If I had to name one thing that I really, really dislike about Netflix I'd pick the auto-playing trailers on the site. Netflix calls these video previews, and they play automatically whenever you hover over a title for a short period.
I was not a subscriber for some time but subscribed again this month planning to watch some of the shows for a couple of months before ending my subscription again (there is not enough on Netflix to keep me subscribed all year long).
I watch Netflix on a Smart TV and on the computer, and experienced auto-playing trailers on both devices. Whenever you hover over a title for a short period, Netflix starts to play a preview automatically.
While that may be nice if you consider watching the show or movie, it is awfully distracting if you don't.
Need to go to the bathroom while browsing Netflix? You can be certain that a trailer is going to play when you come back. Need to read a title of a show or discuss what to watch? Trailers are going to be played almost certainly.
It is especially frustrating if you are just browsing Netflix. Hover over a title for too long? A preview is going to be played. Since you are browsing, it may happen several times before you pick a title to watch.
Tip: find out how to bypass Netflix's Still Watching prompts.
Netflix offers no options to disable the behavior and has not made any announcement regarding it. The chance of Netflix adding an option to the user interface to block video previews on the site is slim.
On TV, there is little that you can do. I tend to mute the TV whenever I browse Netflix to get rid of the sound of the auto-playing trailers at the very least.
Computers offer more options. There are extensions for Chrome and Firefox that deal with the auto-playing content.
I tested various extensions that you can run in web browsers to tame Netflix. My requirements were simple: stop Netflix from auto-playing content on the site without interfering with other functionality and require as few permissions as possible.
Netflix Classic is a free extension for Google Chrome that ticks all the right boxes. The only permission that it requests is to access Netflix, and the only thing that it does is block auto-play. I took it for a test ride and the extension blocked any auto-playing content on Netflix effectively. The extension works out of the box
Since it is an extension for Google Chrome, it should work in all other Chromium-based browsers such as Brave, Vivaldi, Opera, or the new Microsoft Edge web browser.
Netflix Preview is an alternative. It is available for Chrome and Firefox, and blocks previews on Netflix effectively as well. Like Netflix Classic, all you have to do is install the extension in your browser of choice to stop the behavior on Netflix.
Now You: What is your take on the behavior on Netflix? Like the previews?Advertisement
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.