You’re probably watching Netflix a lot now that you’re adhering to stay at home orders. After you’ve blown through “Stranger Things,” “Ozark” and “Mad Men,” you might be wondering if your subscription is money well-spent. There are ways to liven up your Netflix experience.
Before you sign up for more streaming services or take advantage of all those short-lived free trials instead, be a smart tech consumer. Tap or click here for 10 sites to find great movies to watch for free.
I get it. You’re bored. Remember that these monthly streaming payments add up quickly. Tap or click here for a pro tip that will keep your monthly tech expenses in check.
Why not get more out of what you’re already paying for? Some methods only work on computers and laptops, while others require Google Chrome or a particular app. But when you think you know everything about Netflix, you suddenly find ways to search, view, and organize its offerings that can freshen that ol’ queue.
Here are some of my favorite Netflix hacks.
1. Use special browser extensions
If you watch Netflix on your laptop or computer, there are several Chrome extensions you can use to streamline Netflix functions. Extensions are add-ons that let you customize your browser experience – in this case, using streaming video.
Being isolated doesn’t mean you’re stuck watching without friends. After you install this Chrome Extension, play the video you’d like to watch with friends. Click “Start Party” and share the party URL to invite others. The video is synced with your friends’ devices and a chat box lets you all talk about the movie, or whatever, in real-time.
FREE STUFF ALERT: We all love freebies. On my site, we’ve got a list of freebies that companies are giving out right now to help out during this pandemic, from free streaming sites to fitness. Tap or click here to check it out.
No Netflix Originals
Not everyone is a fan of Netflix Originals. They only want to see the movies and TV series that have already circulated. This Chrome extension removes all Netflix Originals from your home screen, which clears up space to see what else Netflix has on deck.
Some big-name movies and TV shows have migrated to other streaming platforms or will be very soon. In response, Netflix is offering more foreign movies and shows — and original content — than ever before. At some point, the No Netflix Originals extension may leave you with slim pickings.
This extension allows you to pick the quality of video streaming, rather than using Netflix’s default setting. Why would you want lower quality?
Well, you can use less bandwidth on your Wi-Fi network or data on your phone. That way, you don’t slow down the other devices in your home. That can go a long way right now with internet networks strained like never before.
Never Ending Netflix
With this extension, you can automatically play the next episode of whatever series you’re binge-watching, skip title sequences and search more than 3,000 genres.
Best of all, you can disable that “Are you still watching?” prompt, so series will continue to play until they run out of episodes (or you hit pause on the remote). Yes, Netflix. We’re still watching.
TECH ADVICE IN YOUR INBOX: Get tech tips you can trust with my free email newsletters. My favorite right now? The Current. Tap or click here to try my new ad-free newsletter.
2. New discoveries with category codes:
Netflix has nearly 14,000 programs you can watch from the main browser. As if that weren’t enough options, there are even more that you might not know about.
I’m talking about secret menus and codes. The downside to the codes is that you can’t access them through your TV. You have to use a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone browser. Don’t worry, it’s not hard once you know what you’re doing.
Tap or click here for a list of secret codes you can use on Netflix.
3. Create multiple profiles based on your tastes
Many times I look at my recommendations and wonder whether Netflix’s algorithms know my tastes at all. Most people like more than a handful of genres, actors, and directors, which is why some of these recommendations seem limited or off-base.
Create new profiles that reflect your likes. One profile could be for action-adventure, another for horror films, and so on. While you’re at it, make the kids a profile too.
What if you have someone in your house or with access to your account that won’t quit messing up your recommendations? Become a Netflix ninja.
Set a PIN on your account. Tap or click here to learn how to lock down your profile. Scroll down to the last section of the article.
4. Play Reelgood Roulette
Reelgood Roulette is a fun website. Through a free subscription, you can add all of your streaming services and networks and “spin the wheel” on all of them or just one.
Go crazy and turn off all the filters and see what you get. Or, if you’re really in the mood to see the works of a certain actor or director, you can use those filters and spin the wheel again to see what’s available. If you don’t want to play roulette, the site is a one-stop place to see what’s on your services, what’s leaving and what’s new.
Finally, this site doesn’t tie you to any one device. No matter how you prefer to watch your TV and movies, Reelgood Roulette is a helpful resource.
5. Find something to watch you’ll like
Odds are, you have more than a Netflix account. With all the video streaming options out there, are you struggling to find all the worthwhile content you want to watch? You need to use a specialized search site to find what’s new and popular on the various streaming services from
Netflix to Amazon and beyond.
Best of all, you can see where your favorite movie or show is available for free before you buy it on another service. Tap or click here for my favorite streaming media search site.
BONUS TIP FOR EXTRA KNOW-HOW: 8 clever uses for an old iPad
With extra time on your hands, here’s a DIY project you’ll love. The iPad was introduced as something of a miracle device, more comfortable than your phone and more convenient than your computer. The tablet quickly gained tons of fans who couldn’t imagine living in a world without it.
Some people are such big fans they even buy a new model every couple of years, leaving older iPads to collect dust. But there are plenty of great uses for those older models.
Tap or click for smart uses for your old tablet.
What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.
Copyright 2020, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.
Learn about all the latest technology on The Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.