Netflix Now Allows You to Turn Off Auto-preview. Here’s How.
Netflix has become a way of life for binge-watchers and movie fans. A monthly subscription gets you a rotating selection of movies and TV shows and access to all their original shows and films. That’s a far cry from 20 years ago, when Netflix was sending DVDs through the postal service. However, one feature annoys the heck out of many viewers: the auto-preview feature.
Now that Netflix has established itself as a streaming giant, people love it for Stranger Things, Bojack Horseman, The Irishman and even catching up on old shows. There is so much content that the streamer decided to automatically play trailers as you move through the menu. Fortunately, they heard the complaints and changed their policy.
Why people complain about auto-preview on Netflix
The bigger Netflix got, the longer it took to scroll through all the menus of possible content available to watch. While the designers of the menus may have intended to give you more information about a show or movie by playing an auto-preview, to many users it just makes noise and distracts you from the other options.
Sarah Hollowell wrote, “My entire kingdom for a way to turn off the autoplay while browsing Netflix. Mostly now I just mute the TV until I figure out what I want but I can’t even read the description on something without Netflix going ‘Oh, you’ve been on this for .2 seconds? So you want to watch it? Okay, we’ll play it for u.”
Charlotte A. Cavatica complained, “It STRESSES ME OUT.”
Netflix responds to autoplay complaints
On Thursday, Feb. 6, Netflix responded directly to Hollowell’s tweet in a quote tweet with their response. They gave viewers the choice of how they want to navigate the menus, and shared the link directly to the options.
The editor of Them was happy about this news:
Hollowell also responded with an X-Men: First Class gift of Xavier (James McAvoy) saying, “I have never felt power like this before.”
How to turn off the autoplay feature
TV Guide followed Netflix’s link and published instructions for how to disable auto-preview trailers. You have to do it on a web browser. It won’t work through your TV or phone apps. Click “manage profiles” and select a profile
A new checkbox appears next to the words “Autoplay previews while browsing on all devices.” Uncheck the box and repeat for all your profiles.
Mashable editor and writer Chris Taylor said this freedom has actually encouraged him to discover more content:
A bonus Netflix feature
Netflix has also given users the ability to disable a far less controversial feature, the autoplay of the next episode. Most Netflix users are binge watchers so they want to watch several episodes of a show in a row. However, the “manage profiles” menu also includes a checkbox to end autoplaying and watch shows one at a time.
Writer Adam Christopher pointed out that for people who like to watch episode credits, this feature is an asset too:
Author EK Johnson also recommends both features:
Betty Bowers considers this an end to “Netflix assaulting you with an annoying machine-gun barrage of autoplay previews.”
Rainer Ebbers calls this “a wakeup call for tech.”
However, user @TJF588 noticed that while this disables autoplay on the main menu, you’re still stuck with video when you select a show. “When I click into the show menu (Play, Episodes, Rating, all that), it still autoplays the episode itself while I’m still just looking at the menus,” she writes. “That’s even worse, so fix it too!”