The Morning After: Netflix finally ends the auto-play nightmare

Here's how to fix it.

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

About five years ago, Netflix revamped its streaming apps and rolled out the worst feature it's ever developed. Even if you like it, you know which one I'm talking about -- bringing video playback "forward" to make things more like cable TV. At first, pulling up a show or movie and pausing for a moment too long would cause it to start playing. Then, simply highlighting a selection while scrolling meant it would start playing the trailer, or worse, playing a section of the movie backed by some random stock music Netflix pulled from somewhere.

It made casually browsing the service's catalog a nightmare, but for whatever reason -- I assume there was some analytical data showing it increased viewing -- Netflix refused to change it. Since then, competitors like Disney+ and HBO Max have highlighted the "feature" as something they chose not to copy, and now, at long last, Netflix is providing a way to turn it off. You'll need to pull up the Manage Settings page in your browser and disable AutoPlay Preview, but by pressing that one button, things can go back to the way they should've been all along. Was that really so hard, Netflix?

-- Richard

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But wait, there's more...

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