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These Are the Smartest Netflix Tricks You Need to Know Right Now

3 minute read

Netflix may have made you an expert in marathoning shows, introduced you to new genres or kept you comfortable during repeat viewings of 30 Rock — but there’s much more to the streaming service than its constant binge-watching supply.

Several tricks hidden within Netflix and available on other websites can drastically improve your viewing experience. Check out our seven suggestions below for ways to maximize your Netflix account.

Watch Netflix TV shows without wifi

Heading on a road trip or a long flight where wifi connections are known to be spotty? Netflix allows you to download select titles through its app on iPhone, Android, computers and tablets. Make sure you have a wifi connection while you are downloading the movies and shows — once it’s done, you’ll have a wealth of entertainment for the journey ahead.

Of course you are still watching

Nothing feels more judgmental than when, after a few episodes into a show, Netflix asks: “Are you still watching?” The answer is always yes. Luckily, the Chrome extension Flix Assist will make it so the question never shows up again. As a bonus, the extension also removes the countdown to the next episode of the series you are watching.

Get a taste of the unfamiliar

Recently, Netflix added trailers to select titles that autoplay when you hit pause — which can be helpful when you are trying to explore entertainment beyond what you usually watch.

Delete the embarrassing stuff

Look, maybe you got a little obsessed with The Crown and watched ahead of your significant other. Or maybe you spent a few too many nights watching all the indie-romantic comedies on Netflix and now your algorithm is all screwed up. Don’t worry. You can go here to see your viewing history and delete any titles you would rather forget you watched.

Play Netflix roulette

Choosing what to watch can often take longer than the movie you eventually decide upon. Never again with Flix Roulette, a tool that will pick a movie or TV show for you. You can narrow down choices by specifying the genre, director and actor that piques your interest, or let the roulette take over without any specifications and watch something totally new.

Make the search better

Maybe you don’t want to cede control to a roulette system, but still need help picking something to watch. Sometimes, Netflix’s categories like “Comedies” or “Romance” just aren’t specific enough. However, a couple different websites list what’s available under Netflix’s sub-genres to help you narrow down a title. Head here to choose between B-horror movies, crime documentaries, quirky romance films and much more. Or go to Netflix’s ID Bible, which offers ID codes that you can add to the end of a provided Netflix URL to head to the sub-genre of your choice.

No more buffering

Nothing kills the mood more than a movie or show pausing right as the action starts to heat up. Avoid the buzzkill with Netflix’s hidden menu option to fix buffering. Once you open the menu, you can select a lower video bitrate (or the rate at which video data is given over a period of time) and click “override” to continue watching peacefully. It gets tricky depending on the device you use — if you’re watching a show or movie on a computer, hold down Ctrl + Shift + Opt/Alt + S to open the menu. Those watching on a Playstation 3, Xbox 360 or Wii can open the menu by clicking up twice, down twice, left, right, left, right, and up four times.

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Write to Mahita Gajanan at mahita.gajanan@time.com