We've all been there: you're watching your favorite show on your smartphone, and you go to rebalance it in your hand and accidentally hit pause or next episode. It's not the end of the world, but it is annoying, and it's probably something you wish you could fix. Now, in Netflix, you can. With the new new Screen Lock button, Netflix can be told to safely ignore your errant grasps and pokes, keeping the content front and center.

This feature can be accessed easily with a quick tap while watching anything using the Netflix app. Tap to enable, and all touch controls other than a screen-lock indicator are disabled until the user taps twice to confirm their intent to unlock. You can find the whole process pictured just below. While this isn't completely fool-proof, it should help to prevent the majority of accidental taps from interrupting as you catch up on your queue.

  • To enable, tap the screen while a video is playing and tap "Screen Lock" in the lower left corner.

  • To disable, tap the screen while a video is playing and tap the lock icon above the "Screen Locked" text, then tap it again when the button changes to the "Unlock controls?" text.


This latest change appears to be widely available. Though it doesn't seem to be tied to a specific version of Netflix's app, it's rolled out to most of our own devices. It's probably a server-side update, so you may not have it on your phone just yet, but feel free to double-check for app updates if you don't have it — installing the latest version triggered it for one phone that didn't previously have it.

Make sure to give it a try the next time you're binging your comfort show of choice for the thousandth time while we're all stuck inside.

Developer: Netflix, Inc.
Price: Free+