The free plug-in allows you to synchronize your viewing activity with any number of other accounts—when one person pauses the program, for example, it automatically freezes on everyone else’s screen, too. There’s even a message bar along the right side of your screen, so you can keep up a steady stream of commentary about whatever you decide to watch, from plot twists in Zodiac (2007) to period gowns in The Duchess (2008).
It only works with Google Chrome, which you can install here. After you’ve done that, have everyone in your group head to NetflixParty.com and click “Get Netflix Party for free!” Once downloaded, you should see a tiny gray NP button to the right of your search bar.
Go to the Netflix website (in your Google Chrome browser), log into your account, and play any movie or television show. When it starts, the NP icon will turn red. Click on it, and a small pop-up window will read “Create a Netflix Party.” If you want to be the only one who can play or pause the program, check the box for “Only I have control.” (For a true movie night atmosphere, we recommend that you leave that box unchecked—otherwise, the rest of your party might feel like you’re leading an academic seminar.) Then, click “Start the party.”
That’ll generate a unique URL to your Netflix Party, which you should copy and send to the other members of the group. Once they paste it into their Google Chrome search bars and hit “Enter,” it’ll take them to the program you’re currently watching. Just one step left—ask them to click the now-red NP icon, which will link your viewing activity.
Grab your favorite snacks, hit “play,” and enjoy a risk-free evening with your best friends.
Spending a little extra time on Netflix lately? Here are 24 other hacks to enhance your viewing experience.