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Netflix Autoplay Previews Can’t Be Disabled on Some Roku Players [Updated]

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Update 02/13: Possible fix

Disabling Netflix autoplay previews on some Roku players does not appear to work. At present, there’s no known fix for the issue. although a pattern does seem to be developing.

Last week, Netflix announced users would no longer be forced to sit through autoplay previews – the trailers displayed as a user hovers over a title card. The news was met with wide praise from Netflix users highlighting how frustrating some had found the previews.

While Netflix made disabling optional (users having to manually opt-out), the process of doing so is fairly simple. Subscribers simply need to visit the web version of Netflix and once opted out, the streaming service would activate the feature across all devices and platforms.

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However, Roku users have been running into an issue with disabling the feature. Almost immediately after Netflix announced the change, many Roku users noted that once they had opted out, the Netflix app on Roku players was continuing to show previews.

With the limited information available at the time it was unclear how widespread the issue was, or even if it was an issue. For example, a number of users were finding that if they either rebooted their Roku device, signed out and back into the Netflix app, or updated the app, the issue would disappear. The one exception to this rule appears to be Roku sticks.

Roku sticks might not support autoplay previews yet

It would seem, Roku sticks might not support disabling autoplay previews yet. This posting to the Roku community highlight the issue perfectly, although it’s not the only one with Streaming Better having noted similar complaints on both Reddit and Twitter. Essentially, owners of a Roku Premiere or Ultra appear to be encountering the issue, but then finding one of the various workarounds fixes things – we are also able to confirm the Roku Premiere appears to work fine after disabling autoplay previews.

While there are some exceptions to the rule with select Ultra owners still reporting the issue, almost every case involving a Roku Streaming Stick+ appears to be affected by the problem.

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The conclusion many are coming to is that this must be a Netflix issue and not a Roku issue. A verdict that may have some merit considering one comment pointed to this Netflix help page that not only fails to list Roku devices (in general) as supported, but under the “All other devices” option mentions “we are currently researching this error.”

While this would seem to suggest the problem goes beyond Roku streaming sticks, based on the user reports coming through, the Roku Streaming Stick+ is massively lacking support for disabling autoplay previews.

Update: Possible fix

After almost one week of users posting about this issue, a Roku community member has suggested a possible fix. Some users have noted the fix works, albeit without directly mentioning whether it works on the Roku Streaming Stick+ or the other devices that were affected.

Here’s the Netflix autoplay previews disabling fix suggested by Roku:

  1. Remove the Netflix channel from the Roku home screen by navigating to the channel tile, pressing the * key and choosing ‘Remove channel’.
  2. Restart your Roku device from Settings>System>System restart
  3. Add the Netflix channel back once more and sign in again.
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John Finn

By John Finn

John started Streaming Better to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been writing about technology and TV-related services and devices since 2014 and believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingbetter.com or on Twitter

One reply on “Netflix Autoplay Previews Can’t Be Disabled on Some Roku Players [Updated]”

Tried the “Possible fix” but unfortunately it didn’t work – Roku Ultra 2020.

On a side note, very unhappy with Netflix as they stopped delivering 5.1 on my trusty old Roku 2XS so had to fork out for a new streamer. The 2XS app had a great, simple, uncluttered presentation and simply delivered everything needed. Nothing was wrong with it. I tried, of course, to speak with a Customer “Service” [sic] agent who was, frankly, ignorant and initially couldn’t understand what “5.1” is! Quite useless.

Can’t stand their *improved* apps with all their interference and the need to jump in quickly to stop the app hijacking programmes. Considering the recent substantial increase in monthly subscription to Netflix, they have an arrogant attitude and assume they can get away with ignoring their customers. The time to stop my Netflix subscription is fast approaching.

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