded For Offline Viewing On Mobile Devices

If you're using Netflix on a phone or tablet, you can download certain titles for offline viewing. This is especially helpful if you live in an area that doesn't have good internet during certain times of the day. You can download movies and shows during the non-peak hours so that you can still watch your favorite shows at night.

This method is also helpful for travel. Just load up your kid's tablet with hours of content before hitting the road on vacation and you won't have to worry about any data overages.

Fionn Whitehead in Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

(Image credit: Netflix)

There Are Settings To Control Your Data Usage And Video Quality

If you are ever worried about going over your allotted mobile data or don’t have the best internet at home, you can always adjust how much data you use whenever watching shows and movies on Netflix. There are four different settings to choose from if you are trying to control your data: Low (up to 0.3 GB per hour, per device), Medium (up to 0.7 GB), High (anywhere from 1 to 7 GB depending on your streaming plan), and Auto (which automatically goes with the highest quality).

Your Netflix account will go with Auto setting by default, but you can change it by accessing the playback settings in the “Profile & Parental Controls” tab in the account settings. If you want to adjust this setting, just click on any of the available options and save your changes. 

If you want to avoid going over your mobile data and paying a hefty fee, you can adjust your settings in the Netflix app on your phone. Once you go to your account settings, you can pick one of four options: Automatic (four hours of content per GB), Wi-Fi Only, Save Data (six hours per GB), and Maximum Data (20 minutes per GB). Netflix has also provided a step-by-step guide that is more than helpful in breaking down each. 

henry cavill geralt the witcher netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

Don't See What You Like? Request It

The final tip is something that I didn't even know about until very recently. Did you know that you can request shows or movies that aren't currently streaming on Netflix? Well, just go to the help center and find the "Request TV Shows Or Movies" link, and then you can request up to three titles at a time. After that, it's just a waiting game to see if your request actually shows up.

Well, hopefully those Netflix tips and tricks make your browsing and viewing experience that much better moving forward. And now that you know how to get the most out of your Netflix experience you’ll have more time for all of the platform’s upcoming shows and promising new movie releases.

Philip Sledge
Philip Sledge

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.