Our Long National Nightmare Is Over, Netflix Now Allows You to Turn Off Autoplay

     February 6, 2020

new-netflix-logo-sliceHave you ever casually signed into the Netflix home page only to have the streamer immediately and extremely loudly suggest you start watching its new sci-fi original about horny dystopian teens? Well, no more, my friends. Our long national nightmare is over. Today, Netflix announced that it will allow you to turn off autoplay on both “the next episode in a series” and “previews while browsing.”

“Some people find this feature helpful. Others not so much,” Netflix wrote in a statement directed, strangely, at a random Twitter user. “We’ve heard the feedback loud and clear — members can now control whether or not they see autoplay previews on Netflix.”

Turning off either autoplay option is a simple three-step process: 1) Sign in to your Netflix account on a web browser. 2) Select “Manage Profiles” from the menu. 3) Choose the profile you want to edit, then uncheck the boxes underneath “autoplay controls.”

It seems like such a small thing, but it’ll be interesting to see if and how this affects Netflix in the future. Turning off autoplay on previews is pretty much a net positive for humanity’s ears and soul, but it’s the “next episode” option I find super intriguing. Netflix originals are pretty much written and designed from the ground up to be consumed as quickly and obsessively as possible. Episodes often bleed into each other, and it’s a lot easier to submit to a binge when you don’t even have to move to watch the next chapter. I wrote, for example, that the upcoming Locke & Key would have benefited from giving its audience a chance to breathe between episodes. Could this kickstart a new type of Netflix original?

Either way, we’ll find out amongst the beautiful silence of a preview-less homepage.