Want to check Netflix Viewing history, date and time? Monitor your child’s viewing activity on Netflix right now with this quick and easy guide.
In this article:
- Why Netflix Viewing History Matters
- What You Can Do with Viewing History on Netflix
- How Safe Is Netflix for Your Children?
- How to Know the Netflix Watching History of Your Kids
- This Is Not Foolproof
Netflix Viewing History | Why It Matters and How to Access It
What is Netflix viewing history? Also known as “Viewing Activity,” this refers to the feature that compiles everything a user watched on Netflix into a list.
Why Netflix Viewing History Matters
Your Netflix viewing history is a powerful tool that can help improve your experience. Here’s how the site actually uses it to provide a better experience to its users.
Viewing history is where Netflix gets its data from in order to fine-tune what titles to recommend to you. So the next time you watch something and end up loving it, there’s part of the reason.
Let’s face it: most of you probably lend your Netflix account to other people. The viewing history allows you to see who’s watching and what they watch.
You can see what your family is watching and use it to spark a conversation about that series or movie they watched. Or maybe give someone who’s not supposed to use your account the boot.
What You Can Do with Viewing History on Netflix
1. Hide Netflix Titles from Viewing Activity
If you need to hide certain titles from your Netflix Viewing Activity, it’s also totally possible.
When you hide these titles from your viewing activity, they will no longer appear as a title you have watched and will no longer be used to make recommendations to you unless you watch it again. Hiding titles also removes a title from appearing in the “Continue Watching” row.
To hide titles, do the following steps:
- Sign in to your Netflix account.
- Select the profile whose watch history you want to edit on the menu.
- Go to the “Account” page.
- Select “Viewing Activity” under the “My Profile” header
- Click on the icon next to the episode or title you wish to hide. If you’re selecting a series episode, there’s also an option to hide an entire series.
- Select the “Hide all” option at the bottom of the page if you want to clear your viewing activity. A prompt confirming you wish to hide your entire history will appear.
It can take up to 24 hours for the title to be completely hidden from all your devices. So, if you watched a cartoon with your kid together and wanted Netflix to stop suggesting cartoons to you, it would take that long for Netflix to stop doing that.
If you want even more privacy, ensure you use a VPN for Netflix.
Note: This process can’t be done on Kids profiles.
2. Download Your Netflix Viewing Activity
It’s also possible to download your entire viewing activity from the Netflix website so you can easily see what titles you viewed and when. If you want to start downloading your viewing history, do the following:
- Sign in to your Netflix account.
- Select the profile whose viewing history you want to edit on the drop-down menu.
- Go to the “Account” page.
- Select “Viewing Activity” under “My Profile” header
- At the bottom of the My Activity pane, click “Download All.”
A dialog box appears which notes that the file should be downloaded to your computer. You can click on the “Download Viewing Activity” button to download the file in case this doesn’t happen automatically.
Once downloaded, this file can be opened in any program that can open CSV files (like Microsoft Excel). Repeat the steps for all the accounts you want to download the viewing history from.
3. View Ratings
You can also view which Netflix titles you rated and change their rating if you want to. To do this, click the “Rating” tab on the upper right corner of the page.
This page shows which titles you liked and disliked, which Netflix uses in their algorithms to determine the titles they think you should watch next.
4. Check Who Else Accessed Your Account
A Netflix account can accommodate a limited amount of users. You can check who streamed using an account and where using the “Account Activity” page.
Once you’re on the “Viewing Activity” page, click the “Recent account access” link on top. Once there, you would see when someone last streamed from the account, where they streamed from, and what device.
Note that the location specified is an approximate value and determined through the IP address. If you see anything suspicious and you know that none of the devices are stolen, simply change your Netflix password to make sure no one can access your account without permission.
To be sure, you can also sign out all devices connected to your Netflix account afterward. This may take up to eight hours to finish.
However, If you believe that any of the devices in the recent account activity have been stolen, do not sign out all devices as this also clears location data needed to track the device down.
If you’re sharing your account with your kids, you can also use the viewing history to monitor what they’re watching.
How Safe Is Netflix for Your Children?
Your Netflix viewing history can be a good or a bad thing depending on certain situations. I have been a subscriber and avid user of the video streaming service for many months now (and you’ll know later on about my favorite show). Using it is one of my guilty pleasures.
I can spend hours watching an entire series and every TV episode. When I am outside, I can catch some movies on its mobile app, which you can install on different Android and iOS devices.
The browsing history is essential to help the platform generate similar recommendations. My Netflix viewing activity can also work like my bookmark. I can go there and check out the episodes or series I have streamed and want to re-watch.
As a parent, it’s a different story. I am reluctant to let my children use my Netflix account or, worse, have their own. Netflix has lousy parental controls for their customers. Sure, you can set up profiles for your children. This way, your recommendations don’t get mixed in with theirs.
You can also each maintain your queues or assign a PIN to restricted titles, but that’s about the extent of it. The profiles aren’t password protected. Your child can freely choose to use whatever profile they want and access a wide variety of data.
How to Know the Netflix Watching History of Your Kids
What if you do let your children use your Netflix account? What if they already have their own account, and you want to know what they are watching? I have some tips on how to know their Netflix viewing history
1. Know How They Access Netflix
One of the first steps is to determine how they are using Netflix. If they use the profile in your account, then it’s a simple matter of checking their watch history (I’ll get to this in a minute) for their profile.
While you’re at it, check the other profiles as well, including your own. They might have “accidentally” used the wrong one.
You will know if another person used it by checking the recommendations and the log. If they don’t look familiar, there’s a good chance someone has been using your account for some time.
If they have their own account, then you’ll need to know their Netflix username and password. It is a good practice anyway for any type of online account your child may have. It lets you periodically monitor their activity.
2. Check Their Netflix Viewing History
The next step is to open your Internet browser and go to netflix.com. Log in to whatever account you want to check.
As far as I can tell, you can’t use the Netflix app to do what I am about to describe. Stick with an Internet browser like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer.
Once you are logged in, click the profile icon near the top right of the screen. Select the “Your Account” option from the drop-down menu that appears.
On the “Account” screen that displays next, click the “Viewing Activity” link in the “My Profile” section.
It will bring up a list of all of the movies and television shows that have been viewed in your account. It all tells the date the person viewed the content. Scroll through the list. Make sure nothing stands out to you.
Perhaps you have entries you don’t recognize or videos that may not be appropriate for your children to watch.
Note: Yes, this viewing activity is from my account, and yes, I binge-watched Breaking Bad.
This Is Not Foolproof
Keep in mind if your child is old enough, they may access their Netflix viewing history themselves. They can go on to deleting the movie or television shows they have watched from the list. It only takes a simple click of the mouse on the “X” to the right of each entry to do it.
Also, only you can decide what course of action to take if you do find something inappropriate on the list. Sometimes the child accidentally clicked a movie. Even if they did the right thing by turning it off immediately, the video link will still show up on the list.
BONUS: Use the Netflix Offline Viewing Feature
If you really don’t want people to see that guilty pleasure show you’re watching, use Netflix’s “Offline Viewing” feature so you can download and watch them offline. Watching downloaded titles don’t count towards your account’s streaming limit so even if others are using your account, you can still watch.
Before you can download a Netflix title, here are the requirements:
- An Internet connection (to download the title)
- An active Netflix account
- A device running: iOS 9.0 or later, Android 4.4.2 or later, Amazon Fire OS 4.0 or later, or Windows 10 Version 1607 (Anniversary Update) or later
- The latest version of the Netflix iOS, Android, Amazon Fire, or Windows 10 apps
Unfortunately, you can’t download that movie you’re watching on that Smart TV or in the browser. It’s got to be from an app.
To start downloading, browse to the title you want to download and select the Download option on the description. Once the download has completed, you should be able to see it on the My Downloads section of the app.
If the Download option doesn’t appear, it’s either your device doesn’t support downloading, or Netflix didn’t make it available for download.
Watch these top Netflix family-friendly movies in this video from TechJunkie:
What is then important is to go beyond knowing how to use the Netflix viewing history. You need to educate your child on what is appropriate and what isn’t.
Help them understand the benefits of parental controls. Work on a plan with the family on how to use and access websites such as Netflix.
Does your family use Netflix? What are your family rules about it? Share your experiences in the comments section below.
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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on September 26, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.