How to Disable Autoplay Videos on Firefox and Chrome?
Nothing screams attention on the web like automatically playing—um… screaming videos! No matter how some publishers and advertisers may justify it, embedded media that plays automatically without users’ consent is a very bad practice and a rude interruption for all types of users. People who use screen readers are the ones who are mostly affected by this. When it comes to sites that not only push resource-hogging stuff to users but also pair it with impossible to close pop-ups, it is a nightmare for all users. Here are some easy ways to block such automatic videos globally.
Chrome and Firefox by default have options to disable automatically playing HTML5 videos. The following are the experimental flags for both the browsers, which are subjected to change in the future.
Disable autoplay on Firefox
- Go to this page —
- Acknowledge the warning prompt.
- In the search box, type
- Restart Firefox.
On Firefox, this might cause some side-effects like a delayed playback where you’ll need to press play twice on some sites. At the time of this writing, enabling this blocked autoplay videos on most sites.
Disable autoplay on Chrome
- Go to this page —
- In the drop-down box, select
Document user activation is required.
- Relaunch Chrome.
On Chrome, thanks to the ridiculous autoplay policy from the Chrome team, these flags try to stop only the unmuted autoplay HTML5 videos. This is done by listening and blocking any automated play() events with unmuted audio. The problem is, you won’t be able to block muted autoplay videos with this modification unless you are willing to install extensions.
Perhaps you should consider using a better browser that focuses on users — ⚡ Firefox Quantum!
Plugins and extensions to block autoplay videos
If the built-in flags mentioned above (please note that these are experimental filters and are subject to changes and revisions — which we’ll update here once they change) fail to block videos, especially when it’s a non-HTML5 video, browser plugins and extensions might come in handy.
For websites like CNN, who still use flash videos, you can install any flash blocking plugins of your choice. Flashblock is a nice plugin that replaces all flash content with a neat `click to play` button.
This post was first published on May 25, 2017.