Whenever you are reading an article or blog online, you may have noticed that videos in it start playing automatically. By default, the autoplay option is enabled in Chrome but the audio is muted.
Even though Chrome itself does not provide any autoplay disabling option, you can disable it if you wish to. You can conveniently tweak up the settings to turn it off with the actionable steps listed below.
Autoplay Policy in Chrome
Chrome has a metric called “Media Engagement Index” that determines which sites can place media that plays automatically. It tracks the user’s browsing behavior on each site and records if media is consumed on a regular basis on that site.
If a user frequently consumes a content for more than 7 seconds in the previously opened tab and video size is larger than 200*140 px, their media MDI will go up. Depending upon the MDI score, Chrome decides whether to permit the site to include autoplaying videos on their sites or not.
A user’s MEI can be accessed by typing
about://media-engagement on Chrome Address bar.
The autoplay settings also depend on whether you are using it from your PC/laptop or from a mobile device.
Here’s the list of different methods for each type of device that you can try.
How to Stop Video Autoplay in Chrome
Chrome has no video autoplay disable feature in-built. So muting audio is one of the viable option. However, if you truly want to block both the video and audio, you can go through other fixes such as installing an extension and creating a shortcut discussed in this article.
Mute the Audio
Although you don’t mind the video playing in the background, you probably don’t want the audio. And, since video autoplay cannot be completely disabled specifically for Chrome, you can follow this method to at least mute the audio.
If you are using a desktop then you can go through the following methods to disable autoplay.
- Click on the three-dots at the top-right corner of the browser window. Then go to “Settings”.
- Under the “Security and Privacy” section, click on the “”Site Settings”.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and you will find “Additional content settings”. Click and expand it.
- Under the Default behavior of the “Sound” section, select “Don’t allow sites to play sound”.
Alternatively, you can also create a customized setting to choose which sites have the autoplay feature on or off. For that, you can do the following:
Under the “Not allowed to play sound”, you can add the url of the sites which you absolutely do not want to play sound automatically.
Likewise, you can give permission to desired sites to play audio automatically by adding their website url under “Allowed to play sound”.
- Launch the “Chrome” app and go to “Settings”.
- Under settings, go to “Site settings”.
- Click sound and toggle “Allow sites to play sound” to off.
Alternatively, you can add website urls of the sites to “Add to site exception”. This will allow only those specific sites to play the audio automatically while the audio is still disabled for other sites.
Use a Chrome Extension
There are only a handful of extensions that can resolve the video autoplay issue such as AutoplayStopper and HTML5 Autoplay Blocker.
Here’s how you can disable video autoplay using Chrome Extension::
- Go to “Chrome web store”.
- Search for an extension called “AutoplayStopper” and add it to chrome.
- After installing it, click on the extension icon in the toolbar.
- Select “Disable Everywhere” to disable autoplay videos on all sites.
For more customized settings, go to settings and add the site url to include / exclude from autoplaying.
Create a Shortcut
- Right click on the desktop and go to New > Shortcut.
- Click on “Browse” and paste, “
C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe” onto the search bar.
- Click on OK but do not click on “Next” yet. Append “–autoplay-policy=user-required” without quotes to the url. Also add exactly a single space after the file url.
- Click on “Next” and a dialog box will appear.
- Under “Type a name for this shortcut”, give any name you want.
- Lastly, click on “Finish.”
How to Stop Video Autoplay on Youtube
Depending upon the device type, you can simply open any video on Youtube and tap the Autoplay switch to on or off.
It is located on the bottom of the video player for desktop/laptops whereas it lies on the top-right corner on mobile devices.
How to Stop Video Autoplay on Other Browsers
You can quickly turn off autoplay in Firefox by selecting the “Block Audio and Video” option under Autoplay in the Settings>Privacy & Security>Permission.
On Microsoft Edge
Click on three horizontal dots on the top-right corner of the browser window and navigate to Settings. Then, under the Media Autoplay in Cookies and site permissions, set Control if audio and video play automatically on sites to limit.
In the menu bar, click on “Settings for This Website” and set the dropdown next to “Auto-play” to the “Never Auto-Play” option.
Frequently Asked Question
Why Do Sites Have Autoplay?
The main objective behind this is to grab users’ attention and target ads to their potential customers. According to the United States Securities And Exchange Commission, Google’s parent company Alphabet generated over $147 billion from the ads business in 2020.
How Useful Is Autoplay?
Enabling Autoplay has more disadvantages compared to disabling it. It silently consumes the user’s data and wastes useful bandwidth. Furthermore, it can be unpleasant for a visitor when a video autoplay with sensitive or explicit content.
How to Make Autoplay Beneficial as a Site Owner?
You can use the autoplay feature to your advantage by setting your videos to autoplay without sound, including a button or scroll feature that allows users to opt-out of autoplay without leaving your site, and recommending videos relevant to the information that the visitors are looking for.