Rejoice! You can now automatically mute autoplay videos with the Google Chrome 66 update
The Chrome 66 release date has arrived and with it comes a solution to one of the web’s biggest irritants.
Aside from the comments section on most sites, the most annoying thing on the internet is invasive video advertising and Google is on the case with the Chrome 66 update which automatically nixes loud and obnoxious autoplay videos.
As part of Chrome 66, Google is allowing the browser to decide if it’s okay to run a video ad on a page. No, this isn’t going to be down to who pays Google the most for videos on its own ads network, instead it’s determined by user habits and sound.
In Chrome 66’s developer update notes, it said autoplay is “now allowed only when either the media won’t play sound, after the user clicks or taps on the site, or (on desktop) if the user has previously shown an interest on media on the site”.
Google’s thinking behind such a move is to reduce unexpected video playbacks with sound upon opening a site. Basically, no more ads blaring out of your work speakers because you decided to go read an article online instead of starting your next work task.
The only issue with Chrome 66’s approach is how it works on desktop. Because it goes based on your own behaviour, if you’re visiting a site regularly, video will still autoplay, meaning you can’t quite escape from it. Thankfully, as it’s a website you’re familiar with, you can just make use of Chrome’s mute tab option that’s been a staple of the browser for many years now. Failing that, you can actually manually tell Chrome to never play audio on select sites by navigating into Site Settings from the URL bar (just click on the padlock and it’s the last option).
There’s a slew of other features included in Chrome 66, too. For example, Chrome 66 now makes it easy to export passwords to then import then into other browsers. Google has also stopped trusting Symantec SSL certificates after the company allegedly failed to address a serious of security concerns. From a user’s perspective, this may cause insecurity error messages to appear when you visit sites that were previously listed as secure. Chrome 66 will also help protect you from some of the fallout from the Spectre fiasco.
The Chrome 66 update is available on Windows, Linux, Mac, and iOS.