The worst thing about Netflix, besides the fact that you can no longer binge-watch Friends episodes, has long been the fact that if you stop long enough on a selection while trying to find something to watch, it will start playing a preview whether you like it or not. That may not seem like that big a deal, but it has been annoying viewers since the 'feature' was introduced back in 2016.
At the time, Netflix's announcement said that it was creating a "new television user interface that uses video more extensively to bring content alive in real time and helps members decide whether to click play." That makes sense from Netflix's perspective since it most certainly increased engagement and led to more viewing. For the rest of us, however, it often led to a race for the mute button when your TV unexpectedly started playing the previews.
Even the people who create the content we watch on Netflix agree--it's obnoxious. Rian Johnson, the director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi tweeted:
Current favorite console game: navigating Netflix without triggering autoplay promos-- Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) March 16, 2018
And Johnson wasn't the only one who isn't a fan. People have complained to Netflix for years to no avail. There were social media posts, Reddit threads, YouTube videos, all begrudging autoplay, but Netflix seemed set in its plans to disrupt your perfectly good evening with a preview of whatever you carelessly hovered over for too long. Until now.
It appears Netflix has finally listened.
Some people find this feature helpful. Others not so much.-- Netflix US (@netflix) February 6, 2020
We've heard the feedback loud and clear -- members can now control whether or not they see autoplay previews on Netflix. Here's how: https://t.co/6V2TjEW6HD https://t.co/zbz4E8fVab
As of yesterday, you can finally turn that feature off. Here's how:
On your desktop browser, log in to your Netflix account, and go to your account settings. From there, scroll to the bottom where you'll find the 'My Profile' section, and click on 'Playback Settings.'
Once you're there, you'll find the option to turn on or off two different types of autoplay settings. The first is the one that automatically starts the next episode of a series when the show you are watching is over. That option has been around since 2014.
Unchecking the second option, on the other hand, will stop Netflix from playing a trailer while you're navigating and looking for something to watch. This is what we've all been waiting for--the proverbial promised land of Netflix watching.
One note: You'll have to disable autoplay for each profile separately so be sure to go back and repeat the process any other Netflix profiles you have setup. That is, unless you still want to hear PJ Masks or Ralph Breaks the Internet screaming into your living room while your kids are trying to find something to watch and you're finishing work or making dinner.