Netflix starts testing private mode to hide what you watch


Designed to hide the list of your most recently viewed movies and television shows, Netflix is currently testing a private viewing mode that keeps your content history completely private from anyone else that uses the main profile on your Netflix account. In addition to hiding recently viewed content, anything you watch isn’t included in Netflix’s recommendation algorithm. According to a report in Gigaom, the mode is currently being tested in a number of markets with a limited number of users. Those tests are expected to continue throughout the next few months.

Speaking to Gigaom about the tested feature, Netflix director of corporate communications Cliff Edwards said “At Netflix, we continuously test new things. In this case, we are testing a feature in which a user watching a movie or TV show can choose to view in ‘Privacy Mode.’ Choosing that option means the program will not appear in your viewing activity log, nor will it be used to determine recommendations about what you should watch in the future.”


This type of mode could be particularly useful when guests are visiting your home and using the home’s Netflix account since the private mode would keep their selections out of your recommendations list. Alternatively, the Netflix user would have to setup an alternate user account for the guest to keep all recommendations out of the main account.

Of course, Netflix will have to modify the settings menu on all versions of the Netflix application in order to properly roll out the new feature on all platforms. This is assuming the feature will be approved by Netflix management after the testing period. According to Edwards, the feature may not even roll out if the test users aren’t interested in accessing the new private mode.