How to control audio and video autoplay in Google Chrome
While there are plenty of things online that can break your concentration or focus on a task, autoplaying video or audio surely is at the top of "don't like" list for many Internet users.
One has to distinguish between autoplaying media with and without sound, as that makes a difference. While you can ignore videos that play automatically if they are silent for the most part, it is impossible to do so if sound is enabled by default.
Autoplay is beneficial on some sites. Say, you are on YouTube and click on a video. Chance is very high that you want to play the video so that configuring the site to play videos automatically may make sense.
My main objections to autoplaying content on the Internet are that this is distracting, that it may slow down the loading of a service or page, and that you have to interact with these elements to stop them.
Update 2: Google removed the option from Android and from desktop Chrome.Â You can try one of the third-party extensions to block autoplaying media in Chrome but your success may vary depending on the sites you visit. Other browsers, Firefox for example, support blocking autoplaying video and/or audio still End
Update: Time has passed and the experiments described below are no longer available. Chrome users on Android may still block autoplay in the following way:
- Select Menu > Settings.
- Activate Site Settings (under Privacy and Security) and select Media on the page that opens.
- Tap on Auto-play.
- Toggle the status so that it is off.
Doing so should prevent auto-play on most sites. Note that the option is not available anymore on desktop versions of Chrome.End
Google Chrome: control audio and video playback
Google introduced a new flag in Chrome 61 which gives users of the web browser control over the browser's autoplay behavior.
Flags are experimental features of Chrome that may be pulled or integrated natively in the browser at any time.
Autoplay policy is "used when deciding if audio or video is allowed to autoplay". It is available for Chrome on the desktop, Chrome OS and also Android.
Here is how you configure the setting:
- Load chrome://flags/#autoplay-policy in the Chrome browser. Note that you do need Chrome 61 or newer on any of the supported operating systems to access the flag.
- Click on the menu next to it, and select one of the available options:
- Default -- autoplay is enabled.
- No user gesture is required -- Users don't need to interact with the document for video or audio sources to start playing automatically.
- User gesture is required for cross-origin iFrames -- Same as "no user gesture is required" but only for same-origin media content. Audio or video content loaded from other sites require user interaction.
- Document user activation is required -- Users need to interact with the document before audio or video content is played automatically.
- Restart the Chrome browser.
If you want to limit autoplay, select "Document user activation is required".Â Note that this won't block autoplaying media completely, as media starts to play as soon as you interact with the page. It helps with opening pages in the background that play audio or video content automatically though.
Now You: What's your take on autoplaying media on the Internet?