Bye-bye, streaming indecision.

Claire Harmeyer
August 20, 2020
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Chesnot, Getty Images

It happens to all of us: You settle in for a relaxing evening of Netflix and Chill-ing, then wind up scrolling through every category for so long, suddenly it's been an hour and you decide to go to bed instead. With so many options for TV shows and movies, clicking through your Netflix queue can be overwhelming. But luckily, Netflix knows that its plethora of choices can be impossible to choose from, so the platform created a solution for our streaming indecision. Enter: Netflix Shuffle Play.

What is Netflix Shuffle Play?

The new feature, aptly called Netflix Shuffle Play, works similarly to the shuffle button on any music service like Apple Music or Spotify. If you just don't know what you're in the mood to watch, let shuffle play on Netflix do the work and decide for you. Simply click "Shuffle Play" and Netflix will randomly select a TV show or movie for your streaming pleasure, based on your previous viewing history and preferences.

The idea stems from Netflix wanting to cater to viewers' tastes and to feel like a more traditional TV experience—you turn it on and something is already playing for you to watch. Of course, many people are super particular about their shows and love that Netflix allows them to choose exactly what they want to watch when they want to watch it. If you're one of these picky people, don't worry: You can simply opt out of using Shuffle Play on Netflix.

How can I find Netflix Shuffle Play?

The streaming service is currently testing out Netflix Shuffle Play, so don't be surprised if you don't have the feature on your app yet. Shuffle Play on Netflix is currently only on TV apps, not devices like laptops or tablets, so if you don't have a smart TV, you can't try Shuffle Play on Netflix just yet. If you do have Netflix on your TV, the Shuffle Play button will appear just below your user profile on the home screen.

Netflix tested a similar feature last year that would randomly select an episode of one of your favorite shows, like The Office or Friends (RIP). This worked well for sitcoms that don't really need to be watched in chronological order, but some Netflix users didn't like the random episode selection, so the platform nixed the feature.

Now, Netflix Shuffle Play won't allow you to choose which show it will pull from—the platform will simply select something at random, making for a truly risky Netflix and Chill experience. But hey—it will save you precious time, and you might wind up finding your new favorite TV show or movie due to Netflix Shuffle Play.