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7 Netflix hacks, tips, and tricks you need to know

By James Lu - 10 Feb 2016

Netflix hacks, tips, and tricks you need to know - page 1

Are you getting the most out of your Netflix subscription? Here are seven Netflix hacks, tips, and tricks that will dramatically improve your binge-watching experience!

1. Access a hidden menu to kill buffering


If you find yourself infuriated by constant buffering, try this hack. If you're on a PC, press Shift + Alt + Left Mouse Click and if you're using a Mac, press Shift + Option + Click. This will open Netflix's diagnostic menu. From here, select the Stream Manager.

This is the only place where you can manually adjust the buffering rate. By increasing the buffer rate, you can force Netflix to download much more video to your computer prior to showing the video. You will have smoother, high quality video, and less pauses in between for buffering, but you will have a longer wait before the video starts to play. By decreasing the buffer rate, you risk choppier, lower quality video - the video, however, will play much quicker.

While there doesn't appear to be a way to access the same settings on devices with Netflix apps, like smart TVs, Blu-ray players, and game consoles, if you're suffering from a slow connection or constant buffering, you can try resetting the app. To do this, you'll have to input a code on your remote control or game controller: Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, Up, Up, Up, Up. This will bring up general account and hardware information, along with the option to deactivate the Netflix app from your device. Once you've deactivated the Netflix app, just relaunch it and sign back in.


2. Keyboard shortcuts

Everybody knows about spacebar to pause, but do you know all of the keyboard shortcuts available on Netflix?

  • On top of Spacebar, you can also hit the Enter key to pause/play.
  • You can also use PgDn to pause, and PgUp to resume play.
  • F will take you to full screen; Esc will take you out of it.
  • Shift+Left Arrow will rewind, while Shift+Right Arrow will fast forward.
  • You can use the Up and Down Arrows to adjust the volume.
  • M will mute audio on and off.


3. Search using Netflix's secret categories

Sure you can browse through Netflix using the usual Action, Drama, Comedy categories, but what if your tastes are a little more esoteric? Netflix has a master list of thousands of subgenres, most of which don't show up in the regular browse categories. Instead, you'll have to input a category code for your specific vice. First put this into your address bar:


Then replace ### with the code of the category you're looking for. For example, 7687 is Film Noir, 3196 is Visually-striking Martial Arts Movies, and 6998 is Satanic Stories - hopefully that last one doesn't show up on too many recommended for you lists. 

You can check out the entire list here.


4. Access the full catalog of Netflix shows and movies from anywhere in the world

Singaporeans who have been using Netflix via VPN will already know how to configure their VPN settings to access a specific country's Netflix settings, but for a more convenient fix, just use Smartflix. It shows every movie and TV show from Netflix's entire catalog worldwide in one simple interface, and it’s as simple as clicking on what you want to watch.

Right now the service is in beta, and is currently free to use. Once it's out of beta, there will be a one month trial period (no sign up or credit card required), then if you want to keep using it, it's just a one-time payment of US$7.99 (~S$11.50). 

Get it for Windows or Mac here.