How To Watch Netflix on a Computer

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. The legend below the numbered screenshot will be your guide.

1. 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.

2. Volume control – Select this to adjust the volume or mute Netflix completely.

3. Title – 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.

4. 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.

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

6. 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.

7. Languages/Subtitles – 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.

8. Share – 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.

9. Full screen – To watch a film on full screen, select this button. To exit full screen, press the “Esc” button on your keyboard.

10. Time – 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.

11. Back button – Click this to go back to the main Netflix interface.


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.