You may not realise it but by watching more and more of your favorite TV shows and movies on streaming services, you are actually giving away a lot of information about yourself.
This leads to “recommendations” by Netflix (some of which are just downright absurd) and your friends discovering your viewing habits if they ask to borrow your password.
I am still traumatised by the time Netflix suggested Spongebob SquarePants to me so obviously their algorithms are not perfect. Plus, if your friends DO watch things on your account, you are going to get recommendations based on THEIR viewing habits.
For example, in the screenshot below, I have only watched one of the three (Better Call Saul) and that was several years ago!
So the best thing to do is wipe your Netflix viewing history on a regular basis. This will also stop the “Do you want to watch this again?” questions. You won’t get personalised recommendations, but hey I’m sure you are capable of searching for your own shows to watch, right?
Deleting Your Netflix Viewing History In Several Easy Steps
It’s not difficult at all to delete your Netflix viewing history. You just have to know where to look for the right settings.
Click here which will take you to your account settings. You will obviously have to sign in.
Scroll down the page until you see “Viewing Activity”. Click on that. It’s worth noting that clicking on Viewing Activity will only show you the activity for the profile that is currently active.
If you want to see the viewing history for a different profile, first click on the dropdown at the top right and choose the desired profile. Netflix will take you back to the home page. Then click on the dropdown again and click on Account.
The Viewing Activity page is split into two sections: everything you have watched and everything you have rated. By clicking on the tabs at the top, you can switch from one to another.
Deleting data on Netflix is referred to as “hiding” it. So to hide everything, scroll right down to the bottom of the page and click “Hide All”. This will wipe the lot.
But not before you are asked if you are really sure you know what you are doing. So you have one chance to back out.
Removing Individual Items In The Viewing History
If you are not going all “scorched earth” and you only want to delete individual items, then scroll to the one you want to delete.
On the right-hand side is a circle with a diagonal line through it – click it and the show title will disappear from the list. Please note, you won’t be asked this time if you are sure, and there is no undo function!
You will see a message that will tell you that the title will be scrubbed from your account within 24 hours. But whenever I have removed titles, the change has been immediate.
What happens after this all depends on how extensively you have wiped your viewing history.
If you wiped everything, your recommendations will be reset, your place in shows (if you stopped part-way through) will be reset back to the beginning, and you won’t be asked if you want to watch something again.
If you only deleted one or two things, then the changes I just mentioned will only apply to those hidden titles.
It’s worth deleting on a regular basis, especially if you have other people accessing your account. Otherwise, things get very messy, very quickly.