New Netflix playback options lets you watch your favourite shows faster than ever before

(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix is changing the way you watch its movies and shows.

New playback options are being introduced and slowly rolled out among various apps and devices – options that allow you to play content at 1.25x and 1.5x speed, as well as 0.5x and 0.75x speed.

Currently only available on Android, the feature launched on August 1 and “will be available to everyone globally in the coming weeks,” according to a report from The Verge (opens in new tab). That includes iOS devices and those using Netflix on PC, but not the TV app.

How to watch Netflix faster or slower and change playback speeds

(Image credit: Netflix)

So, how do you do it? Thankfully, the new playback options are a doddle to access. When watching a movie or TV show, use your mouse (if on web) or controller/fingers (if on PS4/Xbox/mobile) to bring up the usual runtime and settings overlay.

There, you’ll see several options, including subtitles and the ability to jump to the next episode. Now, there’s a button marked “Speed.” It should be currently set to “1x.” Click that to bring up a drop-down menu where you can select 0.5x, 0.75x, 1x, 1.25x, or 1.5x speed.

However, this playback speed change will only apply to what you’re currently watching. For example, if you toggle the speed on The Umbrella Academy season 2 (opens in new tab), it’ll still be at 1x speed for Da 5 Bloods (opens in new tab), should you go on to watch that immediately after.

But not everyone is happy with the changes. There was uproar from the likes of director Judd Apatow last year when Netflix announced it would be trialling faster and slower playback speeds. 

Actor Bradley Whitford, who appeared in The West Wing, has called it “totally disrespectful to the casts, crews, writers and directors who provide [Netflix’s] content” on Twitter (opens in new tab), though the National Association of the Deaf and the National Federation of the Blind have praised the move as the new options make shows more accessible. 

However, it's the speeding up of episodes which creators are grumbling with. Yet, the vast, vast majority will watch at 1x speed while there are those who will be happy that the option exists. Now, everyone can use Netflix the way they want. 

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.