The media landscape has changed in recent years, and streaming is now widely considered the norm where previously everyone preferred to own CDs and DVDs. And with the rise of streaming has come a new set of conventions, including some that are controversial – such as autoplay.
Video streaming services love to keep you watching. One of the ways they do this is by helpfully offering further content it thinks you might like when you finish a TV show or film, and frequently going ahead and playing it whether you ask it to or not, before the credits have even finished. You often need quick reactions to stop this happening.
Netflix is the most famous practitioner of the autoplay approach, so in this article we show how to disable this feature. Read next: The 25 best TV shows on Netflix UK
Turn off autoplay in settings
If you watch Netflix on a smart TV, you may have searched vainly through the settings for the option to turn off autoplay. But this is applied on an per-account rather than per-device basis; instead, you should fix this online and it’ll then be applied throughout your device line-up.
Open the Netflix website and sign into your account (if you’re not signed in already). Click the menu dropdown at the top right and select Account. On the page, under the My Profile section, click ‘Playback settings’.
Under Auto-Play, you’ll see a tick box for ‘Play next episode automatically’ – this should have a tick in it. Click to remove the tick, then hit Save.
This setting will now be applied to all devices on which you use the service, and in our experience it will do so instantly: we didn’t need to sign out and in again on our smart TV, for example.
As the wording of the setting indicates, what you’ve done is disable one particular element of auto-play: the way Netflix starts playing the next episode of a programme when the previous one finishes. You’ll still find that Netflix enthusiastically starts playing content when you’re just looking at its description page, and we don’t know of a method to stop this annoyance. If you do, we’d love to hear from you. Read next: How to watch American Netflix in the UK