At Long Last, Our Netflix Autoplay Nightmare Is Over

Photo: Chris McGrath, Getty

Netflix hasn’t killed autoplaying videos entirely, but in a tweet today it announced the ability to at least turn off the autoplay trailers and next episode “features”.

The new ability comes after years of steady complaints from users. Currently, if you’re looking at a movie or TV show on Netflix it will automatically play a trailer—typically at an obnoxious volume. That can be jarring if you’re just tooling around on your iPad in bed next to a sleeping partner at 1 am. But it can be horrific if the autoplay trailer is something unpleasant—like the recent one that led to many Netflix users accidentally witnessing the murder of actual kittens.

Netflix, like many companies, employs autoplay trailers and “next episode” features in order to keep people wound up and engaged. A movie trailer is going to generally be more enticing than a text summary. And you’re more likely to binge the latest season of Grace and Frankie if the episodes bleed into one another with little interruption.

But, as I’m sure you know, people just don’t like autoplay videos. Especially ones that autoplay sound as well. “Some people find this feature helpful. Others not so much,” Netflix says in its announcement tweet.

In order to turn off autoplay you’ll need to log into Netflix via a web browser—you won’t be able to do it via an app.

Once logged into your web browser of choice you’ll be presented with all of the profiles currently attached to your account. Click the Manage profiles at the bottom of the page and select the profile you’d like to turn autoplay off in. You can then toggle off trailers by selection Autoplay previews while browsing on all devices. To toggle off the next episode feature select Autoplay next episode in a series on all devices.

I should untick those boxes if I want to escape the autoplay. (Screenshot: Netflix)

Netflix advises that it can take some time before the changes take effect. It suggests switching profiles to hasten the change. Logging out and logging back in probably wouldn’t hurt either.

And after that? Enjoy having to manually play trailers for those weird European fantasy shows you’ve never heard of to get a sense of whether or not it’s really as interesting as the artwork and summary may suggest. You know, like an adult who makes their own decisions.

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