Want to Wipe Your Streaming History on Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and Amazon? Here’s How
Whether you've spent 12 straight hours watching Friends, re-watched all of The Office for the fifth time, or gotten embarrassingly into baking shows, you may not want a permanent record of your streaming history. All major streaming platforms—including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube—keep track of every show, movie, and video you watch. That's the reason you get bombarded with suggestions of serial killers documentaries after watching the first two minutes of a true crime show. If you find this feature more annoying than helpful—or if you would just like to hide a specific part of your viewing history—nearly every streaming service offers a way to do that.
Thrillist compiled a round-up of the simplest ways to hide what you watch online. According to them, Netflix doesn't just let you wipe your viewing history, but it allows you to select certain shows and movies to hide. If you head to netflix.com/WiViewingActivity, you'll see a chronological list of every piece of content you've watched through the service. If you watched The Conjuring (2013) recently but aren't interested in recommendations of more horror movies, you can select the "cancel" icon to the right of the title. Do the same for certain titles you'd like to erase from your profile, or for all of them by clicking "Hide All" at the bottom of the page.
YouTube also makes it easy to edit your history. Just click the "X" next to each video listed on youtube.com/feed/history to hide it, or select "Clear All Watch History" from the column on the right side of the page. The "Pause Watch History" is YouTube's equivalent of incognito mode in your browser, and it allows you to surf videos without worrying about messing with the algorithm.
Hulu's viewing history management feature is similar to the services listed above. Visit secure.hulu.com/account, go to your name in the top right corner of the page, select “History” and edit your history from there.
Amazon makes this process slightly more annoying for users, according to Cordcutters. You can view your Amazon Prime Video viewing history by going to the "Improve Your Recommendations" page here, and you can delete entries individually by selecting, "Remove This From Watched Videos," but there's no way to wipe your history all at once. Amazon also gives you to the option to tick a "Don't Use for Recommendations" box next to each title if you want to remove an item from the algorithm without hiding it completely.
Many subscribers don't do much on their favorite streaming platforms beyond hitting "Play" and "Yes, I'm still watching." But if you know what features are available to you, you can tweak your account to make a streaming experience that's tailored to you. Here are some ingenious Netflix hacks you may not be taking advantage of.