How to see everything you’ve watched on Netflix and other streaming services

Streaming is a curious beast. One minute you'll be enjoying the '80s vibe of Stranger Things and the next you'll be struggling to pick something from that overwhelming catalog. Sometimes, though, you'll stumble on something that you'd normally never choose — a Netflix suggestion from a friend or a recent addition that had escaped your glance as you navigated Amazon Prime Video's curated menus.

However, once you've watched that movie or TV show and moved on, it may drop back into relative obscurity, reducing your chances of remembering and paying that recommendation forward many months later. You may also have watched something, hated it and want to make sure it doesn't impact future recommendations. Luckily, many streaming services keep a running list of the things you've watched (if they haven't been removed from the catalog due to licensing agreements). Here's how to find them.

Netflix

Netflix
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Finding your viewing history on Netflix is a simple affair. Visit Netflix.com, ensure you're logged in and then hover over your profile name. Select Your Account from the menu. Now, scroll down to the bottom and select Viewing Activity. You should now be presented with a list of everything you've streamed on your account.

Alternatively, you can click here.

While you're there, you can decide how your history impacts Netflix recommendations. Clicking the X next to a title will ensure it's deleted from your Recently Watched or Continue Watching row, but it will also ensure that Netflix doesn't use a moment of streaming weakness against you. Once it has been removed, it won't appear in your list until you watch it again.

Apple TV+

Apple TV Recently Watched
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Apple's catalog of streaming originals might not be as broad as, say, Netflix or Disney+, but the iPhone-maker has a very comprehensive movie and TV store that can help fill the gaps. 

If you're looking to see what you've recently watched on either Apple TV+ or inside Apple's TV app generally, the company does provide a way to see your viewing history, but it's hidden away right at the bottom of the TV app itself.

Simply open the TV app on a Mac or iOS device and keep scrolling to the very bottom of the Watch Now tab. There, you'll see a small selection of your most recently viewed content. Select the 'See All' link to view everything you've ever watched on Apple TV (this may also include movies and TV shows from third-party apps you have installed on your Apple TV streamer.)

Unfortunately, Apple doesn't offer a dedicated 'Recently Watched' section in the TV+ web UI, opting instead for an 'Up Next' section. You can, however, clear what you have watched by heading to Settings and selecting Clear Play History. Alternatively, click here.

You can also remove individual movies and TV episodes from your Recently Watched list by long-pressing on the thumbnail of the content you wish to remove and selecting 'Remove from Recently Watched.' Perfect, if you've viewed something you told your significant other you'd wait for them to watch together.

Disney+

Disney+
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Disney+ may now be over two years old, but it's not quite yet caught up with the likes of Netflix and Amazon when it comes to features. Sadly, that means you can't currently see your viewing history on Disney+.

Like many of its rivals, Disney does offer a Continue Watching section, which may help surface movies or TV shows that you may have stopped viewing just as the credits began to roll. 

If it's something you feel very strongly about, you can head to the Disney+ website and hit the Give Feedback button at the bottom to, very politely, request that they add the feature.

Hulu

Hulu Keep Watching
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If you're a Disney+ subscriber in the US, there's a chance that you may have signed up for the Disney Bundle to get subscriptions to Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu for a discounted price. Unlike Disney+, however, Hulu does allow you to properly maintain your watch history both inside its apps and on the web. 

It may not be immediately obvious, but Hulu keeps your viewing history inside the Keep Watching section, from which you can browse the movies and TV shows you've already streamed. To make things confusing, you cannot see the individual episodes of a show you've already watched in the Keep Watching section, so you'll need to select the Details page of a particular series and add it to My Stuff. This will also let you see how many unwatched episodes you've got left to stream.

To remove content, navigate to the Keep Watching page and click on the X to purge it from your watch history. On mobile, tap the three dots on the thumbnail of the selected show or movie and hit Remove from Watch History.

HBO Max

HBO Max
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As it stands, HBO Max doesn't offer a way to see everything you've watched. It does, however, automatically add movies and TV series that you haven't finished watching to its Continue Watching row on the home screen of the service. 

To remove a movie or show from your Continue Watching listing in your app or on the web, tap on your profile icon, then Continue Watching, and then Edit. Then, simply tap the X next to an individual item or Clear All to remove everything. When you're finished, hit Done.

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Viewing History
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Unlike Netflix, Amazon doesn't make it easy to see what you've previously watched. In fact, it buries its listing inside a number of links that you wouldn't otherwise check.

If you want to go the manual route, ensure you're logged in on the Amazon website and click the Your Account link on the top bar. On the resulting page, scroll down to Personalization and click Improve Your Recommendations. Now, on the left menu, click Videos You've Watched.

The quicker method is to click here if you live in the US or here if you live in the UK.

Here, you can rate a TV show or movie so that Amazon can better understand your likes and dislikes or exclude that listing entirely. If you've found that both Netflix and Amazon have done a poor job of matching content to your interests, this is a good way to provide it with more insight.

Peacock

Peacock
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Peacock doesn't currently provide a way to see everything you've streamed on its service. It does, however, offer a Continue Watching section that will list all of the movies and TV shows that you have started but may not have completely finished. 

Paramount+

Paramount
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Paramount+ also doesn't currently provide a way to see everything you've watched. There is a Keep Watching section, though, that lists all of the movies and TV shows that you have started but may not have completely finished.

The best podcasting gear for beginners

Starting a podcast is easy. Making one that actually sounds good is another story entirely. We can't help much with the bigger problems facing would-be podcasters — finding a good topic and getting people to listen — but we can point you to the best gear to get started. With a few smart purchases, you too can sound like a podcast pro.

Get a decent microphone

You need a good microphone. There's no arguing with this. It doesn't matter if you're starting your own show or planning to guest on someone else's podcast. A great microphone will elevate your voice to help you get the sort of depth and richness you hear on the radio and popular shows like Radiolab. While you could record with your phone or your PC's webcam mic in a pinch, nobody wants to hear that every week.

Blue Yeti

We strongly suggest starting with a solid USB microphone. They can connect easily to any computer (or even phones and tablets with a dongle), and they'll offer a huge leap in sound quality. Previously, we’ve recommended the Blue Yeti as the ideal beginner mic. It’s easy to use and sounds great for the price. But it’s also a condenser microphone, which means it’s not great for the noisy environments most newfound podcasters are recording in. So this year, we’re suggesting you jump straight to an inexpensive dynamic microphone like the Audio Technica ATR-2100X.

Buy Blue Yeti at Amazon - $130Buy Audio Technica ATR-2100X at Amazon - $99

Dynamic microphones do a better job of isolating your voice and cutting out background noise — the only downside is that you need to speak close to it like a radio host. The ATR 2100X also has USB-C and XLR connections, which means you can easily bring it over to a more professional audio interface down the line, or drag it along to a friend’s studio.

There are cheaper USB microphones out there like Blue's Snowball ($80) and AmazonBasics' Mini Condenser ($45), but you’ll pay for going cheap with noisier recordings. If you're serious about podcasting, it's worth spending a bit more up front: There's a good chance you'll end up chucking a cheaper mic once you hear the difference.

Buy Blue Snowball at Amazon - $80Buy AmazonBasics Mini Condenser at Amazon - $45

Pro tip: RTFM

You should actually read the instructions and make sure you know what every dial and button does. Most importantly, make sure you're speaking in the right direction! With most microphones, including the Blue Yeti, you want to aim at the side with the brand label. Some models, like the ATR2100X and other dynamic mics, need to be addressed from the top. Yes, I know this all sounds basic, but I've encountered dozens of people who end up aiming for the wrong part of their mics when they're getting started.

It's also worth picking up a few accessories to make your recordings sound great. Get a pop filter or foam cover to avoid plosives (that annoying titutal pop when you make "p" sounds). If you're going to be recording regularly, it's worth investing in a tabletop arm to hold your mic in an optimal position (and also avoid the extra noise you get from desktop stands).

You could, of course, start exploring more-expensive microphone options, but I'd suggest holding off on those until you're more committed to the podcasting life. The next big level up from USB options is the world of XLR microphones, the same interface used for professional audio gear. You'll also need a USB audio interface, like the Tascam US-2x2 or FocusRite Scarlett 2i2 ($170), to connect those mics to your computer. At that point, you can start looking at higher-end options like the Rode Procaster ($224). It sounds noticeably richer than the Yeti, and since it's a dynamic microphone, it's also better at cutting out unwanted noise.

Here's some advice: You can save quite a bit by buying all this equipment used or refurbished. I saved $100 on the excellent Shure PG42 USB microphone years ago by going through eBay.

Buy FocusRite Scarlett 2i2 at Amazon - $170Buy Rode Procaster at Amazon - $224

Choose your audio-editing weapons

Now that you have the hardware, you need some software to put your show together. There's no avoiding this part: You need to learn the basics of audio editing. Luckily, there's Audacity, a free, open-source audio editor that works across every computing platform. Its UI is ugly and a bit archaic, but it's also pretty powerful once you get a handle on it. I've edited all of my shows with Audacity, and aside from a few annoying crashes and quirks, it suits my needs well.

If you're looking for something more robust or you grow tired of Audacity, the free version of AVID's Pro Tools is worth a look, and there's Reaper by Winamp creator Justin Frankel. They're both full-fledged digital audio workstations (DAW), and Reaper also has the bonus of working with plenty of tools and plug-ins. At the high end of the spectrum, there's Adobe Audition, but at $21 per month, or $240 for the year, it's not worth considering until podcasting has become your life.

AKG K Series Production Headphones

Get good headphones

Headphones are the best way to monitor your recordings — that is, to hear yourself as you're recording — as well as to make sure they sound great once completed. You'll definitely want something better than the earbuds that came with your phones. We recommend starting with something like Sony's MDR-7506 ($98), a pair of over-the-ear headphones that have been studio mainstays for decades. They offer a neutral sound and a light fit, exactly what you'll need for hours of editing. If you've already picked up a pair of great headphones, those will work fine. (Be sure to turn off any noise-canceling features, though, as they can color what you're hearing while monitoring recordings.)

We're not going to go down the rabbit hole of recommending large speakers like you'd find in a real studio. They're not worth it for podcast editing, and most people will be listening to your show with headphones anyway. Of course, if you make something that sounds great on headphones, it'll probably be fine on speakers.

Buy Sony MDR-7506 at Amazon - $98

Prep your recording altar

You can't just set up your fancy new microphone anywhere! You'll want to find a room that's as quiet as possible, or even a small closet. If both of those options are out, carve out some space in the corner or along a wall of a larger room. Wherever you set up, you'll need to treat your space a bit with some foam wedges or other sound-absorbing objects. You can always go the simple route: Drape a curtain or blanket over your desk to create an isolated sound-dampened spot.

Learn how to record with friends

So now you're all set to record a podcast on your own. But how do you bring in a co-host or guest? That's where things get a bit complicated. You could chat with a friend over Skype and record their audio using something like Total Recorder on Windows or Soundflower on Mac. You'll want to make sure the other person is also aiming for the best audio quality with a high-quality mic. In a pinch, you can have a guest record a voice memo on their phone (but be sure to follow NPR's phone-recording guidelines).

To simplify remote group recordings, you could consider web-based services like Zencastr and Cast, which automatically capture high-quality local audio. They’ll get you better quality than a Skype recording, since you’re not dealing with compressed audio from your guests. These services let you quickly edit and process recordings online as well. While they may sound like podcasting heaven, there are issues to watch out for. Network interruptions could easily render a session useless, and they’re demanding on systems with minimal RAM. If you go this route, be sure to have backup recordings.

For the most control, your co-host can record their side of the conversation on their end and send it to you afterward. This obviously introduces additional layers of complexity, like making sure your audio stays synchronized throughout the whole recording. It's also tougher to edit, since you're juggling multiple files on a timeline instead of one. But honestly, the quality bump is worth it. If you're looking to hone your audio-editing skills, there are online tutorials like this Udemy course or YouTube instructional videos.

Recording with another person physically near you is a bit tougher. Some mics like the Blue Yeti have modes for shared recording. Otherwise, you'll need to get a USB audio interface to plug multiple XLR mics into your computer. If you're going that route, you'll have to be extra careful about avoiding crossover recordings on those mics. If you're looking to record interviews on the go, nab a digital audio recorder like the Zoom H1n ($120) and a few mics like Rode's Lavalier Go ($79). Since it won't sound nearly as good as a home setup, I wouldn't recommend this as your main recording method (unless you invest in a powerful recorder with support for pro-grade XLR mics).

Buy Zoom H1n at Amazon - $120Buy Rode Lavalier Go at Amazon - $79

Choose a podcasting service

Once you've locked in an episode or two, it's time to start exploring podcast hosts. These will host your files, give you a feed you can subscribe to in any podcast app and usually help you list your show on iTunes, Spotify and other services. Most important, you can get some detailed analytics from hosts, and if you get popular enough, they can also help you nab some sponsorships. You can get started for free with Acast, $5 per month with Libsyn, or $10 per month with Audioboom.

Photos: avdyachenko (Mic setup); Olly Curtis/Future Publishing via Getty Images (AKG headphones); Getty Images (podcast interview)

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