Sick of auto-play videos clogging up your social feeds? If so, you’re not alone. Lots of people have wondered in recent years how to stop auto-play videos, with little success. While auto-play videos weren’t always an online problem, Facebook was one of the first platforms to introduce them, back in 2013.
Initially, the idea was to make Facebook’s News Feed feature more motion-dense and attractive. Today, however, social platforms far and wide use continuous autoplay features, which means videos automatically play, one after another.
If you find these autoplay videos obnoxious, you’re not alone. In fact, some outlets call autoplay videos some of the most intrusive advertising tactics out there. Luckily, you can put an end to them with Safari’s newest version, and its unique autoplay video blocking feature.
What You’ll Need
To access the newest features of Safari, you’ll have to access a sneak preview of Safari 11, which isn’t slated for release until this fall. Luckily, this is easy to do with the Safari Technology Preview.
This is a free app that you’ll need to download even if you’re already running Safari on your computer.
While the Safari Technology Preview is meant to cater to developers, it’s easy to install and take advantage of for personal use, as well. Keep in mind that this isn’t a full version of Safari 11 – just a preview of coming attractions.
Once you’ve installed the Technology Preview, visit a site like Facebook. From there, click the site’s URL bar, access Settings, and “stop” auto-play videos. It’s that simple! Here’s a screenshot from Matt Elliott at CNET, demonstrate
If you’d prefer to stop all auto-play videos, across the board, Safari 11 also offers a global setting that allows you to disable auto-play videos altogether.
Other Ways to Stop Auto-Play Videos
If you don’t use Safari as your primary web browser, no worries. There are dozens of other ways to stop auto-play videos! Here’s a breakdown of the top tactics:
- In Google Chrome. One of the most popular ways to stop auto-play videos in Google Chrome is to download an extension called Disable HTML5 Autoplay. Designed to disable all HTML5 audio and video from playing, this browser extension can go a long way to minimize your auto-play problem. It’s free and easy to add to Chrome. While it won’t cover Flash videos, they’re becoming less popular anyway.
- In Firefox. Firefox has a built-in autoplay blocking feature, but it takes some digging to find. You can read an in-depth discussion of the process here. If you’d prefer to use an extension, try FlashStopper, which was built for Firefox.
- On Mobile. Auto-play videos were designed for mobile, and that’s where they’re most annoying. To stop them from launching on your mobile platforms, you’ll have to navigate to the settings of each app within which you want to block autoplay videos. It can be a time-consuming process, but it’s worth it, in the end. Twitter and Facebook both make mobile blocking easy, while Instagram doesn’t allow it at all.
The end of Annoying Auto-Play Videos
While auto-play videos were designed to make to make online life more exciting and convenient for consumers, they’ve become an annoying form of advertising that most people don’t appreciate. Luckily, there are ways to stop them from the comfort of your browser. Regardless of which browser you use, be it Firefox or Chrome, or a social platform’s native app, these simple tactics can put an end to autoplay videos forever.
If you’re willing to wait a few months, there’s also Safari 11’s exciting new auto-play blocking feature to look forward to. To learn more about auto-play blocking, or for any other computer questions you may have, contact the techs here at Computer CPR!