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


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.


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 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.


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


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.

Robert Zak Robert Zak

Content Manager at Make Tech Easier. Enjoys Android, Windows, and tinkering with retro console emulation to breaking point.


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

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

  3. 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.

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

    Ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous…

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

  10. 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?

  11. 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

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

  13. 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

      1. Works in FF 67 64bit. BUT….for instance on a home page like Yahoo…the videos are stopped when it is opened. Once you click on one…even in another window…all of them will auto play. Refreshing the window will stop them but you are back to the top and lose where you left off.

      2. To be clearer on my comment: I did both steps….
        changed the “media.autoplay.default” to 1 AND the “media.autoplay.allow-muted” to false

  14. I would set the following settings

    1. MIDI – Do not allow any sites to use system exclusive messages to access MIDI devices
    2. SOUND – Mute sites that play sound

    the Websites can play videos all they want, but it will be muted, which is fine by me

  15. Hi,
    So FYI the link to the data saver does not work. However, I do seem to have solved the autoplay problem – I did settings, and autoplay policy through flags and then skipped data saver and instead added the following two extensions:

    – Disable HTML5 Autoplay (Reloaded) –

    (NB: Remember to uncheck disable pre-load as per instructions)

    – AutoplayStopper –

    T^hanks for the share, very helpful!

  16. On Firefox I was able to stop this video insanity…! O.o

    media.autoplay.allow-muted: false
    media.autoplay.enabled: false
    media.autoplay.enabled.user-gestures-needed: false

    Of course you can make this change in Preferences now, but it does not stop autoplay at all :/

  17. This did NOT work for me. I have 68.0.2 FF and the value was already set to ‘1’, which supposedly blocks all autoplay. It does not!

  18. The autoplay-policy policy has been removed from the latest version of Google Chrome. Now you need to use an extension (e.g., Volume Controller, Even with an extension, there may be a very short burp of high volume until the page fully loads and the extension can effect its own volume control; however, that’s still better than you trying to get the volume control icon to appear by hovering the mouse in the video to change the volume. A multimedia keyboard with a Mute button is handy, too: mute until YOU decide to unmute.

  19. The most recent Firefox update version as of 30 August 2019 did not respond whatsoever to any of this; the default value was already preset to 1, so I tried 2 and 0, but none of the options succeeded in stopping autoplay of annoying Yahoo News videos, even after restarting Firefox and rebooting my computer afterward – THANK YOU for trying to help, though!!

  20. I would appreciate some feedback and hopefully the article author could comment here as well please.

    As of this date October 12 – 2019, I am running Firefox Quantum version 69.0.3
    I did try the instructions and applied them to one particular site only:

    There is a video of some motocycle racing stuff which always starts in the middle of the window when you scroll down a certain amount , and it also has had very loud music accompanying the play. If you hit Cancel or stop it manually, as you scroll further down the page reading the article you were interested in, another smaller pop up window of the same thing appears and starts playing again.
    This is hugely intrusive and darn annoying.
    I was so happy to see this article and got it working well on this site for a few months, however, now that system does not work.
    I do not know if have figured out some people have been trying to block those automatically starting/ auto play videos, or if later versions of Firefox have inadvertently knocked the effect out.

    It is really a stupid thing also because the autoplay videos are not really an ad except in the context of this is a site about MotoGP racing so they are all clips of racers taken form some race or other and they are not specific brand or product ads per se. nonetheless, they are hugely intrusive and darn annoying for sure and I want to o know how to knock the poxy things out.
    I have written to politely asking them to knock off the loud music, and of course, no answer.
    Now i have written again to ask they stop the autoplay as it ruins the experience of reading the articles, which is the only reason any of us go there.
    I am sure I am far from alone in this problem and man, i really want to knock them out now extra hard because are so unresponsive.
    all help[ gratefully accepted and hopefully there are ways in Firefox to deal to this problem.

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