UNLOCK SECRET OPTIONS
Create a personalised profile
When you join Netflix, you’re guided through the process of setting up accounts for all the family members who will be using the service. This allows up to five people to have their own personalised Netflix experience with relevant viewing suggestions and watched lists. You can add new profiles at any time by going to bit.ly/profile431 and clicking the Add Profile button. Enter a name for the user, then edit the details, choose a profile picture and set the maturity level for allowed TV programmes and films – For Little Kids Only, For Older Kids and Below, For Teens and Below or All Maturity Levels. These personalised profiles prevent young viewers from being exposed to anything that might upset them, and means parents won’t get fed up with recommendations for cartoons and Wet Hot American Summer.
Download Netflix content to watch offline
Netflix is a streaming service, which means it requires an internet connection to deliver its content. However, if you’re travelling or stuck in the wilds – Peterborough, say – you can still enjoy your favourite TV shows and films by downloading them in advance to watch offline. To use this relatively new feature, you need to have the Netflix app installed on an iphone or ipad, Android phone or tablet, or Windows 10 PC or tablet running the Anniversary Update or later. To download something, select the title you want to watch and click the Download icon on its description page. You can choose the video quality you require, to ensure you stay within your data and storage limits.
Not all Netflix content is available to download – at least, not yet. If you want to see only the shows and movies that can be downloaded, tap the three-line menu button in the app and select ‘Available for download’.
Save downloads to your SD card
Some phones have limited internal storage – certainly not big enough to store downloaded Netflix shows alongside the usual plethora of apps, photos, videos and songs. The good news is that if your phone supports SD cards (as many Android devices do), you can download your Netflix content to one and swap cards if you need to store more shows. The process is very straightforward: just opt to download something and you’ll be prompted to select a save location – choose ‘ SD card’ in the options.
Master Netflix’s keyboard shortcuts
Netflix has several useful keyboard shortcuts that provide instant control and save unnecessary clicking when you’re watching content on your PC. Here are some of our favourites:
Try new features before everyone else
Netflix occasionally tests forthcoming features to get user feedback before they’re officially introduced. If you want to be first in line to experience these, open your account page at bit.ly/ myaccount431 and click the ‘ Test participation’ link, then make sure the option is set to On. It’s worth noting that while some test features are genuinely useful interface tweaks, some involve movie previews that are merely advertising by another name. If you don’t want to take part in the tests,
move the toggle to Off. Click the Done button to apply the change.
Pause and resume your Netflix account
Netflix is a subscription service, which means you have to pay from £5.99 every month to keep viewing its content. However, if you need to take a break from Netflix – perhaps you’re going to be away travelling, for example – it’s easy to cancel your account and then restart it when you’re ready. Netflix stores your viewing activity for 10 months after you close your account, so when you restart your subscription you can pick up from exactly where you left off, rather than having to create a new account. To pause your membership, just go to the Account page at bit.ly/youraccount431 and click the Cancel Membership button. When you next visit Netflix, you’ll be asked if you want to restart your membership.
Wipe your Netflix viewing history
If you’d rather not let the people you share Netflix with find out you secretly watch Adam Sandler movies when they’re not around, or you don’t want recommendations based on that one episode of Pretty Little Liars you watched out of curiosity, you’ll be delighted to hear that Netflix lets you review your viewing history and delete anything unwanted from it. Just go to the My Activity page at bit.ly/activity431 and click the X next to an item to remove it. You can also check the viewing history of other family members in this way – you just need to log into their profiles first.
Skip the credits when bingewatching
When ploughing through episodes of the latest hit series, it’s a pain to have to repeatedly sit through the opening and end credits – unless you’re using this time to go to the toilet, fetch snacks or make a drink. Netflix will identify when you’ve watched several episodes of a show and take you from the end of one straight to the beginning of the next, but with the option to view the credits if you wish. It also gives you the chance to skip the titles at the beginning. Once they start, you’ll see a Skip Intro button appear on screen. You can select this to jump ahead to the action but do bear in mind that a lot of people worked very hard to create the show you’re bingewatching, so you owe it to them to sit through the credits at least once!
Test your Netflix streaming speed
You don’t need a blisteringly fast internet connection to stream video on Netflix. Modern compression techniques mean that even a moderate connection should be able to handle UHD 4K streaming with ease. If you do encounter problems, however, and stopping large downloads and other bandwidth-hogging activities doesn’t improve matters, it may be worth checking the speed of your connection. Netflix has its own tool called Fast ( fast.com) for this very task. Go to the site and it will immediately check the speed of your connection - you don’t need to select any servers or press any buttons, and you can rerun the test at any time. Fast is really only about checking your connection’s suitability for streaming Netflix content so unlike similar services, it doesn’t measure upload speed, ping, latency or jitter.
See which Netflix shows and films you can download to watch offline
Save space on your phone by downloading content to your SD card
Set up personalised profiles for everyone who shares your Netflix account
Use a keyboard shortcut to open Netflix’s secret control panel
You can delete embarrassing entries from your Netflix viewing history
Check that your connection is suitable for streaming Netflix content
Don’t let Tv-show credits slow down your binge-watching - skip them!
Netflix lets you restart a cancelled account if you change your mind
Beat the crowd by testing experimental Netflix features first