Tech hacks – Netflix “secret codes” handbook2 min read

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You sit down, turn on the TV and flick on Netflix only to spend ages looking for something to watch that fits your mood. Let’s say, it is a drama based on a book from the 1980s. You find your film, start watching and realise that you really want to watch a Mexican crime movie. In the end, you spend more time looking for something to watch than you actually spent watching. Sound familiar? The streaming service has a fantastically large selection but if the scenario here is something you deal with constantly (like me) than you may find it useful to know of the “secret codes” Netflix uses to categorise their content.

Netflix uses codes to organise their content into genre and sub-categories. This is how the streaming service knows what to recommend to you based off your previous viewing habits. The algorithm Netflix uses is secret but the category codes are not. Want to watch a suspenseful gay & lesbian psychological movie? Search 2099. How about a witty political drama. That would be 979. Or maybe a feel-good education & guidance show starring the Muppets. Yes, that is a category and its number is 4699.

Netflix secret code hack

Try it for yourself. In your browser, type in After the genre backslash, put in the category code. So, if you wanted to watch a critically-acclaimed sentimental movie from the 1980s, it should look like –

There is literally a code for almost any category you can think of: Campy Crime Action Sci-Fi & Fantasy (2915), Action & Adventure directed by Clint Eastwood (4998), Dark Tearjerkers (1061), Goofy Teen Coming-of-age Movies (1918), Quirky Biographical Documentaries (4467). However obscure, everyone’s favorite streaming service seem to have a category code for it. Take a look at the genre category code list for yourself. Hopefully it will help find you the show that best suits your mood.

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