Netflix is finally giving its 167 million global subscribers the ability to turn off one of its most annoying features: promos that autoplay while browsing.
For years, users who were just trying to find something to stream after finishing Blown Away were bombarded with trailers that play automatically. To be clear, we’re not talking about the feature that automatically plays the next episode of TV shows; that one has been a godsend to lazy binge-watchers everywhere.
We’re talking about the feature that starts playing trailers for whichever title you stop on while scrolling through the grid, incentivizing a brisk scrolling pace that won’t result in anyone suddenly watching the murder of kittens.
Netflix announced the tweak in a tweet that questionably claimed that “Some people find this feature helpful.” If they do, we’ve never met any of them.
Some people find this feature helpful. Others not so much.
— Netflix US (@netflix) February 6, 2020
Autoplaying trailers have had plenty of public detractors. One Redditor wrote the following about the feature in 2017, in a post that got nearly 2,000 upvotes.
“For the love of anything, why can I not disable this fucking horseshit?? I’m a little drunk right now and will likely delete this post in the early afternoon, but with all that’s going on in this crazy batshit world right now, this is just pushing me over the edge…”
Director Rian Johnson expressed a similar sentiment in a popular tweet a few months later, albeit in a less profane and more clever way.
Current favorite console game: navigating Netflix without triggering autoplay promos
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) March 16, 2018
We can only imagine that the internal calculus at Netflix has shifted, that whatever bump in metrics the streamer received from autoplaying trailers either disappeared or just wasn’t worth incurring the wrath of its customers. After all, with so many formidable competitors entering the sector that Netflix pioneered and has long dominated, it’s increasingly important for it to keep them happy.
To become one of those happy subscribers, you’ll need to sign into Netflix in a web browser and navigate to the Manage Profiles page. From there, simply select your profile and deselect “Autoplay previews while browsing on all devices.” That’s it, but if you want to do a good deed, you should do the same for the other profiles connected to your account, as odds are good that your spouse, kids, in-laws, college buddies, or whoever uses the account hates autoplaying trailers just as much as everyone else does.
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