Netflix’s new ‘screen lock’ stops you accidentally pausing your TV show

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If you’re one to watch Netflix on your phone, chances are you’ve done the big fumble and pressed pause right in the middle of a key moment in The Crown just by accidentally touching the screen. Parents might know about this experience too, with tiny hands tapping away indiscriminately at any screen they can find, often gleefully skipping right to a huge spoiler.

Thankfully, Netflix has added a new “screen lock,” first spotted by 9to5Google, which lets you lock the screen within the app to avoid accidental taps. Netflix, the publisher reports, has rolled out the update to its Android app only at this stage — no iOS yet.

You’ll find the screen lock feature in the bottom left of the menu where episodes, sound options, etc. live, visible at the start of an episode or movie, or simply by tapping the screen during play.

Netflix's new 'screen lock' stops you accidentally pausing your TV show

Image: MASHABLE SCREENSHOT

If you hit the button, the whole interface including the play/pause button will be replaced with a lock icon. You can turn the screen lock off by tapping the icon, then you’ll be prompted to unlock the controls with a second tap.

Netflix's new 'screen lock' stops you accidentally pausing your TV show

Image: MASHABLE SCREENSHOT

Handy! So, if you’re one to balance your phone on your knees or something while watching in bed, or if you’re surrounded by enthusiastic kids who regularly tap the screen, this might let you relax and watch your show the whole way through. 

Now, what to stream? How about a period drama?

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