Netflix: 7 tips to become a platform expert

Whether you are loyal for a long time (Netflix was founded in … 1997!) Or new to the subject, Netflix holds many secrets still little known to its community. Between its eventful history, its filming secrets and its hidden features, the famous platform with 193 million members cultivates a share of mystery around its success.

From browsing hidden categories to the suggestion algorithm and offline mode, here are some basics you need to know to become expert on the streaming platform.

1. Access Netflix Hidden Categories

Netflix limits the number of categories displayed on the home page to make it easier for its users to choose. That said, the American firm associates each of the films and series with very specific sub-categories. These “hidden” categories are accessible by a code that has been defined beforehand by Netflix.

You will need to add the code at the end of the URL in your browser bar to access it. For example, to discover all the content in the “Biographical documentaries” category, you will need to enter this URL in the search bar:

Below is a non-exhaustive list of codes in the “Documentaries” category:

Documentaries (6839)

• Biographies (3652)

• Crimes (9875)

• Foreign documentaries (5161)

• History (5349)

• Wars (4006)

• Sports (180)

• Music and concerts (90361)

• Travel (1159)

• Politics (7018)

• Religions (10005)

• Science & Nature (2595)

• Culture and Society (3675)

Some sites have lists with dozens of codes to directly access hidden subcategories. You can also use browser extensions (on Chrome or Firefox) which make it easier to discover all the categories in the Netflix catalog.

2. Suggest a movie (or series) to Netflix

Netflix regularly expands its catalog of movies and TV series, but it is far from complete. If you want to suggest content to the streaming platform, a dedicated page allows you to send the message to it. The suggestion form is accessible to all Internet users, whether they are Netflix customers or not.

If the platform acquires film and series licenses to expand its catalog, some agreements may expire at the same time. This was the case with the popular "Friends" series, which is no longer available to US customers since the spring of this year. Before suggesting new content, therefore, make sure that it has not been recently in the Netflix catalog.

3. Delete your viewing history

If you are one of those users who share their Netflix accounts fairly generously, deleting the viewing history can save you a lot of funny situations. If you don't quite embrace your cinematic tastes, the platform allows you to delete your history. By going for this drastic solution, you'll avoid annoying suggestions on your home page.

To delete your account history, go to Account> Profile> History. Once you delete content from history, Netflix will no longer use it for recommendations within 24 hours of doing so (unless you watch it again).

4. Disconnect from all devices

Have you logged into Netflix from your hotel? At a friend's house ? Have you given your access to the next door neighbor? Netflix limits the number of connections according to the plan to which you have subscribed. If you want to remotely disconnect from all devices, the platform offers a solution.

To do this, go to Account> Settings> Disconnect from all devices. By clicking on the link, all connected devices will have their session expired. If they want to access the account, they will have to reenter the password. Netflix specifies, however, that "the disconnection can take up to 8 hours before being effective on all your devices".

5. Force HD content

In its default configuration, Netflix manages the quality of the video stream according to several parameters. The quality of the internet connection and the reading support are the two most important. That said, you still have the option to force a "low", "medium" or "high" quality as you wish. To do this, you will have to go to Account> Profile> Reading settings.

Due to measures related to Covid-19, Netflix has temporarily suspended high definition so as not to encumber bandwidth. However, the platform should reactivate this option in the months following deconfinement, as did its rival Disney +.

6. Refine Netflix Suggestions

Netflix uses your viewing history to suggest new content. That said, you can also refine its recommendation algorithm by using the rating system associated with the different content. On every movie and series, a thumbs-up (I like) and a thumbs-down (I dislike) system allows you to provide feedback on it.

7. Watch Netflix without connection

Did you know that you can access Netflix content without even having an internet connection? If you have a Windows computer, iPhone, or Android smartphone, you can download movies and series for offline viewing. Unfortunately, macOS users are not (yet?) Eligible for this feature.

Please note, not all content is available for download. On iOS and Android, you will have to go to the Downloads tab> More videos to download to access the catalog accessible in offline mode. Only content with a download icon can be downloaded and stored on these devices. On Windows, you will need to use the Netflix application to take advantage of this feature.

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