How-To

Disable AutoPlay Videos in Your Browser to Save Bandwidth

If you’re on a metered connection with a limited amount of data, one thing that will help not run out is disabling auto-play of videos on websites.

We have covered managing your bandwidth using a metered connection, but that is only part of the solution when using today’s modern Internet. Popular websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can go through a limited data plan in minutes. It is completely frustrating when I use my smartphone to share my Internet then browse a website to encounter an auto-loading video. Modern browsers don’t have a Work offline option anymore; that was was handy back in the days of dial-up. But there are some things you can do to reduce the effect of bandwidth-hogging auto-play videos with your limited data plan.

It’s also worth mentioning that auto-playing videos on your timeline are just purely annoying to some people. So, even if you have the resources to spare, you might want to disable auto-play settings where you can.

Modify Social Network Autoplay Settings

Social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube all now push auto-loading videos, whether you like it or not. Here is how you can disable it or minimize its impact on your data.

Note: Since we’re focusing on ways to protect your bandwidth from auto-playing videos, you might also want to read: Three Ways to Fight Back Against Auto-Play Video Ads.

Facebook:

Log into your account and go to Settings > Videos, and under Video Settings, turn Auto-Lay Videos off and set the video quality to default or SD.

fb

Twitter:

Log into your account and go to Settings > Click Account > under Content, uncheck Video Autoplay > click Save Changes > enter your password, then click Save Changes again.

Reduce data Twitter 3

YouTube:

Log into your account and go to Settings > Playback, and select I have a slow connection. Never play higher-quality video, and make sure to click Save.

slow yt

For other websites, it’s a tricky situation since the code for these websites gets updates continually. So, a workaround today might not work a few months from now. But, here is what you can do to block auto-play videos in your browser for what works at the time of this writing.

Firefox

In the address bar, type: about:config (click through the void warranty gag if it comes up). In the search field, type autoplay, right-click media.autoplay.enabled then click toggle. That’s it!

Browser Disable FF 2

Google Chrome

A little more effort is required; you will need to download an extension to disable autoplay videos. I recommend Disable HTML5 Autoplay that will disable both HTML5 audio and video automatically when you load a web page.

Chrome Browser Disable FF 2

I should also note that Adobe Flash is beginning to see its last days as a critical part of your web experience, but it’s still used by millions of websites for delivering video; check out our article for instructions on how to disable it.

How about you? Are you on a limited bandwidth connection and see your bits and bytes get gobbled up by auto-play videos? Leave a comment below and share any tips we may have missed.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Caleb

    January 19, 2016 at 10:34 am

    For Chrome, you also just disable plug-ins. That way, if you want to watch a video, you just have to right-click and enable the plug-in.

    • Andre Da Costa

      January 25, 2016 at 7:48 am

      Thanks for that tip Caleb!

  2. BK

    June 5, 2016 at 10:09 am

    In Firefox that autoplay thing it just does a background load of the video while you’re on there even if it doesn’t play. Still, might slow down the amount your system downloaded a little if it’s not prioritizing, but not much good.

  3. jefwas

    September 24, 2018 at 6:53 am

    Puffin browser does not seem to have any way of disabling autoplay video. If you know how, please share.

  4. Stephen Peepels

    April 23, 2020 at 3:31 am

    I want to disable videos in news sights like cnn, foxnews, MSNBC’s, etc. I. Lick on those sights to read news. Not watch tv.

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