Here is what you can do against auto-playing trailers on Netflix

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 20, 2019
Updated • Feb 7, 2020
Music and Video

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.

Update: Netflix, finally, added an option to disable automatic previews of shows and movies on all devices. All that it takes is to open the profile and disable the option. End

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.

Computer Magic

Computers offer more options. There are extensions for Chrome and Firefox that deal with the auto-playing content.

netflix auto-playing trailers

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?

Here is what you can do against auto-playing trailers on Netflix
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Here is what you can do against auto-playing trailers on Netflix
If I had to name one thing that I really, really dislike about Netflix I'd pick the auto-playing trailers on the site which Netflix calls video previews.
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  1. Marc said on February 6, 2020 at 7:15 am

    On PC when a preview starts just mute it. After that, all previews still play but without sound. The sound is the really annoying part for me.

  2. Ben said on January 9, 2020 at 5:52 am

    Agree with those that hate this feature…haven’t canceled yet but with all the other streaming options I probably will if they don’t wake up.

  3. C H said on January 5, 2020 at 2:05 am

    I cancelled my account for this very reason. I now use somebody else’s until they fuck off with this bullshit auto play of trailers. It still winds me up even though I’m not paying for it! Now I will not look for new shows myself as it’s too annoying, I just watch recommended stuff so I can navigate straight there.

  4. Jason said on December 31, 2019 at 10:50 pm

    Agreed, after years of subscribing and the previews blasting out has done me in at last. I like watching things blind and never watch trailers. Am out after this month rolls on. Prime Video will do til Netflix amend their ways.

  5. Anonymous said on December 21, 2019 at 4:56 am

    Just wanted to add my 2 cents in the hope maybe someone at Netflix will notice and do something about this. This behavior is extremely obnoxious and not helpful to me in the least. And as someone pointed out, the previews are unusually loud. Do what you’re gonna do, but please add an option to disable this garbage.

  6. Gary said on December 15, 2019 at 12:29 am

    I can’t believe netflex will not stop this damn auto preview.I am out of here!!

  7. Jane said on December 9, 2019 at 1:40 am

    I’m ready to pick a date. I have resorted to watching my old TV with a Roku box to avoid the “previews”. Sorry I bothered to purchase a larger screen smart TV. The previews there drive me absolutely wild! Netflix, are you listening at all, I hate,hate,hate this feature and soon will be an ex-Netflix subscriber.

  8. Rico said on December 4, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    You want to get Netflix to fix this then you have to make a stand.

    Complaining alone does not work.
    Let’s get organized. Pick a date in the future and post on social media we will cancel our accounts on that date if they don’t change that feature to “optional”.
    BUT on that day if things don’t change you have to commit to cancelling. We need the power of many people.
    There are so many other streaming options now.
    I am ready to help make change. Are you? Let’s pick a date.

  9. Evilleedna said on December 1, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    This is most annoying as I often have my kids with me whilst browsing for something we can watch as a family. Some films will not show up in the kids profile so I have to use mine, and then the main trailer is showing violence from another trailer. I often get so frustrated and angry at the constant bombardment that I have to leave it for a few minutes. I HATE this feature.

  10. David said on November 17, 2019 at 4:01 am

    Allow us to mute the video previews on our TVs. Isn’t it ultimately OUR experience? Why would you force users to do what you want in their own home when we are paying for the content? That is backwards. I love how the Netflix site ignores this topic altogether when you search help. Cowards.

  11. Anonymous said on November 16, 2019 at 12:06 am

    It’s shit

  12. dan said on September 19, 2019 at 2:21 am

    Netflix is a textbook case in how to run a company into the ground by completely ignoring user experience.

  13. Anonymous said on August 22, 2019 at 10:03 pm

    Lots of these big companies are so far up their own a** they don’t care about these annoying little stuff that eventually add up into death by a thousand cuts. It’s even funnier when they refuse to change even when they’re dying a slow painful death, though it might not be that slow now that Disney is entering the picture.

  14. Rush said on August 20, 2019 at 10:12 pm

    If I had Netflix, I would only access the site through my computer, linked to the TV via HDMI

    Thus, logging on to the Netflix site to view.

    My FF browser auto-play feature would be disabled in about:config; media auto-play disabled.

  15. Abe said on August 20, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    Yes! The autoplay trailers are a very annoying distraction. I just want to read the plots in peace. The option to disable is essential.

  16. Mike said on August 20, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    If you go to search in the menu on the left then scroll down to the categories they don’t autoplay unless you click on a title.

  17. seeprime said on August 20, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    What I find most annoying is that the “previews” are much louder than any show that we’ve been watching. That drives me nuts. I have to lower the volume by 25% or so every time I go looking for something new to watch. If the volume wasn’t jacked up so much, the previews would be more tolerable.

    1. Anonymous said on January 9, 2020 at 2:10 pm

      Thankyou! Most annoying thing is the sound blasting into my ears (I’m on a computer) every single time I open Netflix. I’m sure over time it’ll just cause damage with that unexpected volume of noise.

  18. Andrew said on August 20, 2019 at 3:53 pm

    You have the Big Bang Theory on NETFLIX? Not here in the states… vpn-friendly netflix post incoming?

  19. Tim said on August 20, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    Everybody knows what comes next, after the introduction of auto-playing trailers.

    Say it with me now.


    1. Mr. Sleeze said on November 22, 2019 at 6:37 am

      And you know what comes after c.o.m.m.e.r.c.i.a.l.s?


  20. Dave said on August 20, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    The little ones don’t bother me, just don’t hover your mouse there, how hard is that?

    It’s the big ones that annoy me (I’m on PC). The ones at the top of a page when browsing for new content. I made a shortcut directley to “My List” so I miss it most of the time. But you also get a big one when you expand a title to get more info.

    I edge Edge and simply disabling autoplay for this site works. I can’t remember the exact steps at this moment but I know I’ve done it without any extensions But, this also stops series from automatically playing the next episode and this is worse as we have Netflix primarliy for the kids and it’s the only Media subscription we have.

    FYI We split the cost between family members who live in different location all over the state. Netflix allows this now. They don’t care who is using the 4 streams so long as they are being paid for. Thier CEO said so in an interview somewhere.

    Honestly my biggest issue is with the 10 min episodes in childrens programming. Letting them watch these (We don’t, we screen all media before letting our kids view it) is harmful to thier development as it ruins thier attention spans and netflix knows this but doesn’t care.

  21. Allen said on August 20, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    The autoplaying previews are why I continued to use my old Roku 2 for so long as my primary device for watching Netflix. While I was a member, I seldom had a problem finding something to watch, though, yes the number of titles–esp. new ones–to watch had been steadily declining over the past decade. That wasn’t the fault of Netflix so much as the studios out there trying to hold on to content for their own purposes and to gouge Netflix and others with exorbitant licensing. The autoplaying previews are one reason I don’t miss being a member. When it comes to subscriber satisfaction, Netflix stopped caring long ago.

  22. barfeert said on August 20, 2019 at 9:42 am

    Do these extensions go against Netflix’s EULA? If so, I imagine there are even better options for those willing to break some rules.

    1. Steve said on August 21, 2019 at 7:18 am

      The filter got parsed wrong, I’m posting it again below with spaces (you just need to remove them to be valid.)

      w w w. netflix. com ## video [ src^ = “blob” ]

      1. Peeve said on January 16, 2020 at 4:31 am

        omg thank you this works!

      2. Anonymous said on November 25, 2019 at 11:25 pm

        It didn’t work v.v

      3. netlfix said on December 25, 2019 at 5:41 pm

        You did it wrong because it worked PERFECTLY for me… KUDOS STEVE!!

    2. Steve said on August 21, 2019 at 7:14 am

      A simple way to do it without breaking anything (i.e. just hiding the video) is using this filter in uBlock:^=”blob”]

  23. Sergio said on August 20, 2019 at 9:03 am

    We signed up for a free trial of Netflix about a week ago. Before that, we have never tried Netflix.

    We use a Roku and a Fire TV Stick connected to a TV to watch.

    The first thing we noticed were the annoying and intrusive previews. They often contain spoilers, which can really ruin a show or movie.

    Because of the previews, which cannot be disabled, we will not be continuing Netflix beyond the free trial.

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