Max holds a B.S. in mass communications from SIU, an M.A. in communications from U of I, and is pursuing an MBA from Webster University.
Netflix puts thousands of movies at your fingertips, and makes it possible for you to binge watch entire seasons of televisions shows with no commercials at your own discretion. However, while it's easy to get caught up in the constant stream of content, you don't typically think about all of your viewing history getting stored and tracked by Netflix. Additionally, all of that information can be viewed by anyone who has access to your Netflix account. As a result, there may either be certain pieces of content you don't want other individuals who share your account to know that you've watched, or you may just not feel comfortable with Netflix knowing that much information about you. If you choose to, you can access your Netflix account in a Web browser and remove specific pieces of content from your viewing history.
Why would I want to remove activity from my Netflix viewing history?
The first reason is that your previous viewing history in Netflix is what Netflix looks at and analyses to determine what to present to you going forward as content that it thinks you may like. By removing the previously viewed titles that you didn't like from your viewing history and only leaving the content that you liked, Netflix should be more likely to present content that you'll like on your home screen.
The second reasons is that anyone who has your Netflix account can come in and view this list, and there may be content in here that you don't want anyone else to know that you've viewed. You may be a teenager who watched a television show you weren't supposed to, or you may be in a relationship where you have an agreement with your significant other to watch a show together without either party jumping ahead, but you chose to watch a few episodes ahead and now you want to hide that from your partner.
Process for Deleting Specific File from Your Netflix Viewing History
- Open your Web browser and navigate to www.netflix.com.
- Hold your cursor over your account name that appears in the upper right corner of your Web browser until a context menu appears.
- Move your cursor down over the context menu and then select "Your Account."
- Wheel down to the My Profile section. You'll see options to change your language, playback settings, subtitle appearance, and more.
- Click "Viewing Activity." The My Activity screen appears.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the window. Upon arriving at the bottom of the window, more of your viewing history will be loaded. You can work your way down until all of your Netflix viewing history is available.
- Locate the specific video title that you want to remove from your viewing history. The date you viewed that content will be removed, and that particular file will be shaded in a darker color. Additionally, the Report a Problem text no longer appears to the right of that file, and the "X" is also removed. And finally, a message appears to the right of the title letting you know that particular file will be removed from your viewing activity on all of your devices over the course of the next 24 hours.
- Repeat this process for any additional video content you want to to be removed from your viewing history. Additionally, each piece of video content only appears once on the date when you most-recently viewed it, so you don't have to go back and delete something from your history each time you watched it.
What's the risk of deleting content from my Netflix viewing activity?
The first risk is that you actually delete a piece of content that you like and it doesn't factor in to recommendations from Netflix going forward. Additionally, if this is a shared Netflix account, you're not just impacting the recommendations that get presented for you, but also for everyone who uses that particular account.
The second risk is that you delete the name of a piece of content from your Netflix viewing activity, and then in an effort to either recommend that video to someone or make sure they avoid viewing that particular content, you forget the name of it. If you delete the video from your list you won't be able to go back to that list as a frame of reference to find the name of content you previously viewed.
© 2016 Max Dalton