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Netflix might finally let you deactivate its most annoying feature

Published Oct 7th, 2020 5:34PM EDT
Netflix: Still watching?
Image: diego cervo/Adobe

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  • Netflix is testing a new feature that will allow subscribers to continue watching a TV show without being interrupted between episodes by telling the app to “play without asking again.”
  • Netflix has interrupted countless binge-watching watching sessions with its annoying pop-up over the years, but this new feature could eliminate the problem.
  • Previously, Netflix added a setting to stop autoplay previews, which was a welcome change that put an end to one of the most annoying elements of the app.

Netflix might be the most popular streaming service in the world, but it’s not a perfect platform. The interface has been streamlined, bugs have been fixed, and content has been rearranged multiple times over the years, but sometimes it’s the little things that start to get under your skin. For years, Netflix subscribers complained about it being impossible to turn off the obtrusive previews that popped up when hovering over a show or movie. Netflix finally added an option to turn off autoplay previews in February, and soon, it might end another major annoyance.

If you’ve ever sat down for a binge-watching session, the bane of your existence is likely the screen that pops up and asks you if you’re still watching. Of course I’m still watching! Otherwise I would have turned the app off! That said, I’m sure there are some people that fall asleep with Netflix playing, but when you are vegging out at home on a Saturday afternoon, the last thing you want is to be interrupted by a pointless message.

It appears that these complaints have finally gotten through to Netflix, as some users are seeing a new option when that screen pops up which reads “Play without asking again.” As The Verge spotted on Tuesday, tweets and TikToks about the feature have been trickling out for weeks, which suggests that it is currently in the testing phase. Not every feature that goes into testing ends up in the final product, but this one seems like a no-brainer.

We have no idea when or if the “play without asking again” option will roll out to the public, but scrolling back through Twitter, it appears as though some subscribers were seeing the feature as early as December 2019. Mentions ceased altogether in March, but picked back up again with a vengeance in September. All of this is to say that the feature has gone through at least two phases of testing, each bigger than the last, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we all gained the ability to binge-watch shows and movies on Netflix without interruption in the very near future.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for something to watch, here’s everything coming to Netflix in October.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.