Google introduced autoplay recently on YouTube to the effect that new videos are started automatically on the video hosting and streaming website once the previous video ends.
It is unclear why Google introduced the feature but it could have something to do with displaying more ads to users visiting the site considering that advertisements are displayed at the beginning of videos usually on YouTube.
The feature is problematic on several levels from a user perspective. First, it plays additional videos even though you may not want additional ones to be played on the site, for instance because it is using up bandwidth.
Second, the algorithm selecting the video may pick videos that are not really related to what you have watched. If it is a music video, you may get a video from another artist for instance that you are not interested in.
While Google has added options to the site to disable autoplay on it, the preference does not seem to stick permanently which means that users are exposed to autoplay again when that happens.
While you could check the autoplay setting on YouTube each time you play a video on the site, it is cumbersome especially since the slider has already been moved around previously on the site.
Currently, there are two locations to turn it off on YouTube. First, in the up next column that displays videos that YouTube will play next when autoplay is enabled, and when you click on the settings icon in the play bar of the video.
NextVid Stopper for YouTube is a lightweight add-on for Firefox that blocks autoplay on YouTube for good. Whenever autoplay is turned on, it will turn it off automatically. This ensures that videos won't play automatically on the video hosting site regardless of the initial state of the switch so that only videos that you select to play will do so on YouTube.
Good news is that the extension should work fine if Google decides to move the autoplay toggle around on YouTube.
It is theoretically still possible that the extension will need updating if the functionality is modified by Google in a way that breaks it.
NextVid Stopper adds an icon to Firefox's main toolbar that toggles its functionality when clicked on. A click disables the functionality so that videos start to play automatically on YouTube again until you click on it again to block autoplay.
The author of the extension notes that it blocks automatically playing videos only on YouTube directly and not on third-party websites.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.