How-To

How to Disable Autoplay Videos on Sites in Google Chrome (Updated)

Nothing is more annoying than autoplay videos. Here is how to mute or stop them from playing in Chrome on the desktop and Android.

One of the most annoying things any internet user must deal with is video automatically playing when you hit a site. Starting with Chrome 64, we showed you that you can permanently mute the annoying autoplay videos. When you’re on the offending site, click the site info button and click Sound and change it to “Always block on the site.”

While that’s all well and good, you may want stop videos from playing automatically in the first place as it wastes bandwidth on mobile. We have covered how to avoid it with third-party extensions and tweaking browser settings – but those options have been hit or miss for years. So, here is how to tackle the autoplay problem once and for all with Chrome on your mobile device and on the desktop.

Update 7/26/2018: Google has updated the desktop version of Chrome several times since this article was written and the option for the desktop browser no longer seems to work. You can always try out third-party extensions with varying degrees of success. However, blocking autoplay videos for Chrome on Android does seem to still work for most sites.

Disable Autoplay Videos in Chrome on Android

Android makes disabling autoplay videos simple. First, launch Chrome on your phone or tablet and go to Settings > Site Settings.

Android Chrome Site Settings

Next, scroll down the menu and tap on Media and then Autoplay and toggle the switch off.

Android Block Autoplay Chrome

Disable Autoplay Videos in Chrome on Desktop

As Chrome development continues, the company has said it will eventually include some options that make it as easy to stop autoplay videos on sites as it does with muting them. Until then, you can still get the same results by digging into it a bit.

Launch Chrome and in the Address Bar type: chrome://flags/#autoplay-policy and hit Enter. That will bring you directly to the flag that you need to change. From the drop-down box, change the setting from Default to “Document user activation is required” and relaunch the browser.

Now, while an autoplay video might pop up on a site, it will not play automatically, and you will have to specifically click or tap on it if you want it to play. Using this in addition to the muting option will save you a lot of frustrations while browsing the web in Chrome.

Do you find sites that autoplay videos annoying? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts. Or for more tech discussion, join our gP Forums for more troubleshooting help and advice.


19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Dirgster  

    Vielen Dank, Herr Brinkmann, für diesen hilfreichen Tipp! I always enjoy reading your informative newsletters.

  2. Carole  

    I just did this on my laptop. When I launched Yahoo News, there is a video autoplaying! Grrr!

  3. Laura Ayala  

    Thank you for the quick and easy actual steps! Data use increases cost me sooo much money. The autoplaying restricts parental supervision/control, too.

  4. Frank  

    I already have these settings on my laptop for Chrome, yet DailyMail.co.uk still plays popup videos everytime I scroll past a video – I think they’ve found some new trick to make them popup – it’s annoying as hell !

  5. C4Lin  

    I’ve tried these because it’s driving me mental – both on PC and mobile!
    Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to have made a difference. I don’t know why but it’s very annoying!
    But thank you for your explanations anyway…at least it gave me something to try!

    • Ben  

      same here. I tried these but nothing has changed. All the videos are playing in the background!

  6. Rufus Anton  

    This doesn’t really solve the problem. Even if videos don’t start playing they still get streamed into the buffer wasting bandwidth all the same.

  7. Mitch  

    Doesn’t work.

  8. Debra Dean  

    does not work thanks Google Chrome you are becoming Internet Explorer (sad face)

  9. James M Pash  

    I have solution. First of all, I’m very sad Google chrome doesn’t work. Solution, change default browser to Firefox. Videos stop. Set FireFox default page to Google. You now have Google in FireFox

  10. mark  

    auto play is HIGHLY annoying. default to be… user clicks to start video.

  11. jonnie  

    chrome://flags/#autoplay-policy hack stopped a CNN video from auto playing on a cnn.com site. But the cnn site is the only site I tested so far. Interesting that Google tries so hard to autoplay videos on users.

  12. Joe  

    I prefer to control my content and so I hate autoplay vids so thanks for this.

  13. Brenda L Tippin  

    You’re right, unfortunately this no longer works. Extremely annoying because this happens all the time on news sites especially when you are tracking events like hurricanes, wildfires etc. They assume you want to see the videos and that is the easiest way (for them) to show you. But, what you really want is quick current facts. You might be at work, or may have limited data or bandwidth either on your mobile or desktop. Often sites you click on do not appear to have a video until you click and it starts playing. Some of them are small and placed far down the page so the video is either blaring until you find it, or if you have sound muted, it is still eating up your data or bandwidth and you may not even notice it right away. EXTREMELY irritating. Wish there was a way to get this through Google’s thick skull.

  14. chris  

    Guess I’ll only use Chrome for chromecast. Will use other browsers that pay attention to user wishes and privacy. Google..what happened to being the best?
    ps Already changed default email from gmail…

  15. jerome  

    So … google is now unable to control their own functionality?? Intentional “incompetence” again, yielding to the advertisers?

    I’ll look into just going back to firefox (uggh).. and (sigh) abandoning gmail. Google seems to be evolving into a champion of user abuse.

  16. longjohn119  

    The owners of site that use autoplay videos should be strung up and beaten with a garden hose stuffed with sand

    I’m tired of going over my monthly bandwidth allowance be stupid autoplay videos have eaten up 25% or more of my monthly bandwidth FOR NOTHING OF VALUE

  17. gsr  

    Video auto play is annoying. Just plain awful.

  18. arash a  

    my goodness, thank you for this.
    autoplay is beyond annoying.

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