For the past week or so, I have experienced a strange thing on the popular video hosting website YouTube. Video playback works just fine, but when I leave the page a video is playing on, for instance by clicking on the YouTube video to go back to the homepage of the service, then the audio of that video continues to play.
This happens when Adobe Flash is being used to play back videos, but also when you join the HTML5 beta on YouTube to use the HTML5 video player instead.
As you can imagine, this is very annoying, especially since it can mean that multiple videos start to play at the very same time (if you happen to launch some in new tabs instead of the old).
I have spend some time trying to figure out why this is happening, and while I was not able to do so, I came up with several options to resolve the issue on YouTube.
So what can you do to stop the audio from playing on YouTube when you leave a page a video is playing on? Here are your options:
- Close the tab. Yes, this may not be the best of options if you want to watch more videos on YouTube, but it is an option nevertheless.
- Reload the page. Note that you either need to use Ctrl-F5, F5, or right-click and reload from the context menu to do so. Clicking on YouTube's homepage icon or another page on the site won't fix the issue, unless it is a video page.
- Install the Google Chrome extension YouTube Options. That's all there is to it. You do not need to make any configuration change as it will prevent the audio issue automatically. You can however make changes to the options so that they work for you, considering that the extension modifies the video page significantly when it is enabled.
- Switch to Firefox or another browser that does not have the issue, and watch YouTube videos using it.
While nothing has been confirmed by Google, it is likely that this is a bug that will get fixed in upcoming versions of the Chrome browser. For now, use the reload option or the Chrome extension to resolve it on your end.