I’ve been hearing reports that Netflix is testing out a new “Shuffle” option, which is exactly the kind of thing we need during these pandemic times — a way to make our binge sessions last even longer. The feature isn’t available for everyone just yet, but it doesn’t need to be. With a few clever workarounds, you can shuffle through Netflix’s vast library of content right now.
Before we begin, it’s worth checking to see if you are one of the lucky ones who already has the beta of the Shuffle option. If you are, it will be hard to miss: On your “Who’s watching Netflix?” screen, you’ll see a new “Shuffle Play” option; you might also see a “Play Something” option on your main Netflix screen, which will then jump you to a “random” Netflix show or movie — one that’s been curated based on the content you already like, and not a true shuffle, as Variety explains.
Netflix having a shuffle option is reckless pic.twitter.com/xHXiOcV3k9
— Margo (@margobugz) August 17, 2020
If you don’t see any of these options, you can either wait to see if they appear — I wouldn’t waste my time on that — or you can build an approximation of this feature into your Netflix experience using some clever third-party hacks.
Browser extensions that randomize Netflix
If you’re a Chrome user, I recommend checking out the following:
- ShuffleFlix: Lets you jump to a random episode for whatever series you’re watching. You won’t just get some crazy Netflix show you have no interest in viewing; instead, the experience is akin to all those times you would turn on Law & Order and swear you’ve never seen the random episode you happened upon, even though you’d probably actually seen it six times already over your years of watching reruns.
- Randflix: Same deal, different extension. If you’re having issues with ShuffleFlix, Randflix is a good alternative.
- Netflix Shuffle: Look! It’s the Firefox version of those other “shuffle through a random episode” extensions. It only works with a certain list of shows, though, make the option less impressive for Firefox fans. If you only care about one show — say, The Office — you can probably find specific randomizer extensions for that, too.
- Random Star Trek is just a website, not a browser extension, but it’s the perfect go-to if you want to shuffle your way through all the Star Trek franchises on Netflix (or Hulu).
iOS Shortcuts for Netflix shuffling
If you like to watch Netflix on iOS, you have a few options to help you pull up random Netflix content (or episodes of a particular series). Here are two general ones, and here is one specifically geared toward The Office. You can probably find more built around specific shows, or at least use these as the basis to create a randomizer for your own favourite series.
As for Android…
I haven’t found a good option for Android, which is a bummer. You can always use the slightly more generic Netflix Roulette website to assign you a random show or movie to watch on Netflix. It’s not as seamless as using an app or hack that lets you jump to a new show within your Netflix app, but it’s something if you’re looking for a shuffle option for the streaming service.