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Turn video autoplay off in all browsers


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If you use Google Chrome and want to turn off video autoplay — you can’t. There used to be an experimental command-line flag that allowed you to turn them off (you can find the flags by typing chrome://flags/ into Chrome’s address field), but it’s disappeared.

 

Microsoft’s Edge browser, which is also based on the Chromium open-source design, does let you turn off — well, at least, limit — video autoplay:

  • Click on the three dots in the upper right corner and select “Settings.”
  • In the left-hand column, click on “Site Permissions,” and then scroll down to and select “Media autoplay.”

You can either allow audio and video to play automatically or limit it. According to the instructions, whether autoplay will work or not will depend on “how you’ve visited the page and whether you interacted with media in the past.”

Firefox has a similar feature that lets you turn off autoplay, for the most part.

  • Click on the three lines in the upper right corner of the browser and select “Preferences.”
  • In the left-hand column, click on “Privacy & Security.”
  • Scroll down to the section headed “Permissions” and look for “Autoplay.” Click on the button marked “Settings.”

A drop-down menu will let you allow audio and video, block audio, or block audio and video. You can also specify sites that you want to differ from your defaults — for example, if you block audio and video as a default, but you want to allow it for, say, The Verge.

Safari makes it simple to disable autoplay. In fact, it assumes that you want the feature disabled to begin with. However, if it hasn’t been disabled — or if you want to make some exceptions to the rule — here’s what you do:

  • While in the app, go to Safari > Preferences in the top menu.
  • Click on “Websites” in the top menu.
  • Look for and select “Auto-Play” in the side menu.
  • Look for the drop-down menu at the bottom right of the window and select “Never Auto-Play.”

As with Firefox, you can whitelist any sites that you want to be an exception to the rule.

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