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How Secret Netflix Codes Can Up Your Streaming Game in 2023

Netflix is packed with shows and movies. This trick makes finding something new to watch less of a chore.

Netflix on a phone screen
Netflix has thousands of movies and shows in its catalog, but scrolling to find them is exhausting.
Sarah Tew/CNET

This story is part of 12 Days of Tips, helping you make the most of your tech, home and health during the holiday season.

It's 2023, and you may want to rethink how you're using Netflix. Before you kick off your next streaming marathon, know that scrolling through the same list of Netflix's TV show and movie recommendations really aren't the best ways to find something new to watch. They're also not great to find other niche genres you might be interested in. 

But there's a secret trick for filtering Netflix's library by genre to find exactly what you're browsing for: Netflix codes. Instead of passively accepting the algorithm's picks, learn how to use Netflix codes to find your own next binge-watch.

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Read more: How to Turn Off Netflix's Pesky Autoplay Trailers

What are Netflix codes?

Netflix codes are based on a number system that corresponds to a different genre or subgenre, which the algorithm uses to categorize and serve up recommendations. For example, instead of scrolling through Horror, you can search Small Town Scares (81496215) for more specific results. 

So far, Netflix has about 36,000 codes. Note that codes can only be used on Netflix's website and not in its apps. 

netflix-codes-1

This is what you'll see when you visit the Netflix codes website. 

Screenshot by Shelby Brown/CNET

Where do I find Netflix's secret menu?

Check out netflix-codes.com for a full list. There are about 20 categories like anime, foreign movies and classic movies. Those categories are broken down into more specific subgenres. For example, horror movies -- coded 8711 -- houses 12 more codes like deep-sea horror movies, zombie horror movies, teen screams and more.

How do I use Netflix codes?

The easiest way is by installing the Better Browse for Netflix extension for Chrome. Here's how:

1. Go to the Chrome Web Store and search "Better Browse for Netflix."
2. Click Add to Chrome.
3. Click Add Extension
4. Log into your Netflix account in a new tab.

At the top of the Netflix home screen, you should see a new option -- Browse All -- next to My List. Click that to search manually or scroll through the subgenres available. 

netflix-codes-2

Use the code 5475 and you'll unlock a trove of romantic comedies on Netflix. 

Screenshot by Shelby Brown/CNET

Another way is through the Netflix codes website. Here's how:

1. Visit netflix-codes.com in your PC or mobile browser. 
2. Find the genre or subgenre you want to explore. 
3. Tap the code next to the genre or subgenre you want.
4. If you're on a device that has the Netflix app installed, the app should open and take you directly to the genre or subgenre you chose. If you don't have the app installed, it'll open Netflix through the browser and you can view the specific movies and shows available. 
5. Tap the title you want to watch. 

You can also use the Netflix codes manually in your browser. Here's how: 

1. Visit netflix-codes.com in your PC or mobile browser. 
2. Find the genre or subgenre you want to explore. 
3. In another tab, type in <http://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/INSERTNUMBER>, but replace INSERTNUMBER with the specific genre or subgenre code.
4. You'll be taken to Netflix to peruse the titles available in that section. 

From there, you can either make a mental note of the movie you want to watch and go back to the app on your preferred device, or log in to watch in your browser.