Skip to Content
Tech tips

Hate videos that play automatically? Here’s how to stop them

As consumers become blind to the variety of billboard-style banner ads on websites, many advertisers are turning to video to catch the attention of their audience. Videos, particularly high-quality ones, can be an excellent marketing resource for businesses trying to get the word out about their products or services. Unfortunately, as with most forms of advertising, the practice is often abused.

To increase visibility, some sites use what is referred to as “autoplay” videos. In other words, the site visitor (you) doesn’t have to choose to click the play button. Instead, as soon as the page loads, the video begins to play.

There’s nothing more frustrating than opening an online article with the intention of absorbing insight or knowledge only to be bombarded with a loud, often irrelevant, video ad. In many cases, it takes longer than expected to locate the ad and disable it. Fortunately, there’s a way to eliminate the problem altogether.

If you use Firefox

Firefox users can disable video autoplay in the advanced settings of the browser. Simply type “about:config” into the address bar and click “I accept the risk” on the warning that appears. As you look through the settings, look in the “Preference Name” column for the “media.autoplay.enabled” option and double click it to disable the autoplay feature. When the “Value” column reads “False,” you can rest assured that autoplay has been disabled.

If you use Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer

Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer users may as well get used to autoplay videos because, for the time being, there is not a way to disable them. Of course, switching to a different browser may be an option. But for die-hard fans of the popular browser, autoplay videos are unavoidable. As new updates continue to arrive, one can only hope that this feature will be included in the upcoming revisions.

If you use Google Chrome

In order to turn off autoplay videos in Google Chrome, you’ll first need to download one of two extensions. You can find these in the Chrome Web Store by typing “disable autoplay” into the search box. This will provide you with a few selections, two of which are suitable for disabling autoplay videos: Video Autoplay Blocker and Disable HTML5 Autoplay

To install one of these extensions, you can click the “Add to Chrome “button and click “Add extension” when the pop-up appears. Once installed, the icon will appear in your browser’s toolbar. You can then click on the icon to update your settings accordingly and turn off those irritating little video ads.

If you use Safari

Users of the latest version of Safari (High Sierra) have the ability to quickly disable autoplay within the browser settings. When visiting a site that contains videos, simply click “Safari” in the menu and click “Settings for this website.” A pop-up menu will appear. To disable autoplay, click on “Stop Media with Sound” and then click “Never Auto-Play.”

Take control of your view

While marketers will always find a way to insert their promotion into the day-to-day lives of consumers (that is their job after all), there are often steps we can take to prevent advertisement overload. Disabling autoplay in your browser gives you control over which ads you choose to view.

It may also prevent those embarrassing moments at work when you’re supposed to be working on that report, but pop over to your web browser for a break from your day. Of course, without fail, the moment that autoplay video starts, your boss is sure to walk by. With autoplay safely disabled, no one will ever know that you took 15 minutes to read that irresistible celebrity gossip article.

Ask me your digital question!

Navigating the digital world can be intimidating and sometimes downright daunting. Let me help! Reach out today to ask your digital question. You might even be on my show!

Ask Me