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How to ditch Netflix, stop watching TV and reclaim your life

Have you ever considered to stop watching TV?

As I walked around my neighborhood a few weeks ago, I couldn’t help but notice how many TV screens were on. It must have been around 7pm and most people were already glued to their screens, probably just getting ready for a long evening of binge watching.

Now, who was I to judge? I had been the one glued to my screen just weeks prior.

See, my husband and I had recently made the ‘life-changing’ decision to cancel our Netflix subscription and sell our TV.

And no, it wasn’t a spur of the moment kind of decision. We had talked about it for months never quite believing we would ever do it.

I mean, who in their right mind would give away their TV in the middle of the Dutch winter?

Well, we did.

And here is why and how we did it:

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have more questions about canceling Netflix, we’ve got you covered below.

I canceled my subscription but still got billed. What’s going on?

Netflix cancelations take effect on the next billing cycle. This means that if you’re due to be billed on the 1st of the upcoming month, but cancel on the 15th, you’ll still have access to all of Netflix’s content until the first.

Unfortunately, delays can occur when canceling, which means that if you cancel your subscription within one or two days from the renewal date, you may see another charge.

Once you’ve canceled your membership, verify that you have correctly completed the cancelation by checking your email. You should receive a confirmation email. If you didn’t receive one, log into Netflix and check that your membership is set to expire (there will be a notice listed).

Lastly, if you’re positive you canceled your account on time and canceled the correct account (you may have multiple), contact Netflix Support for help. Netflix’s official stance on refunds is that they do not offer them, but if you’ve been billed incorrectly, it’s worth reaching out to get your money back.

I don’t see the option to cancel under my profile. Why not?

If you’ve followed the steps above but do not see a cancellation option, it’s because you’re being billed through another service. If you aren’t sure which one, visit your Netflix account page and click on the link where your billing information should be. This will walk you through the cancelation process for your individual account setup.

Can I reactivate my account?

Yes. Netflix will allow you to reactivate your account for up to 10 months. If you do so within this period, your viewing history and everything will remain intact.

If you attempt to cancel after this period, you will need to start a brand new account.

Can I pause my account?

Pausing a subscription allows users to suspend their payments and service for a time. At this time, not everyone has the option to pause their accounts. Netflix did confirm in July of 2021 that it is testing the feature. Fortunately, as long as you resume your account before the 10th billing period, you can resume your service just as it was before.


How to Cancel Your Netflix Account: iOS

iPhone and iPad users can bypass the Netflix account altogether. Head straight to Safari or Chrome and visit your Netflix account page. From here, you should be able to use the desktop version of Netflix to cancel your membership.

  1. Tap the three vertical lines in the upper right-hand corner and tap Account.Scroll down the page and tap Cancel Membership.
  2. Scroll down the page and tap Cancel Membership.Confirm the cancellation
  3. Confirm the cancellation

When you initiate the cancellation, you can still access Netflix’s content until your billing date. To check your billing date, go to your Account Settings and look under ‘Membership.’ The next billing date will be listed.

You should receive a cancellation email from Netflix. Check your email to ensure that you won’t be billed for Netflix again.

Self-Control is the Key

study conducted by Brevers and Turel from 2019 analyzed strategies to control social media use and their effectiveness against excess.

The study found there are two main ways we can use self-control to stop excess social media use, and the same approach can be highly effective at stopping binge-watching and Netflix addiction:

  • Reactive
  • Proactive

Reactive methods of self-control are the methods that we can implement at the very moment when an urge is created to watch Netflix. These methods include positive self-talk or straightforward self-control you can implement in a few seconds when an urge occurs.

Proactive methods are long-term approaches to habitual change, such as changing or choosing situations for using social media or Netflix. These methods focus on changing your habits, so urges don’t present themselves as often. Strategies may include finding a new hobby, changing your lifestyle, or creating a schedule for your day.

The study found that the majority of people that try to quit social media use reactive, in-the-moment methods that are considerably more difficult to implement (due to the emotional triggers and cravings) – but this does not mean reactive strategies are not effective. It simply means that proactive methods are considered more effective, although they are also slightly more difficult to implement over a more extended period.

Strategies of Self-Control

There are two types of self-control: reactive and proactive. Within these methods are five specific strategies you can try to implement. We recommend starting with proactive approaches and then use reactive methods if urges are still showing up.

Here is a list of proactive strategies you can implement:

  • Turn off non-urgent notifications
  • Turn off autoplay
  • Block access to apps at specific times or entirely
  • Use grayscale on your phone to reduce appeal and stimulation

Here is a list of reactive strategies you can implement at the moment:

  • Prioritizing your tasks for the day (work > social media)
  • Remind yourself of the importance of tech-life balance
  • No checking social media until tasks are complete

The methods you’ll use to stop binge-watching Netflix will depend on what type of person you are, how well you can deal with self-control, and how deep your addiction is. 

To summarize, building better long-term habits and being less involved in bad habits will be far more effective than being good at stopping short-term urges

This will include replacing your binge-watching activity with other activities such as new hobbies. If you watch Netflix in the evening, then you might need to turn off your computer, phone, or internet connection altogether to try and stop your destructive habit of binge-watching.

Even though most people focus on short-term solutions, the best way to stop binge-watching Netflix is to start with long-term, proactive methods and only use reactive methods if needed.

Escaping reality

Do you ever ‘escape’ your problems by watching TV?

I know I have done it. Countless times.

The truth is that there is nothing that a little bit of entertainment can’t take your mind off, at least for the time that you are busy watching.

We repeatedly turn to our screens whenever something we are not ready to address comes up, be it problems at work, at home, financial or health issues.

We spend so many hours numbing ourselves that we have neither the time nor the mental space to process our feelings / frustrations which in turn prevents us from moving forward.

How to Change Netflix Profiles

Another way to deal with the "continue watching" list on Netflix is to keep your viewing habits separated within different profiles. If you want to rewatch a series, for example, or your roommate wants to watch a movie you've already seen, you can build a separate profile to make a fresh "continue watching" list.

You can have up to five profiles on a single account. Learn how to create a new Netflix profile if you need help.

How to Hide Titles on iOS Devices

Follow these steps if the directions above don't apply to your device (e.g., you're on iOS or you're using an outdated version of the app):

  1. Tap the profile you wish to edit the items from. If you're in the wrong profile, tap a different one from the More menu.

  2. Open the More menu and tap Account to open your Netflix account settings in your web browser. If you’re not given that option, go to Netflix’s Your Account page manually.

  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page, select your profile to expand the menu, and then choose Viewing activity.

  4. Tap the circle with a line through it, located next to every movie/show you've watched, to mark those items as hidden.

    If you hide an episode of a TV show, you'll also see a link you can tap to hide the whole series. To hide all the items listed, including movies and TV shows, scroll to the very bottom and tap Hide all.


Daisy Follow us

Position: Columnist

She was grad

Daisy Follow us

Position: Columnist

She was graduated from the major in English. She has been the MiniTool editor since she was graduated from university. She specializes in writing articles about backing up data & systems, cloning disks, and syncing files, etc. She is also good at writing articles about computer knowledge and computer issues. In daily life, she likes running and going to the amusement park with friends to play some exciting items.