How to Stop Video From Autoplaying

Videos suddenly playing when you're online? Turn that “feature” off

Video player
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If you’ve been reading an article on a website and found yourself startled by audio playing when you didn’t expect it, you’ve encountered a site that has what’s called autoplay videos. Usually there’s an ad associated with the video and so the site plays the video automatically to make sure you hear (and hopefully see) the ad. Here’s how you can turn video autoplay off in the following browsers:

  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer
  • Safari

Google Chrome

As of this writing, the most recent version of Chrome is version 61. Version 64, due to be released in January, promises to make it easier to turn off video autoplay. In the meantime, there are two plug-ins to choose from so you can disable autoplay.

Go to the Chrome Web Store at https://chrome.google.com/webstore/. Next, lick in the Search Extensions box in the upper-left corner of the webpage, and then type “html5 disable autoplay” (without the quotes, of course).

In the Extensions page, you’ll see three extensions, though there are only two that do what you’re looking for: Disable HTML5 Autoplay and Video Autoplay Blocker by Robert Sulkowski. Disable HTML5 Autoplay is no longer supported by the developer considering Google’s news about disabling video autoplay, but it was last updated on July 27, 2017. Video Autoplay Blocker was last updated in August 2015, but according to reviews, it still works on current versions of Chrome.

View more information about each extension by clicking on the title and reading more information in the pop-up window. You can install one by clicking the Add to Chrome button to the right of the app name. The Web Store checks to see if the version of Chrome on your Windows computer or Mac has a version that supports the extension, and if it does, then install the extension by clicking the Add Extension button in the pop-up window.

After you install the extension, the extension icon appears in the toolbar.

If you don’t like the extension you install, you can un-install it, return to the Chrome Web Store, and download the other extension.

Firefox

You can disable video autoplay in Firefox by delving into its advance settings. Here’s how:

  1. Type about:config in your address bar.
  2. Click the I Accept the Risk button in the warning page.
  3. Scroll down the settings list until you see the media.autoplay.enabled option in the Preference Name column.
  4. Double-click media.autoplay.enabled to disable autoplay.

The media.autoplay.enabled option is highlighted and you can confirm that autoplay is off when you see false within the Value column. Close the about:config tab to get back to browsing. The next time you visit a website that has a video, the video won’t play automatically. Instead, play the video by clicking the Play button in the center of the video.

Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer

Edge is Microsoft’s latest and greatest browser, and the one that’s supposed to replace Internet Explorer, but it doesn’t have the ability to turn off video autoplay as of this writing. The same is true of Internet Explorer. Sorry, Microsoft fans, but you’re out of luck for now.

Safari

If you are running the latest macOS (called High Sierra), that means you have the latest version of Safari and so you can easily to turn off video autoplay on any website you visit. From Here’s how:

  1. Open a website that contains one or more videos.
  2. Click Safari in the menu bar.
  3. Click Settings for This Website.
  4. Within the pop-up menu that appears in front of the webpage, click Stop Media with Sound to the right of the Auto-Play option.
  5. Click Never Auto-Play.

If you aren't running High Sierra, have no fear because Safari 11 is available for Sierra and El Capitan. If you don't have Safari 11, just go to the Mac App Store and search for Safari.

If you are running an older version of macOS than that either of the ones listed just above, however, you'll be out of luck.