How to Disable Video Autoplay in Chrome and Firefox

One of the annoying things correlating with an ever-faster Internet is an increase in the number of websites that deem it okay to autoplay videos (often with sound!) as soon as you land on their homepage. Sometimes the videos quietly tick away in the corner of the screen, other times they’re obnoxiously in your face, but the point is you should be able to control whether you see them or not. Both Chrome and Firefox are pretty liberal with their autoplay policies by default, so you may need to do a little tweaking to disable them.

We’ll show you how in the following guide.

Disable Video Autoplay in Chrome

Chrome’s autoplay policies have been going through a lot of changes of late, and it’s a little bit confusing now to know where they’re at exactly. They talked earlier in the year about implementing stricter autoplay policies, but then they rolled back the policy after HTML5 indie game devs complained that these policies had a terrible impact on their income.

So right now, Chrome isn’t too strict on autoplaying videos. It will autoplay videos so long as their sound is muted if you click on the page somewhere or if you’ve frequently played media on that site before. If you still want to block autoplay even when these criteria are met, you need to do the following:

1. In your Chrome address bar, type chrome://flags/#autoplay-policy

2. Click the dropdown next to Autoplay policy, and you’ll see four options:

  • Default – Autoplay is enabled
  • No user gesture is required – Autoplay is enabled
  • User gesture is required for cross-origin iframes – Autoplay is enabled for videos that aren’t hosted on other sites (linking to YouTube, for example)
  • Document user activation is required – Video starts autoplaying as soon as you click or interact with the web page

disable-video-autoplay-chrome-firefox-autoplay-policy

Select the last option to block autoplay, at least as long as you don’t interact with the web page.

Control Flash Video Playback in Chrome

Flash videos are disabled by default in Chrome (the browser will ask if you want to play the video first). You can, however, fine-tune which sites to block and allow the playing of Flash videos by clicking the padlock in the address bar when you’re on a site with Flash video.

Once you’ve clicked the padlock, click “Site settings,” then click the dropdown next to Flash and select “Ask,” “Allow” or “Block” as required. This lets you set absolute rules by website, so videos can autoplay on those you trust or be outright blocked on those you don’t. While you’re at it, while you’re here, you can block and allow different things on websites, such as that pesky sound.

disable-video-autoplay-chrome-firefox-turn-off-flash

Use the Data Saver Extension

It may not have been updated for a couple of years, but the official Data Saver extension for Google Chrome remains one of the best ways to blanket-block videos auto-playing in your browser. Install it, get it up and running, and you’re away!

disable-video-autoplay-chrome-firefox-data-saver

Disable Video Autoplay in Firefox

Firefox Quantum rung in the changes when it launched last year, and these include a slightly different way of preventing videos from autoplaying in the browser.

The best thing you can do is go to about:config in the Firefox address bar, and type in media.autoplay into its search box.

disable-video-autoplay-firefox-media-autoplay-default

The preference media.autoplay.default should show up, and its value should be “0,” which will permit autoplaying videos. Double-click the value and change it to one of the following:

  • 1: Block all autoplay videos
  • 2: Get asked on a by-domain basis about whether or not to autoplay videos

Conclusion

It’s a time of flux for autoplaying videos online, as Chrome and Firefox look for the best ways to ensure our web-viewing experience is uninterrupted. They haven’t got the balance right just yet, as we still need to dig around beneath their bonnets to block intrusive video content, but at least the option’s there, and in the long term it’s something the browser giants are working on.

24 comments

  1. very helpful article,
    do website owners not realise that autoplay videos make us less likely to visit their websites ?

  2. doesn’t work in firefox

    1. Worked for me.

  3. Document User Activation Required has never worked on Chrome. Videos still shamelessly play without asking you anything.

  4. worked in Firefox Thanks v much !!

  5. Works for me with Firefox 64. I followed directions above and changed the value to “2”. FF each time asks if I want to allow or not allow autoplay of the video.

    If I click not allow. The video is available on the page and will play only if I specifically click on it.

  6. In other words, there’s no way to disable Autoplay in Chrome.

    Right?

  7. wow that sure was helpful! why not just say every freaking option in the chrome drop down ENABLES AUTOPLAY

    Ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous…

  8. I’ve been trying for months to stop auto-play in Firefox, and FINALLY something which works! And the terrible thing is, these are the same instructions I’d found many time, with ONE exception: this article explains that you need to set the media.autoplay.default to either 1 or 2, NOT 0! Why on earth did Mozilla set the DEFAULT not just to be enabled, but to have FALSE (0) mean ENABLING autoplay! That’s crazy! I understand that they could choose to have media.autoplay.default be either enabled or not, but FALSE (0) SHOULD mean NOT ENABLED.

  9. Worked perfectly with Firefox, even though Firefox threw up a scary “may void warranty” alert.

  10. Perhaps this used to work for Chrome, but I just did this, and videos are still starting with no clicks from me or anything.
    And seriously…what good is “until you interact with the page”? I only want a video to play if I click on it and hit the play button! Chrome is getting to be less and less a good option every day.

  11. Perfect solution for Firefox Quantum v65 64-bit.

  12. if you don’t want to be asked for playing by domain, set the value of media.autoplay.default to 1, firefox will not play the video neither bores you for confirmation.

  13. Chrome
    settings>
    advanced>
    content settings>
    Images>do not show images>
    content settings
    Ads> Blocked on sites that show intrusive or misleading ads
    this works for me

  14. OMG It worked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you Thank you XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOOXOXOXO

  15. None of this actually works. Tried it all and videos STILL autoplay in Chrome.

  16. After I did this in Firefox, it did work fine for two or three weeks.

    Now, after a Firefox update, it no longer works and I can no longer make it work following the above instructions.

    So what do I do now?

  17. for FF 66.0.2 (64-bit) on the daily mail site – it doesn’t work. still get the awful videos that follow me. showing the lower right corner. ick

  18. The firefox instructions didn’t stop autoplay.

  19. My autoplay settings are already set to block; they don’t work! The danged stuff still loads, plays, essentially does whatever it wants.

  20. Nothing works for Firefox, videos still play

  21. The latest Firefox version has an additional setting that needs to be changed in about:config.

    I don’t know with what version it started, but I am running FF Quantum 66 in Linux, and the setting “media.autoplay.default” is already set at “1” by default.

    HOWEVER… there is an entry that says “media.autoplay.allow-muted” set to “true”. This one lets videos to start playing automatically, but muted.

    So if you want to completely disable autoplay, set that entry to false (just double click on it). Now videos are completely stopped and they will play only if you click on them.

    I hope this helps.

    1. it did not work for me (firefox may 2019) but Mar Z. post did it.
      just change “media.autoplay.allow-muted” to false and the job is done.
      thank you Mar Z. and MakeTecheasier

  22. Neither options for FF worked for me. May 8 19

Leave a Comment

Yeah! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic! Check out our comment policy here. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.