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Maybe you’re trying to be cool but Netflix keeps recommending you watch “NCIS.”
What if you’re a Grinch, but Prime Video steers you to Christmas movies? Or your one week YouTube obsession with cliff diving now means you can’t escape those daredevil videos every time you open the app.
Good news: Buried in those three popular video services are do-over buttons to reduce the likelihood of entertainment recommendations you don’t want. They’re not foolproof but these features are a chance at a fresh start.
I have instructions below to reset the automated recommendations in Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video. That’s not an option for Hulu, Disney Plus, Max (formerly HBO Max) or Peacock.
Many of the online spots where we hang out rely on automated suggestions, including our web searches, social media feeds, Amazon shopping and the videos you see on TikTok, YouTube, Netflix and more.
Streaming video recommendations are another example of the glories and the frustrations of having our choices steered by computers. Those recommendations help you sort through zillions of options. They can also feel manipulative or maddeningly clueless about what you really want.
Netflix, YouTube and Prime Video deserve a thumbs up for giving us a measure of control over their recommendation algorithms. To the other services: Pffft. (That’s the sound of a raspberry, in text.)