Netflix and not chill

Netflix just fixed its most annoying feature. Here's how to turn off auto-play previews.

The days of tyrannical auto-play previews are over.

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Do you ever get so startled late at night in your own living room by a sudden burst of loud noise that you drop your kombucha and spill it all over the blanket your grandmother once knitted because Netflix just auto-played a trailer for The Witcher again as soon as you opened the app? We've all been there, but now Netflix's most intrusive feature is no more.

At long last, the traumatic days of jarring auto-playing trailers for the newest Adam Sandler movie or true crime mini-series are over. Netflix now allows you the privilege of disabling auto-play — but only if you go through the process of manually disabling auto-play trailers. Here's how.

Netflix refers to this feature as "autoplay previews," and, believe it or not, it's been around since December 2016 when Netflix announced it with a YouTube video as a means to "browse less ... and watch more." But in the years since, it's attracted a lot of negative attention for feeling intrusive. Streamers have longed for a way to disable the feature with such zeal that people have written guides and hacks to work around it.

On Thursday afternoon Eastern time, Netflix responded to a user's complaint from January on Twitter to say, "We've heard the feedback loud and clear — members can now control whether or not they see autoplay previews on Netflix."

Netflix's earnest tweet announcing this new feature.Netflix

The steps for turning off the feature are listed clearly in Netflix's Help Center for both autoplay features, but we've also copied them here for easy reference:

How to disable autoplay previews on Netflix

When you browse Netflix, you can automatically play trailers using autoplay to get a preview of a TV show or movie.

To turn autoplay on or off:

  1. Sign In to Netflix from a web browser.
  2. Select Manage Profiles from the menu.
  3. Select the profile you’d like to update.

Check or uncheck the option to Autoplay previews while browsing on all devices.

NOTE: There may be a delay before the setting takes effect. You can force an update by switching to another profile, then switching back in order to reload your profile with the updated setting.

Young couple watching TV at home and having fun having recently disabled Netflix's autoplay preview feature.Shutterstock

Should streamers have any interest in disabling the feature that automatically plays the next episode of a series you're already watching, the Netflix Help Center also just introduced a workaround for that. Just head to the same section of your Netflix user profiles on a web browser and go wild.

But why would you want to disable one of Netflix's best features?