How to stop autoplay videos on websites

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 can 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 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 on 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 as 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.