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How to block those annoying autoplay videos on any website

Photo: Bradley Wint/Try Modern

As more websites push for video content, their mix of autoplay videos and horrible delivery platforms make browsing many news websites a pain in the behind.

Unfortunately, blocking Flash Player isn’t enough to do the job these days as most sites have moved towards HTML5 players, but when there’s a will, there is always a way. If you use Firefox, Chrome, or Safari, there are easy fixes to disable these videos.

Firefox

Unlike other browsers, Firefox has an in-built function to block autoplay videos.

  1. Type about:config in the address bar and press the Enter key.
  2. You will get a warning that changing your Firefox configuration settings could affect your browser’s stability. Depending on which version of Firefox you use, you will either see the I’ll be careful, I promise or I accept the risk! button. Accept it. You will then be taken to your browser’s configuration page.
  3. In the Search box, type in media.autoplay and press the Enter key.
  4. By default, the option is set to true. Double click the option so that the value changes to false. If that doesn’t work, right click on the entry and click the Toggle option.
  5. Close and re-open your browser.

Chrome

Simply down the Disable HTML5 Autoplay plugin, which allows videos to load, but not play in the background. The good news is that Google has officially announced that they will be integrating an option to block and control the behaviour of autoplay videos.

Safari

There is also a Safari equivalent with the same name that does the same job as the plugin mentioned above. Even though it hasn’t been updated since 2016, recent reviews indicate that it’s still functional.

Unfortunately there are no viable solutions for Internet Explorer or Edge that we know of.

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