Netflix’s Auto-Playing Trailers Are Just The Worst

Netflix’s Auto-Playing Trailers Are Just The Worst

It’s Friday night, and you’re browsing Netflix. You want to relax and watch something. What should be a chill time flipping through shows and movies is significantly less chill because these STUPID ADS KEEP PLAYING.

Unfortunately, that’s just how Netflix apps work these days. As you browse, a trailer for the thing you’ve got selected automatically starts to play. If you move away to the next thing, you’ll get a few blissful moments of quiet, and then the next trailer will begin.



Even if there isn’t a trailer on file – say, it’s an older movie – the app will still begin playing a highlight reel accompanied by some generic music that’s meant to convey the vibe of the show. A TV comedy montage might get some chirpy mandolin swing, while a dramatic action movie will get some thudding low tones.

But no matter where you go, having the Netflix app opens means that random music or dialogue is going to be blaring from your TV speakers on loop.

These ads are probably the most annoying thing about Netflix. They’re more annoying than the fact that they cancelled Sense8. They’re more annoying than the existence of The Ridiculous Six. They’re more annoying than Bright. (OK, that’s pushing it.)

They’re bad, is my point. I don’t like watching trailers to begin with, and I definitely don’t like constantly re-watching the first five seconds of trailers for TV shows or movies I’ve already seen.

After months of searching in a variety of apps (and on a variety of message boards), I have been unable to find a way to turn Netflix’s auto-playing trailers off. I’ve occasionally used a version of the app without auto-playing ads – my first-gen Fire TV didn’t have them, and the phone apps don’t, either.

I’ve also come up with some sorta-solutions, such as how at least on the PS4 app, if I pop out to the main PS4 menu and then go back into Netflix, it won’t play an ad as long as I don’t navigate away from whatever show I was on. The moment I begin to browse again, though, the ads come back.

Give me a break, Netflix! Give us all a break. We’re already paying for your service. You don’t need to advertise your own programming to us, and you definitely don’t need to advertise to us in such an aggressive and unavoidable way.

I’m sure there are some numbers somewhere that suggest that auto-playing ads make people more likely to watch more shows. I offer this as a counterpoint: I’m constantly annoyed by Netflix every single time I use it.

Netflix is supposed to be the thing that you turn on when it’s time to chill. Constant, blaring ads are not very chill. Reclaim your chill, Netflix. Let us turn off the trailers.


  • OH GOD YES. I mean, autoplay the feature trailer for your hot new thing if you absolutely must, but give me *somewhere* I can browse to that will just shut Netflix up.

  • Muting my speakers until I’m done browsing works well enough, not the desired solution but it works!

    • Me too. First thing I do when I start to browse. And it’s a nice easy fix too.

  • This is my biggest first world gripe at the moment! It needs to STFU when I hit back or stop or whatever because if I wanted to watch a trailer for something I’d seek it out myself.
    Also that Ghost Wars show is terrible. That’s my second Netflix gripe.

  • Using the phone app, no worries. Stream to chromecast. Can control with phone or TV remote. What other ways are you using it? Phone seems like the best UI tbh.

  • Ew, really? I have Stan at the moment for Drag Race reasons, but this annoying autoplay feature would definitely put me off taking up a Netflix subscription again. I pay a subscription to NOT be annoyed by my viewing experience. As a consumer I see no difference between being irritated about the content I’m browsing and irritated about third-party goods and services. What a terrible idea.

  • It’s very annoying, but not the most annoying thing about it. The utterly rubbish organisation and discoverability is what makes me seethe with rage. All I want is some proper categorisation by genres and formats. None of this “Because you watched X here are things that may or may not have a correlation”, or “Movies that are loosely associated by a theme”. It’s really hard to find things I want to watch these days.

    • Or when it decides to completely remove “Your List” so after hours of picking out all the good stuff they hide it from me!

  • Just hit the little speaker icon on the trailer and it will mute, then the next time a trailer pops up the sound will already be muted. Can confirm this works on PC, I haven’t used the app on consoles or anything else.

    It doesn’t stop the actual trailer playing, of course, but it does give you back those “blissful moments of quiet”.

  • Pales into comparison to the frustration of shows/movies reducing to the tiny picture-in-picture mode at the end (usually when you are trying to read to see who played one of the characters)

  • I honestly don’t mind it lol and like a few have said before in this section, there’s more annoying things about Netflix’s layout & algorithm out there imo.

  • I pop out to the main PS4 menu and then go back into Netflix, it won’t play an ad

    If you pop into something, then straight back out, you get the same result. So X to get into the prequel options to play/add to list/etc, then circle to get back to the list. No need to pop out to the main PS4 menu.

  • Agreed, this is annoying, but there’s something I find much worse. When you select a title to view its details, it automatically begins playing the title after a few seconds. I find this maddening. This behaviour, and the one described in this post, both began happening on my Android TV at the same time, a few months ago.

    While we’re bitching about Netflix, another thing I hate is when you only get 5 SECONDS at the end of a show, to pick up the remote and tell it that you do want to watch the credits, rather than start the next episode. This irks me a lot.

  • Worse IMO is the whole skip the credits countdown at the end of shows, talk about obnoxious

  • Oh my YES! I bloody hate this auto playing nonsense. just give a play trailer button, or play something after a minute. but gosh it’s so quick and yeah I see the same few seconds of trailers over and over.

  • This whole article. It’s like I wrote it and then gave it to someone else to take out all the capslock and swearing.

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