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In addition to Netflix providing a plethora of streaming content (see our guide to Netflix), it also has several integrated features for managing content. However, you may find that these features are more annoying than helpful.
For example, the first screen you see after logging into Netflix has a Continue Watching section. It includes several episodes or movies you began watching recently but didn’t finish. In some cases, you might have realized early on that a particular film didn’t interest you after all. If that’s the case, you probably have no desire to keep watching it as Netflix suggests.
Getting rid of it is cumbersome. First, begin streaming the film. Then, drag the slider bar in the playback area nearly to the end. Let the credits roll, and allow the movie to reach its natural conclusion. But this is kind of a pain, isn’t it?
Fortunately, there are easier ways to manage your Netflix content! Here are five simple tips you need to start using right away.
1. Manually Order Titles on My List
On Netflix, your viewing queue is called My List. Clicking the plus (+) icon associated with a piece of content adds it to that section. By default, Netflix automatically ranks the material in order of what you’ll likely enjoy most.
But maybe you want to defy the service’s algorithms. After all, you’re perfectly capable of prioritizing what you want to watch.
Instead of sticking with Netflix’s automatic ordering system, you can switch to a manual option. First, log in to your account. After clicking on Account in the dropdown menu in the top right corner, go to My List Order.
You’ll then see a screen with two choices:
If you choose the second option, it puts titles on My List in a click and drag format. Your titles appear in a stacked list. Each one looks similar to the image below. Notice the two columns of dots on the sides of each name. Click and drag in either area to swiftly put a title in a different position.
Alternatively, using the Move to Top option gives a title your top ranking with one click.
Use the X button next to it to quickly remove the content from My List.
Finally, there’s a Play button on the title’s icon. Click it to immediately start streaming the selection.
2. Remove Content From Continue Watching
As explained above, the Continue Watching part of your Netflix homescreen isn’t always helpful. It is, however, useful sometimes, such as when you’re regularly watching a TV show with Netflix. The Continue Watching feature remembers where you left off. Which means you don’t have to remember the season and episode you’re on.
However, there are undoubtedly other instances where you purposefully didn’t finish a movie or show. Perhaps it wasn’t one of the best Netflix movies you’ve ever seen, or the synopsis gave you false expectations. You’d understandably want to remove this title. The time-consuming process mentioned in the introduction is one way, but there is an easier way.
First, log in to your account, then go to Viewing Activity. It shows a day-by-day list representing your Netflix usage.
Alternatively, get to the list by clicking the account name in the upper right corner. Then, go to Account. From there, scroll down to the My Profile section. Finally, click on the Viewing Activity link.
You can hide a title from the Viewing Activity list by clicking the X associated with it. Doing so means the content no longer appears in the Continue Watching or Recently Watched sections. Note: A Netflix Kids account won’t offer this option.
Furthermore, Netflix won’t use a hidden title to recommend other content to watch. This process removes the content from all your devices. However, it may take up to 24 hours to see its effects. And if you accidentally get rid of a title? Just find it in the catalog and replay it to add that show or movie back.
3. Disable the Post-Play Feature
With a feature some say encourages binge-watching, Netflix automatically plays the next episode in a series. Once you watch all available episodes or finish a movie, it might auto-play recommended content. For a TV show, it starts the next episode from either the beginning or the recap segment.
Netflix does ask if you’re still watching after a prolonged lack of interaction with the site. Bear in mind that that only happens after several episodes.
The message appears a couple of minutes into the new material. However, maybe you’re on a limited data plan or trying to stop yourself from watching Netflix too much. In such situations, this Post-Play feature could become detrimental.
To deactivate Post-Play, go to Account from the menu in the upper right corner. Then, scroll down to the My Profile section and find the Playback Settings link.
Clicking on it reveals a simple options interface.
Just uncheck the box for Play Next Episode automatically. While we’re here, the Data Usage Per Screen section above is also useful for managing data consumption. Each possible setting tells you the maximum amount of data used per hour. After tweaking the Auto-Play setting, click the blue Save button to confirm changes.
This process disables auto-play for the next episodes in a sequence. Unfortunately, Netflix still doesn’t offer a way to change the number of seconds that pass before the next episode starts.
4. Create Profiles for Different Moods or Users
The vastness of Netflix’s library makes it easy for your My List section to become bloated. That’s especially true if everyone in your household uses one profile. There are many helpful ways to organize your Netflix queue. Some are as simple as periodically going into My List and weeding out stuff you don’t recognize. If it’s been that long since you added it, you’re unlikely to ever watch it.
It’s also useful to create dedicated profiles for the people who access the Netflix account. You can have up to five profiles on one account. Upon login, the Netflix screen asks, “Who’s Watching?” and you can select a profile from there. There’s a plus (+) icon to the right of existing profiles, which includes Add Profile.
Furthermore, you can click the Manage Profile button to change a profile’s name or set parental controls. Netflix also gives you an option delete a profile from this screen.
For instance, a Netflix profile for kids is added by default. But maybe you don’t have kids and never babysit. Deleting that profile and adding a different one based on user or mood is simple: You can delete the profile, then go back to the previous screen and add a new one.
In a single-person household, consider making multiple profiles to suit your moods. You could also create a profile used only for television episodes. That works well if you like watching TV shows while another person prefers watching movies.
5. Rate What You Watch to Get Better Suggestions
Netflix used to have a star system for viewers to use when rating content. However, the service has since switched to a straightforward thumbs up/thumbs down option.
When you rate material, Netflix uses the statistics to suggest what to watch. Also, if you give a thumbs down to a title, it disappears from your Recommended list. To use this feature, just hover your mouse over any title. Then, click either of the thumbs icons.
The Ratings buttons also appear on unwatched titles. However, in that case, there’s also a match percentage.
The higher the percentage, the more likely you’ll enjoy it. At least according to Netflix’s algorithms. The more content you rate, the better these recommendations will become.
The Percent Match feature could help you make smarter choices when deciding what to watch. But it might also give guidance on which titles to remove from My List.
How Do You Manage What You Watch on Netflix?
The tips above aren’t always particularly easy to find. That’s especially true when they’re part of the main Account Settings or separate apps to make Netflix even better. However, now that you’re aware of their existence you can use them to improve your Netflix experience.