How to Make Netflix Better by Changing a Few Settings

Sandy Writtenhouse 10-07-2017

Netflix is probably the best streaming services available right now. There are plenty of others, including Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, plus a bunch of niche streaming services 10 Niche Streaming Services for Those Who Hate Netflix Mainstream streaming services carry mainstream content. What can you do if you want to watch something a little less conventional? You're better off checking out these alternative streaming services packed full of niche content. Read More , but Netflix is currently the gold standard despite shrinking the size of its catalog by half Netflix Removes 50% of its Catalog to Fund Original Content Have you noticed the Netflix catalog getting smaller in recent years? We now know the number of titles available on Netflix has been halved since 2012 to fund original content. Read More in recent years.


Whether you are brand new to Netflix or have been using it for several years, there are a few settings you can change to make Netflix even better. And by delving into the settings you can create the perfect Netflix experience for you and your family. And it should all take you no more than a few minutes.

To access your Netflix settings on the web, just sign in to your account. Then, click the arrow next to your profile at the top and select Account. Voila, let the customization begin!

Create Multiple Profiles

If more than one person in your household uses the Netflix account, multiple profiles can come in handy. This is especially helpful if you allow your children to watch content on Netflix.

Scroll down to the My Profile section and click Manage profiles. You can also jump to this area quickly by clicking the arrow next to your profile (as above) and selecting Manage Profiles.

netflix manage profiles web

Click Add Profile and enter a name. If you mark the checkbox next to Kid?, only movies and television shows available for children ages 12 and under will be available. Hit the Continue button when you finish.

netflix add profile web

You will now see the new profile displayed alongside your other options, and can click to switch between them.

Set Up Parental Controls

To ensure that your child can only access content that you approve of, you should enable the Netflix parental controls. Scroll down to the Settings section and click Parental controls. Enter your password when prompted and then create a four-digit parental control PIN.

Netx, adjust the PIN protection level by choosing the age groups or using the slider. Click Save when you finish.

netflix pin setup web

Now if a user profile tries to access content outside of the level you set up, they will be prompted to enter that PIN.

netflix pin required web

Adjust Playback Settings

For quality and convenience, you can adjust the data usage-per-screen and auto-play options. Scroll down to the My Profile section and click Playback settings. You can then choose from the default video quality, low quality, medium quality, or high quality. That default setting can be one of the annoying things about using Netflix.

netflix playback settings web

Beneath that, you can enable or disable auto-play using the checkbox. This lets you control whether or not you want the next episode of a television show to play automatically or not. When you finish, click Save.

Customize the Subtitles

If you enjoy watching Netflix in another language using subtitles, you can completely customize their appearance. Scroll down to the My Profile section and click Subtitle appearance.

Here, you can choose the font style from seven options including “Casual” and “Block,” and you can pick a color as well. You can also select a text size from small, medium, or large.

netflix subtitle option web

You can also add a little flair to your subtitles with four different shadow options for the text along with the shadow color. Finally, you can select a background and window color if you like. As you experiment with each of these options, the sample at the top will change automatically for you to review. When you finish, click Save.

netflix subtitle appearance web

Update the Communication Settings

You can stay up to date with the exact types of Netflix news and details you want via email. Scroll down to the Settings section and click Communication settings.

You can then mark which emails you would like to receive — beware of Netflix email phishing scams — such as updates on new features, newly added content, special offers, and helpful surveys. When you finish, click Update.

netflix communication settings web

Decide Your List Order

If you would prefer to decide the order of shows and movies in your list, you can change this easily. Scroll down to the Settings section and click Order in My List. Then, mark the Manual Ordering radio button and click Save.

You can then rearrange content in the My List section rather than having Netflix recommendations at the top.

netflix list order web

Now, just click the arrow next to Browse in the top navigation and select My List. Then, just drag and drop content in the order you want it. You can also click Move to the top on any piece of content and that TV show or movie will pop to the top of your list. Or just click the X to remove an item completely.

netflix list order move to top web

Find Hidden Genres

You may not be aware of this, but Netflix has a slew of hidden categories 20 Secret Netflix Codes to Help You Find New Content Are you struggling to find new movies and shows to stream? Here are some useful secret Netflix codes bursting with content! Read More just waiting for you to discover.

For instance, you can see the “Action” genre when browsing and select a sub-genre such as “Action Thrillers”. But did you know that there is a hidden category for “Mind Bending Action Sci-Fi and Fantasy”?

netflix genre subgenre web

Or maybe you love the “Horror” genre and often pick “Cult Horror” as your sub-genre of choice. However, there is also a hidden “Werewolf Horror” category for those looking for a specific creature feature.

netflix horror werewolf web

A handy website for accessing these hidden categories is Netflix Hidden Codes. You can browse through the list or enter a keyword into the search box. Click on one of the options and you will see options for that sub-genre open directly in netflix.com.

netflix hidden codes web

Change Your Mobile Settings

You have a few Netflix app settings that can be customized on your Android or iOS mobile device. Open the app on your device, expand the left-hand menu, scroll towards the bottom, and select App Settings.

You can then adjust the data usage options. By default, Set Automatically is enabled, but you can change it for playback on Wi-Fi only, Low, Medium, or High Usage, or Unlimited.

netflix app settings ios iphone

In addition to data usage settings, you can control the video quality between Standard (faster with less storage) or Higher (uses more storage).

For Android users, you may notice an additional setting for Notifications. You can mark the box to enable this option and receive alerts for new content, suggestions, or other types of Netflix notifications.

netflix android notifications android

Make Netflix Work Better for You

These simple adjustments can greatly improve your Netflix experience. Plus, if you share your account with others in your home, everyone can benefit from these changes. The nice part about these settings is that if you change your mind, you can easily revert back to the defaults.

And here’s something you might not have considered, yet: If you’re trying to learn a new 5 Ways to Watch Netflix and Still Learn a New Language Learning a foreign language with Netflix is one of the fun ways to master a new language. Try these Chrome extensions yourself. Read More langauge, why not let Netflix help you? Here’s how:

Image Credit: REDPIXEL.PL, Ellegant via Shutterstock.com

Explore more about: Media Streaming, Netflix, Online Video.

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  1. Deekshith
    September 25, 2017 at 12:31 am

    May also be worth mentioning "Netflix Categories" browser extension: //www.makeuseof.com/tag/browse-netflixs-secret-categories-chrome-extension/

    (Disclaimer: I am the author of that extension)

  2. Jason
    September 24, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    Is there a way to prevent the preview from playing every time I select another show?

  3. Pamela
    July 18, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    Thanks for the article, and for the links to others. Most of these tips I've already initiated, but one in particular is going to make a real difference to me. Some of my favorite films are those with subtitles but I've had such a hard time with them! I virtually gave up on viewing any. You came to the rescue with the ability to manipulate settings. Thanks! I tested it out and it made real difference. Tonight I'll be in India.

    The mobile settings are also helpful, considering I never really looked to see if I could change anything.

    Thanks, Sandy

    • Sandy Stachowiak
      July 18, 2017 at 7:06 pm

      Hi Pamela,

      I'm so glad the subtitle settings are helpful to you! I was actually pleasantly surprised at how flexible they are - it can really make a difference.

      Thanks for your comment and enjoy your shows!

  4. Terry
    July 14, 2017 at 5:28 am

    I am not seeing ANY of these under Manage Profiles. Only name, language, and maturity level.
    Windows 7, Chrome.

    • Pamela
      July 18, 2017 at 3:20 pm

      I think it's not Manage Profiles you want to be in. Go back to My Profile on Account Page. I got confused there, too, but no settings in this article were accessed by Manage Profile.


  5. Jim
    July 11, 2017 at 2:11 am

    I'd love to find a way to disable the auto-preview "feature" while browsing, or at least mute the audio. It's like listening while somebody clicks the channel-up button a hundred times.

  6. likefunbutnot
    July 10, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    This one is huge and somehow missed by almost everyone:
    Not all Netflix clients are created equal. Far and away the best Netflix browsing experience is found on a personal computer with a desktop web browser. It's much, much easier to add a bunch of movies to your viewing queue on a PC and then find the "My Queue"-list on your preferred Netflix client or device than it is to fruitlessly browse with whatever slow and crappy control interface you're saddled with on your smart TV, game console or set top box.

    • JK
      July 11, 2017 at 9:01 am

      Best is quite subjective... personally, I think the PC is one of the WORST experiences. After all, on a PC you can only rate with your thumb... on an older smart TV (even on the XBOX, still) we can continue using the BETTER star method of rating. I have a PC connected directly to a TV, and I still choose to use the built-in Netflix just because newer is not always better.

      • likefunbutnot
        July 12, 2017 at 12:01 am

        I think you missed an important clause in my statement: the best BROWSING experience.

        Now, if you're happy with whatever 400MHz CPU and laggy UI your Smart TV has, that's fine. Go nuts. It's still easier to find content to watch from a computer.