How to fix YouTube on Chrome continuing to play audio

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 19, 2014
Updated • Jul 17, 2019
Google Chrome

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.

youtube audio continues to play

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 Improve YouTube. 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.

How to fix YouTube on Chrome continuing to play audio
Article Name
How to fix YouTube on Chrome continuing to play audio
Try the following options if the audio of YouTube videos continues to play even though you pause the video or leave the site entirely.
Ghacks Technology News

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  1. Anonymous said on August 19, 2021 at 7:00 pm

    It’s 2021 and I’m starting to face this problem now. On latest version of chrome, updated windows 10 and YouTube premium. I’m surprised that this bug has not been fixed for 7 years.

  2. Anonymous said on July 7, 2021 at 2:08 am

    For me, removing the Pluto TV extension fixed this issue.

  3. Philip Kuffner said on April 16, 2021 at 2:54 am

    This has started happening to me but only on Edge not chrome

  4. helpful said on February 8, 2021 at 3:56 pm

    If you have echo, tell echo to stop. Worked for me, might help someone else.

  5. Anonymous said on February 8, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    Had the same issue. If you have echo connected to your laptop just tell her to stop when it starts playing. Solved the issue for me. Might help someone else.

  6. anonymous said on March 13, 2019 at 8:44 am

    march 2019 bug still bugging

  7. Anonymous said on December 19, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Yes, i am having this issue in 2018 for the past one wk and its annoying not knowing how to get rid of it.

  8. FireBug said on April 26, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    Don’t you just hate ppl who post just to say they don’t have the problem?

  9. Skeptic said on April 11, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    Worthless article. Closing tabs or browsers are solutions we all can come up with ourselves. Also, in spite of your confidence, this issue persists four years later.

  10. Richard Steven Hack said on September 25, 2017 at 8:15 am

    Yup. Happens on Firefox. Happening to me right now. Just started happening the other day. Totally annoying.

    Reloading the page the normal way (the icon at the right of the address input) doesn’t fix it. I’ll try the CTRL-F5 next time.

  11. YR said on March 23, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    goddamn it’s still happen…

  12. Brompot said on February 25, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    Also on Safari.

  13. Tom said on February 4, 2017 at 6:36 am

    Still happens on Mint 17 (Chromium).

  14. shruthikasuresh said on November 9, 2016 at 5:28 am

    Great info.Thank you for sharing this kind of article.

  15. Jakes said on June 19, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Its a flash problem, been popping up since 2011. Adobe not known for responsiveness to issues. New Samsung Galaxy S7 with Android 5.1.1 brought this problem back to me on all browser videos and You Tube. No help found except dangerous rooting procedures. Blast Adobe.

  16. Dan said on March 29, 2016 at 2:15 am


  17. Donald said on August 21, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    this fucking shit is still happening a year and a half later, someone needs to fix this travesty

  18. Kenneth said on August 14, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    it’s a problem with YouTube not Chrome. This happens in IE, Chrome & Firefox.

  19. Beau said on June 23, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    What a piece of crap.

  20. Dave said on February 22, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Same problem in Firefox … i have it on my Work PC only though.

  21. Robert Brown said on February 21, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    The problem I’m having with Youtube videos on Chrome is not the audio, that works just fine. It is the visual portion that doesn’t initialize. Not the video, and not the UI. The audio part initializes and plays just as it should but there is no visual component to go with it, just a blank rectangle. Reloading the page doesn’t help either. The only way I’ve found that will get the video to start running is to right-click the box and select Inspect Element.

  22. adfbaadfbad said on February 21, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    soundcloud has the same problem. once you reach the end of a track, the next track plays, even though the graphic is that of the first track. this means there are no controls; you can’t pause or stop it without leaving the page.
    very annoying.
    i have always hated flash. the latest annoyance with it is not being able to alter the zoom level of pages. there’s a site where people share photos, and i wanted to shrink the images to fit more of them into the screen area. as the ctrl – minus zoom indicator went down to 25%, the damned viewbug page stayed the same.
    there is also a new generation of blocker-resistant popups.

    i still hate flash, evidently

  23. Blue said on February 20, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    Thankfully it’s not just me… thought I was going insane lol… kept thinking wtf is wrong with my machine now… so while I wait for a fix/patch, I’ll do more searching on why Google keeps logging me off each time I close the browser/tab even though I have auto login turned ON… (re-installing Chrome didn’t help) *sigh*

  24. Classic said on February 20, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Had this for two days, but now i can’t reproduce it even intentionally; looks like the issue has been resolved :)

  25. Q said on February 20, 2014 at 4:31 am

    The problem describes seems to be at least a browser (including its extensions/add-ons) issue.

    I would guess that the browser continues to uses resources after they no longer should be used.

    Using my usual browser settings, I could neither get the problem to manifest for Chromium 30.0.1599.0 (217165) nor Firefox 10.0.12.

  26. Lew said on February 19, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Happens in Firefox too.

  27. Classic said on February 19, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    I am experiencing it too, but i i’m using Firefox. It’s YouTube’s issue, not Chrome’s.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 19, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      Strange, never experienced that on Firefox.

      1. ballen said on April 27, 2019 at 6:56 pm

        happen in my firefox now in 2019, watch a video, search for a new video or go to another youtube I subscribed to and then audio of the video that should have come next had I not left start to play….
        if just a few tabs then it is easy, try it when 100 tabs(important research and work) and then have to scroll thrugh them all to find the perp, itis not just youtube, it is any site that have the ability to play video, it can be an add on a news site etc

      2. Classic said on February 19, 2014 at 3:45 pm

        I was experiencing this few month ago (in Firefox), it started and ended without me doing anything. Yesterday it has started again :( Looks like YouTube’s problem and we just need to wait a few days…

  28. Johnny1 said on February 19, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Thanks for the solution ::)

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