written by: Elton Gahr•edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 8/4/2011
The movies we watch often tell a lot about us, and in the case of some movies, too much. In those cases, the ability to remove that history is appealing. It is not easy, but there are a number options which can help you to delete Netflix recently watched history.
slide 1 of 6
One of the great things about the Netflix instant watch system and Netflix in general is that you can check out movies that you might otherwise never look at. On the other hand, having a permanent record of these videos may not be ideal. The ability to remove them from your recently watched list before your friends, wife or parents discover it may be useful. Sadly, there is no easy way to do this, but there are a few ways to get around Netflix inability to remove the history.
slide 2 of 6
The easiest way to clear the recently watched history is simply to change it by watching more movies. If you begin a movie –even if you don’t watch it all the way through—it is added to your history. This means that you can start a number of movies, let them play for a couple of minutes and then stop them, as most people are never going to look past the recently watched history. Not a complete solution, but if you just do not want someone to notice you were streaming a horrible movie this is generally going to work.
slide 3 of 6
While there is no way to clear the history of a Netflix account, if you really feel the need to eliminate any history of Netflix then the best choice is one that is going to take a fair amount more work. You will need to cancel your account and sign up for a new one. This will not actually remove the old account, but the new account will not have any history.
There are a couple of problems with this. It will take a fair amount of effort. If you have physical disks, you will need to return them and make a new movie queue, because just like your movie history, your current queue is going to be gone. In addition to this, it will probably cost something to switch. Finally, if you do not want people who were on your account to be able to check it, you will need to change the password as well.
slide 4 of 6
Controlling Your Netflix History: Using Profiles
One interesting way to help control the history of your accounts is with profiles. Many people may not know they exist, but you can set up multiple profiles for shipped disks. Only the main profile has access to the instant watch so this will not help with that, but the histories for the shipped disks can be kept separate this way. If you simply make a profile and have all the movies shipped to that profile rather than your main account, you will be able to keep the histories separate as well.
slide 5 of 6
Netflix and Your Movie History
Netflix does not allow you to easily change or remove your movie history for a number of good reasons. The most important of them is that the information gathered, even when not connected to you is valuable to them in a number of ways. This means that it is unlikely that in the future they are going to make it easy to remove or change the history of the movies that you rent. Still, if you need to control it there are things that you can do which will give you at least partial control over your Netflix history.