Netflix Won’t Let Customers Clear Their Viewing History. Why Is That?

by on January 2, 2012

in consumer, consumer reviews

NetflixNetflix users have been asking since at least 2007, for the ability to clear or hide their “recent viewed” queue.  And yet there are still no options for this?  Why’s that?  You would think with the clamor that Netflix would want to appease those for this long-running inquiry.

I’ve seen suggestions, but not logical ones.

I’ve been watching my brother-in-law tinker around with his Netflix account and the principle is pretty neat.  But the more I see him tinker, the more I’m thinking that Netflix is not better than sliced bread.  Most movies are not the newest and there’s an eclectic and cumbersome way to navigate their entertainment choices.

But what I’ve noticed is that as you create a viewing history, THERE IS NO WAY TO FILTER, HIDE or DELETE it.

Why filter, or delete the viewing history?  The most common reason I’m seeing out on the web is if someone watches something of a questionable moral nature, they don’t want their friends, family, or more importantly, their kids to see this viewing activity.  I get that.

The reason I’m focused on this is because I noticed that with my brother-in-law’s situation, his kids use Netflix to watch their movies, but they have access and are exposed to the entire viewing history of the account.

That doesn’t seem smart from Netflix’s side of things.  They don’t seem to care that their customers are asking for a filter.

This request for an option to filter or delete viewing history has been floating around for a long time but what I found for a reply from a Netflix representative seemed glib.

The cavalier appearing reply addressed their “deep honesty” policy.  In other words, everyone should be like them.

“…this deep honesty policy: we generally say whatever we’re thinking to whoever needs to hear it.”

I interpret that to saying it doesn’t matter what their customers are saying.  Then it looks like they questioned people’s sense of morals with this continuation of their post:

“if you’re REALLY friends, then you should be okay showing them what you’re really watching.”

Netflix PCSeriously?  That seems unrealistic and ignores the idea that sometimes parents want to be able to freely watch things and not worry about their kids seeing the titles.

Later, Netflix states that they don’t want to clutter up the screen with another option button.

“The Queue is out. It’s not worth the complexity of another column for the one title you want to hide once every few months.”

This feels cavalier and if I were read between the lines, customers requests aren’t worth it.

Netflix’s only other option to removing viewed content, doesn’t really address viewed content, but rather,

  • Going through the process of creating a separate, sub-account to watch things on.


  • Cancel and recreate your account.

One one bulletin board I saw one customer suggest partially watching 4 different movies or shows to push the old content out of the way from the primary screen.

Another BB post said the following:

“Quote – “According to Netflix it’s because the movie licensing companies won’t let them disable recent history because they want to keep track of what we’re watching so they can target marketing to the viewers.”

If that reply is accurate, that seems fanciful and does not address the TV shows in the queue.

There seems to be something going on in the background of Netflix to actively ignore folks asking for this feature, but who knows what that is.

Consumer Bits on Brusimm 200w logo, [Consumer News, advice and reviews]As a potential customer who had been considering this service, I’m not impressed.

Unless I missed some new development, it seems that Netflix will not allow users to modify, delete, or clear recently viewed content list.  In this day and age, there’s no excuse to not give consumers what they want.

If this is important to you, remember, your wallet is the voting tool here.  And as far as I can guess, Netflix is not concerned, since they are not losing enough business over this issue to make this a priority.

But that’s just my take.  I could be wrong.

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

riven May 10, 2015 at 7:57 pm

You can now delete your viewing history. Under your account, go to my profile and click on viewing activity. Delete anything you are done with, and it takes it off the list.

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