Categories
Self-organization

How to use netflix’s screen lock to disable playback controls

Save yourself frustration by locking your screen

Share this story

  • Share this on Facebook
  • Share this on Twitter

Share All sharing options for: Netflix adds a ‘screen lock’ feature to prevent accidental pauses

How to use netflix’s screen lock to disable playback controls

It can be frustrating to accidentally tap a button and mess up playback when watching Netflix on your phone. Thankfully, Netflix is rolling out a new feature for Android devices that tries to prevent that.

This new feature, which 9to5Google spotted, lets Android users avoid accidental touches when using the Netflix mobile app. A “screen lock” option will now appear at the bottom of your screen after you start watching a TV show or movie. Enabling screen lock will stop the button prompts, such as the “Play/Pause” buttons, from appearing, helping to prevent you from stopping playback or accidentally enabling subtitles. If you want to disable the feature, tap your screen and an “unlock” prompt will appear you’ll need to tap twice.

Android system gestures, like swiping to go back, still work when the feature is enabled, however, so it’s not entirely foolproof. Though if you are someone that moves around a lot while you watch, or you have a young kid watching, this feature could prove to be a valuable tool in ensuring the show plays straight through.

How to use netflix’s screen lock to disable playback controls

It can be annoying to inadvertently press a Netflix playback control button on your mobile device. The new Screen Lock feature helps avoid that.

Do you find it annoying when you accidentally touch a playback control or trigger subtitles while watching Netflix on your phone? Well, a new Screen Lock feature for Android users allows you to lock the screen. Here’s how to use it.

Screen Lock to Disable Netflix Playback Controls

To enable the feature, start playing a show or movie you want to watch on Netflix from the app. Then tap the screen for the playback controls to display. From there you should see a “Screen Lock” option in the lower-left corner of the screen. Tap on it to lock the screen and hide all of the playback control options.

How to use netflix’s screen lock to disable playback controls

To unlock the screen at any time, tap the Screen Locked button. You will then be prompted to tap the screen again for verification. Then the playback controls will return on the screen.

How to use netflix’s screen lock to disable playback controls

Tap the Screen Locked button and the confirmation button to unlock playback controls.

It can be frustrating and annoying when you accidentally tap a button that messes up your viewing experience. Especially on your phone where it’s easier to inadvertently tap the wrong thing. This new feature allows you to prevent that. It stops buttons such as “Play/Pause” and the skip ahead or behind buttons from displaying on the screen.

The feature is still rolling out to Android users so if you don’t see it, make sure the Netflix app is up to date. You can manually update your apps to see if that gives the option to you. If not just hold tight as the new feature comes to your phone or tablet.

Joel Cornell has spent twelve years writing professionally, working on everything from technical documentation at PBS to video game content for GameSkinny. Joel covers a bit of everything technology-related, including gaming and esports. He’s honed his skills by writing for other industries, including in architecture, green energy, and education. Read more.

Are you tired of watching Netflix on your phone and accidentally pausing, rewinding, or just plain exiting the app? Fret no more, loyal binge-watcher! You can easily lock down your screen while watching Netflix on most mobile devices.

As of this writing, this feature is only available on Android smartphones and tablets. We will update this article if and when the feature goes live on iPhones and iPads.

Once you finish scrolling through Netflix’s seemingly endless catalog of content and find something to watch, the on-screen interface will show the traditional playback controls along with several additional buttons. At any time while you’re watching, tap “Screen Lock” to remove all elements of the Netflix interface except a central button that allows you to unlock the interface.

This can be useful for watching while you’re on the go, preventing kids from accidentally leaving their favorite show, or holding your phone at an odd angle while watching. The external volume buttons and features on your phone such as Android’s Quick Settings menu will all still work when Screen Lock is enabled.

To unlock the screen at any time, tap anywhere on your screen and then select the “Screen Locked” button. Confirm your choice with a second tap, and then Netflix’s playback controls will display again.

We’ve all been there

How to use netflix’s screen lock to disable playback controls

How to use netflix’s screen lock to disable playback controls

Story by

How to use netflix’s screen lock to disable playback controls

Story by

Mix is a tech writer based in Amsterdam that loves cinema and probably hates the movies that you like. Tell him everything you despise about (show all) Mix is a tech writer based in Amsterdam that loves cinema and probably hates the movies that you like. Tell him everything you despise about his work on Twitter.

Welcome to TNW Basics , a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff.

You’re streaming Rick and Morty (or whatever show you like to rewatch a million times) on your phone, and all of a sudden it skips to the next episode. It’s not a glitch, just the good ol’ accidental Netflix playback tap. We’ve all been there.

But worry no more: Netflix has rolled out a new ‘screen lock’ feature that lets you avoid that.

Psst. need help reaching your clients?

Here’s how AI can improve your company’s customer journey

It’s pretty easy to use the new function. Simply play a piece of content of your choosing, and click the ‘Screen Lock’ button at the bottom left corner of the playback UI. That’s it.

How to use netflix’s screen lock to disable playback controls

“Cool, but how do I disable it?”

To unlock your device, you’ll have to tap on your screen once — that’ll bring up an unlock notice. Tap the “Unlock controls?” button and you’ll be able to use the playback UI again.

How to use netflix’s screen lock to disable playback controls

Obviously, screen lock isn’t entirely fool-proof, but it should help you avoid most accidental taps, which is already an improvement.

Unfortunately, the feature appears to be exclusively available to Android users for now, so don’t be too surprised if you don’t see it on your iPhone or iPad. Hopefully, it’ll arrive on iOS soon enough, though.

According to 9to5Google, the screen lock option appears to be a server-side change, so it should be live on Android devices. If that’s not the case, though, try updating the app to the latest version. That might do it.

Now go enjoy your involuntary-tap-free streaming Netflix experience. We all know there’s not much else to do during quarantine.

How to use netflix’s screen lock to disable playback controls

Ever accidentally tapped on the screen of iPhone or iPad while watching Netflix and paused the show or skipped ahead or something else? If you use the Netflix app on your iPhone or iPad to binge-watch your favorite TV shows and movies, you might be excited to know about this interesting new feature that prevents you from mis-clicking while watching video content. This feature can also be helpful for parents who want to lock the screen to Netflix on an iPhone or iPad so that it can’t be interrupted. It’s sort of like a Netflix specific guided access mode, and it’s worth checking out for many viewers.

Unlike televisions, watching Netflix on touch-screen devices like the iPhones and iPads is a slightly different experience. Tapping once on the screen while watching a show would bring up the playback controls and interrupt your viewing experience. Sometimes people then accidentally touch the screen and end up misclicking these playback controls. To stop this from happening, Netflix added a new feature recently that allows you to lock your screen.

Interested in taking advantage of this new feature the next time you watch Netflix content? Look no further, because, in this article, we’ll be discussing exactly how you can lock and unlock the screen in Netflix on iPhone and iPad.

How to Lock & Unlock Screen in Netflix on iPhone & iPad

First and foremost, make sure you’ve installed the latest version of Netflix from the Apple App Store. Now, without further ado, let’s take a look at the necessary steps.

    Launch the Netflix app on your iPhone or iPad.

Tap on any show and start watching it. Next, tap on the screen to access the playback controls and other video options.

How to use netflix’s screen lock to disable playback controls
Here, you’ll find the Lock option located on the extreme left. Tap on it to continue.

How to use netflix’s screen lock to disable playback controls
You’ll get the indication that the screen has been locked. Now, whenever you tap on the screen, the playback controls won’t show up on your screen. Instead, you’ll see a lock icon. To unlock your screen at any time, tap on this lock icon.

How to use netflix’s screen lock to disable playback controls
Now, you’ll be prompted to confirm your action. Tap on “Unlock Screen?” and you’ll be able to access your playback controls again.

How to use netflix’s screen lock to disable playback controls

That’s it. Now you know how to lock and unlock your screen while watching Netflix content on your iPhone or iPad.

From now on, you don’t have to worry about accidentally touching the screen and interrupting the view with playback controls. This feature also helps in avoiding misclicks and prevents you from accidentally pausing or skipping the playback.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to tap on the lock icon twice to unlock the screen and get back those playback controls again.

Also, it’s worth pointing out that Screen Lock doesn’t stop you from making accidental swipes on your iPhone that could take you back to the home screen.

If you’re the kind of person who enjoys watching shows or movies on your iPhone while laying on your bed, you’ll certainly find yourself taking advantage of this feature on a regular basis. You might also need this if you’re watching movies with your kids together on an iPad.

Now you know how to use Netflix’s new screen lock feature, you can put it to good use on your iOS device. How often do you see yourself taking advantage of this nifty addition? Share any of your thoughts or opinions in the comments below.

Accidentally touching the screen while streaming a show on a mobile device can be frustrating, but Netflix just solved the problem for Android users.

How to use netflix’s screen lock to disable playback controls

Having access to streaming services on our phones and tablets is really convenient, but the viewing experience can be frustrating if you accidentally tap the stream. Playback can be paused, or worse, jumps to a different position. If you’re watching Netflix on Android, though, accidental taps are no longer a problem.

As 9To5Google reports, the latest update to the Netflix app for Android introduces a new “Screen Lock” feature. When a stream starts playing on your Android device you’ll notice a new addition to the on-screen controls called Screen Lock. Tapping it will make all the usual controls disappear with the exception of the Screen Lock toggle.

With Screen Lock active, playback can’t be interrupted. Any taps, accidental or otherwise, will simply show the locked Screen Lock icon. If you want to disable it, just tap the screen again while the icon is visible and you’ll be asked if you want to unlock. A further tap performs the unlock and all the usual playback controls will return.

Related

  • Netflix Adds More Parental Control Options
  • Netflix Is Top Pick with Majority of Streaming Customers
  • Netflix Finally Adds Top 10 Lists for Its Most Popular Shows, Films

It’s a simple solution to a very frustrating problem, and a feature I expect will also appear for iOS users in the not too distant future.

Accidentally touching the screen while streaming a show on a mobile device can be frustrating, but Netflix just solved the problem for Android users.

How to use netflix’s screen lock to disable playback controls

Having access to streaming services on our phones and tablets is really convenient, but the viewing experience can be frustrating if you accidentally tap the stream. Playback can be paused, or worse, jumps to a different position. If you’re watching Netflix on Android, though, accidental taps are no longer a problem.

As 9To5Google reports, the latest update to the Netflix app for Android introduces a new “Screen Lock” feature. When a stream starts playing on your Android device you’ll notice a new addition to the on-screen controls called Screen Lock. Tapping it will make all the usual controls disappear with the exception of the Screen Lock toggle.

With Screen Lock active, playback can’t be interrupted. Any taps, accidental or otherwise, will simply show the locked Screen Lock icon. If you want to disable it, just tap the screen again while the icon is visible and you’ll be asked if you want to unlock. A further tap performs the unlock and all the usual playback controls will return.

Related

  • Netflix Adds More Parental Control Options
  • Netflix Is Top Pick with Majority of Streaming Customers
  • Netflix Finally Adds Top 10 Lists for Its Most Popular Shows, Films

It’s a simple solution to a very frustrating problem, and a feature I expect will also appear for iOS users in the not too distant future.

How to use netflix’s screen lock to disable playback controls

Some Netflix users on Android have been surprised to see a new feature called ‘Screen Lock’ that is exactly what it sounds like: the ability to lock your phone screen, preventing accidental taps and swipes. The feature seems to have quietly rolled out to Netflix users on Android over the past week or so, appearing as an on-screen control beneath the playback bar.

Many people watch content on their phones — it’s a great way to catch up on a show while on the train, lying in bed, or just chilling out on the porch. The downside of mobile watching, particularly on phones that have non-existent bezels, is that it’s easy to accidentally touch the screen, causing it to pause.

Netflix is addressing that problem, at least on Android, with a new feature that appears alongside the subtitles and episodes icon. When screen lock is enabled, users will not be able to tap to pause the content, which prevents their show from stopping without warning.

According to 9to5Google, you must tap the screen lock icon twice to disable it. When screen lock is enabled, the Netflix interface disappears, leaving only the full-screen video. A lock icon remains on the display, however.

This only disables the Netflix app controls, mind — you can still, for example, swipe down from the top to open the menu, which means there’s still the opportunity to accidentally disrupt your own personal viewing session. The odds of that are much lower than accidentally pausing the show, though.

Josh Hendrickson has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smarthome enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code. Read more.

Netflix has a parental control problem. You can create “Kids” profiles, but kids can easily escape them. You can set a PIN to block content, but Netflix still bombards kids with mature trailers. Netflix’s parental controls need to be better.

Update: Since we originally wrote this article in August 2019, Netflix has added expanded parental controls. You can now lock adult Netflix profiles with a PIN, too.

Kid Profiles Aren’t Parental Controls

The fact that Netflix is so easy to share with friends and family is fantastic. Everyone can have an individual profile (your account can have up to five), which means your suggestions won’t include Magic School Bus or StoryBots.

And setting your young children up with a kid’s profile should keep them from seeing the mature shows. It should, but it won’t. Unfortunately, with Netflix’s current system, your child can switch to your profile anytime he wants. That’s why Netflix calls these “soft controls.”

Netflix doesn’t lock kids into their profiles. So, if your child already figured out how to switch profiles, he can easily switch from his to yours. The only thing stopping him is the realization he can get to someone else’s profile, and that he’s not supposed to do that. “Parental security” that relies on the innocence and honesty of a child isn’t security at all.

What do you do when your children switch profiles and check out content you don’t want them to watch? Unfortunately, right now, you can’t keep them out of your profile. The only thing you can do is set a PIN to prevent them from playing that Rated R movie Netflix added last week. But even that is problematic because the PIN system is counterintuitive and doesn’t block everything.

PINs Are Counterintuitive

The real parental control feature is the PIN system, which Netflix calls “hard controls.” If you set a PIN on your account, you can set Netflix to require it before playing mature content in any profile.

You access Netflix’s parental control PIN system from account settings. Any change you make applies to every profile. The first problem, though, is that the PIN system is counterintuitive.

To access the parental controls, you have to go to Netflix’s website. You can’t access it from an iPad, smartphone, or any other device. If you try, the app points you to the site.

When you access the parental controls, the first step is to provide a four-digit PIN. Choose this carefully, as you have to give it to any friends or family members who use your Netflix account. If you don’t feel comfortable handing out your debit card PIN, don’t use that.

The green bar in the Parental Controls settings denotes the rating levels that don’t require a PIN for access. If you move the bar all the way to the right for maturity, that’s not correct. If the green bar is full, parental controls are off. Thankfully, you can also specify specific shows to block.

It might not always be clear when you need to use the PIN, either. According to Netflix, once you allow a show to play, you won’t need to input your PIN again until either the next episode changes ratings, or you sign out, switch profiles, or are inactive “for long enough” (Netflix doesn’t specify exactly how long “enough” is).

So, just because your child continues to watch the same show doesn’t mean you won’t have to enter your PIN again. You might have to if a newer episode is rated higher than the previous one.

PINs Don’t Prevent Mature Trailers

It’s only a matter of time before your children grow curious and switch to your profile. Unfortunately, what they might see is out of your control. Netflix advertises various shows at the top of the page in nearly every app. The advertisement typically includes a trailer video. Scroll down, and you often find additional trailers.

While setting a PIN stops every other trailer from playing, it doesn’t stop these Netflix advertisements. They’re exempt, and you have no way to stop them. Consider the image above from the Stranger Things trailer. It starts innocently enough: a young boy returns home, and his toy robots start parading out of the room. That’s precisely the sort of thing that might catch a small child’s attention. It isn’t long before the “stranger things” appear, like the monstrous horror in the image above, which would terrify any young child.

“Stranger Things” is really a better-case scenario as it’s rated TV-14. Netflix hosts and creates TV-Shows and Movies that are rated TV-Mature and R. Sometimes, it features those shows in these advertisements.

Even if by chance every preview is kid-friendly, Netflix still shows images for every show you can watch. This sometimes includes racy images from mature shows you might not want to your children to see. And again—you can’t turn these off, you can’t lock them with a PIN, and you can’t prevent your child from opening an “adult” profile.

PINs Only Work for One-Child Families

If you have more than one child, you’ll find the parental controls cumbersome. If you have kids who are three or four years apart, what you allow your eldest child to watch might differ drastically from what you want your youngest to watch. But Netflix doesn’t allow any distinction. When you set a maturity level, it applies to every profile.

You can block everything you wouldn’t want your youngest to see and enter your PIN regularly for your oldest child. Or, you can unblock everything you allow your oldest child to watch which unblocks that content for your other kids, too.

You could give your pin to your oldest child, but that gives them access to everything—even mature content. Unfortunately, these cumbersome options only work well for one-child families.

Netflix Should Add PIN-Restricted Profiles

All these problems are solvable with a single solution. Instead of one account-wide PIN and maturity rating that affects all profiles, Netflix should introduce profile level choices and PINs.

Currently, to access the parental controls, you have to provide the account password. That’s perfect and should stay as is. Once logged into the parental control app, Netflix should empower you to enforce maturity ratings on a profile-by-profile basis. Little John is 5, so you can set his profile to “little kid.” Susie just turned 15, so her profile can graduate to “teen.”

To prevent children from hopping into profiles that don’t belong to them, Netflix should expand the current PIN system to include multiple PINs for profiles. Anyone set to a Kids profile with a low maturity rating doesn’t need a PIN. But you could optionally give a PIN to your teenager, so the younger siblings can’t gain access. And each adult profile can have its own PIN.

To override maturity settings on an on-off basis, you could use an approved adult PIN. The current rules concerning re-entering a PIN after a rating switch would still apply.

By moving away from account-wide controls to profile-wide controls, Netflix would exchange a blunt hammer for a scalpel. The company should let you decide who’s ready for what, without making the process a lesson in frustration.