Autoplaying videos have become one of the most annoying things about the Internet. These videos play when you least expect it. After the initial assault by the ad trying to get your attention, you’re left trying to figure out where it’s coming from. Or you just give up and close the window altogether.

Fortunately, browser developers know your pain and every major browser has added the ability to stop those videos before they start. Edge and Safari make it pretty easy. Chrome and Firefox require digging into the advanced configuration or utilizing an add-on. Here’s how you stop autoplaying in each of the 4 major browsers.

Stop Autoplay Videos in Chrome

Despite being the most popular browser by far, Chrome requires a little digging to stop autoplay. While you can block the sound pretty easily, why stop there?

You’ll have to edit advanced settings known as Chrome flags. A word of warning while working in here… be very careful. You can easily make your browsing experience a nightmare if you change the wrong settings.

  1. In Chrome, enter “chrome://flags/#autoplay-policy” in the address bar.
  2. Change “the dropdown to “Document user activation is required”.
  3. Restart Chrome

Note: This only applies to Chrome 61 or later.

Stop Autoplay Videos - Chrome

Stop Autoplay Videos in Firefox

The process for Firefox is quite similar to Chrome. However, Firefox does require a few additional steps.

  1. In Firefox, type “about:config” in the address bar.
  2. You’ll get a warning about changing advanced settings. Click “I accept the risk!”
  3. Within the search box, type “media.autoplay.enabled”.
  4. Simply double-click the row until Value is set to “false”.
  5. Restart Firefox.

Stop Autoplay Videos - Firefox

Stop Autoplay Videos in Edge

Up until the Fall 2018 version of Windows 10, the answer was “You can’t.” Thankfully, Microsoft recognized the need for this feature, and now you can block autoplay here also.

  1. In Edge, click the three-dot menu icon.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Switch to the Advanced tab.
  4. Change Media autoplay from “Allow” to “Block”

Edge will warn you that some sites may not work properly (It’s Edge. Are you surprised?). If that happens to be the case, you can customize the autoplay settings for individual sites as needed.

Stop Autoplay Videos - Edge

Stop Autoplay in Safari

Apple’s Safari browser offers the easiest means of blocking autoplay.

  1. Click Safari in the top menu.
  2. Click Preferences.
  3. Switch to the Websites tab.
  4. Change “When visiting other websites:” to “Never Auto-Play”.

Save Yourself

Videos start auto-playing at the most inconvenient times. Also, it seems like they wait until you happen to leave the volume up on your device. Take advantage of blocking them before they annoy you or embarrass you at work. Once autoplay is disabled, you’ll never experience that again.

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