Netflix is trialling a 'sleep timer' so you won’t lose track of TV shows - how to find it

By Iain Leggat
Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 12:19 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 12:19 pm
Netflix is trialling a 'sleep timer' so you won’t lose track of TV shows - how to find it (Photo: Shutterstock)

Netflix is trialling a ‘sleep timer’ for smartphones that will stop streaming content for you if you fall asleep while watching.

The streaming service’s new feature will let users decide how long the app should run for before shutting down. This may come in useful for those who tend to fall asleep while watching, and lose their place in an episode, series or film as a result.

The addition of the sleep timer will also be useful for users who are trying to save their data consumption, or limit their Netflix screen time.

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How to find the Netflix viewing timer

The viewing timer is currently only available for a few Android device owners.

Netflix users with an Android device will see an update for the streaming service app. After updating, you’ll see a timer icon in the right hand corner of the screen when watching something.

Once the icon is clicked, users can select to keep watching for another 15, 30 or 45 minutes. There is also the option to finish your chosen programme.

If you update your Netflix app on your Android device and you don’t see the timer option, this means your device is not part of the trial.

The viewing timer is an optional feature, so people who want to continue bringing their latest series can do so without interruption.

‘We will only roll it out more broadly if it improves user experience’

A Netflix spokesperson said: "We’re always looking for new ways to improve the Netflix mobile experience.

"This test is the latest example - a new timer that gives members more control over their viewing experience by simply choosing their favorite show or movie and setting a timer without having to worry about pausing it before it’s over.

"We experiment with these types of tests and will only roll the feature out more broadly if we find it improves the member experience.”

There are no details yet on whether the viewing timer feature could be arriving on Apple devices, or on TV screens.