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 could 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 to 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 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 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.



  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!

    • ikomrad

      Same here. Chrome 69 on Mac OS. youtube videos play with chrome://flags/#autoplay-policy set to “document…” I also have HTML5 autoplay blocker installed and it also does not prevent autoplay. Grrrr

  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 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 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.

    • ikomrad

      +1 this!

  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

    • James

      Might want to disable JavaScript for such sites. Personally, such sites do not deserve to have JavaScript enabled if they do not respect the bandwidth of their visitors, even though their site’s functionality would be limited.

  17. gsr

    Video auto play is annoying. Just plain awful.

  18. arash a

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

  19. Phil

    I am using Chromium in Linux. Yahoo Mail has this autoplay video ads each time I check my email, consuming much of my bandwidth without my permission. As much as possible, I would like to avoid plugins or extensions which might have security issues.

    1. I tried this chrome://flags/#autoplay-policy on Yahoo solution, yet the videos still play automatically.

    2. So I also tried disabling JavaScript for the entire domain, but still the same.

    3. So I also switched to “Yahoo Mail Basic” in Yahoo Mail Settings. Now, the ads appear to be plain image ads.

    Hopefully, those video ads won’t come back.

  20. Tim H

    Thank you- autoplay is incredibly annoying and the default should NOT be enabled

  21. MARY

    My internet account only allows me 20 Gig a month of Downloading. Auto videos use bandwidth when I do not want to hear or watch these videos. Despite Disabling Auto Play a few videos still manage to auto play but it is much better than it used to be.


    This is absolutely the WORST feature of Chrome. I’m thinking of trying other Browsers because of it.

  23. Madelyn

    Awesome, that worked! Thank you so much!

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