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As you’ll no doubt be painfully aware, the whole world is currently in lockdown thanks to Covid-19. If you’re lucky, you’ll be confined to a house with your favourite people and able to carry on working. If you’re unlucky, you’ll be stuck on your own with a whole lot of free time to fill while the NHS does its job.
There are plenty of fun ways to stay in touch with people beyond the awkwardness of video calls – we’ve already covered the joy of hosting a remote games night with Jackbox – but can you watch Netflix together online? Yes, yes you can. Here’s how.
How to watch Netflix together online
- If you’re not already using it, get Google Chrome. There are non Chrome-based alternatives that’ll work – like screensharing with Kosmi.io – but this way is simpler.
- Next you need to install a Chrome extension called “Netflix Party”. You can find it here.
- Head to Netflix.com, log in and pick a video – any video. When you start playing, the Netflix Party icon should be red.
- You’ll be given a URL to share with others. When they enter it in their Chrome browser – with Netflix Party installed – they’ll jump to whatever show you’re watching at the same point. If you press pause, it’ll pause for everyone. If you rewind to a certain point, everyone else’s will follow suit – don’t abuse this power.
- You’ll also see a rather handy chat window on the right-hand side of the browser. This can be disabled if you like, but it’s quite a nice feature. Or I imagine it would be, if I weren’t having a conversation with myself for the purpose of this tutorial.
There are a couple of downsides, but they’re pretty minor. First up, there’s no way to add a name to your chat persona. That’s fine if you’re talking with one other person, but less so if there’s a whole bunch of you trying to keep up with Better Call Saul.
Secondly, the stream ends at the end of the video. No problem if you’re watching a three-hour movie, but a bit annoying if you’re trying to binge watch episodes. Still, given it’s offering functionality that Netflix itself doesn’t provide, it’s hard to be too mad – and it’s not exactly taxing to open up another video and reinvite people.