Watching Netflix on your Computer

Last updated: May 1, 2016 - 12:37pm EDT

Browsing Movies and TV Shows

When you’re logged into Netflix and on the homepage, you’ll see a small selection of movies from various categories.  These are usually based on what you watch or what a lot of other people on Netflix watch. Some examples of categories that are common to see on your homepage are: “Recently Watched,” “Top Picks for You,” “Popular on Netflix,” “Because You Watched [TV show/movie].”

To browse movies in that category, move your mouse cursor over the titles in that category to make two arrows appear on either side. Move your mouse cursor over either of these arrows to have the movie selection move left or right.

If you would like to search to see if Netflix has a specific movie or TV show – or even films with a specific actor – you can use the search bar in the top right corner. Click inside it, type in what you're looking for, and then click the magnifying glass icon.

To browse shows and movies within a specific genre, you can move your mouse cursor over the Browse button and select which genre you’d like to browse. Most genres are geared towards movies.  If you want to browse TV shows, select TV Shows in the browse menu.

From there, you can click Subgenres to open a drop-down menu with different types of TV shows.  Click on an option to narrow your search further.

Using the Netflix Player

While you’re watching a TV show or movie, you’ll have a few options to help you enjoy what you’re watching even more, and they're only a click away. 

Click the yellow circles () below to learn more about to use the Netflix video player:

Watch Netflix on Computer Screenshot

Play button

Select this button to play or pause what you’re watching. When the film is playing, this button will appear as a Pause button (it looks like two vertical lines); when the film is paused, it will appear as the Play button.


Volume control

Select this to adjust the volume or mute Netflix completely.



Shows the title of the film you’re watching. If you’re watching a TV show, it will show the title of the show, the season, the episode number, and the title of the episode.


HD (High Definition)

If you have a subscription that includes the ability to watch in High Definition, you have the option to turn it on or off here (assuming that the movie or show you're watching is available in HD). If you are worried about using too much Internet data, we recommend that you keep HD turned off.


Next episode

If you’re watching a TV show, you’ll have the option to skip straight to the next episode with this button.


Episode selection

If you want to select a specific episode while watching a TV show, move your mouse cursor over this button to see the episodes.  Click one to start playing it.



If the show is available in another language, or with subtitles, all language options will be here. The default is set to English with no subtitles.



If you’re connected to any social media – mainly Facebook – through Netflix, you have to ability to share what you’re watching with others. Select this button to share the title with your friends.


Full Screen

To watch a film on full screen, select this button. To exit full screen, press the "Esc" button on your keyboard.



See how far into the film you are, and how much time is left.  You can also click on the bar here to skip forward or back. When you move your mouse cursor over the bar, a small window will pop up with a still image of what scene you’ll be skipping to at that point.

NOTE: If you are unable to watch Netflix on your computer, you may need to install Microsoft Silverlight. In that case, head over to our Microsoft Silverlight for Netflix tutorial for information on what this program is and how to install it.


More Netflix Tutorials

See all 17 Netflix tutorials
Mark_complete_sm Back_to_course

Support TechBoomers

TechBoomers offers free articles that teach people how to use technology to make their lives easier (and more fun!). To support our work, some of our content contains links to websites that pay us affiliate commissions when our users visit them through us and make purchases. Learn more about how this works.

Did you learn what you wanted to?

Was something in this tutorial missing, confusing, or out of date? Or did it give you all the information you needed, and you just want to say "thanks"? We'd love to hear what you thought!