How to Stop Autoplay Videos in Chrome
Updated March 25, 2023
Although this may not seem overly problematic, autoplay videos on web pages can become extremely annoying over time. They slow down your browsing experience, get in the way, and distract you as you try to close or stop them repeatedly. A loud commercial may pop up suddenly and startle you for no reason. Worse yet, you may not want people around you to know that you are browsing the web, especially at 3 A.M. or when someone is studying.
Furthermore, a website can use autoplay for inappropriate content that may or may not be under their control. If that isn’t enough, many autoplay videos follow you around (in miniature form) as you scroll down the page. Lastly, videos consume your data bandwidth over time, and slow connections worsen the situation.
This article discusses the possibility of stopping autoplay on videos in Chrome.
Is It Possible to Disable Autoplay Videos in Chrome?
To cut straight to the chase, you cannot currently disable autoplay in websites using Chrome, at least not by built-in settings. Since Google removed the autoplay option, Chrome users have been left without a solution. Many other browsers have followed suit not to support disabling autoplay videos.
Regardless there are a couple of options available for each device.
First, you may find a current extension that will disable autoplay videos. However, they are constantly getting abandoned by developers due to the ever-changing design of Chrome and the updates that block them from working correctly.
Second, you can mute the sound on chosen websites to make the autoplay videos less distracting and annoying.
The only thing that Chrome users can do is reduce the impact of those annoying autoplay videos when surfing the web, and the two options above help with that.
Here’s a breakdown of the two options to control autoplay videos in Chrome on various devices.
How to Disable Chrome Autoplay Videos on Websites in Windows 10
You can’t stop videos from auto-playing in Chrome with built-in settings, but you can use third-party extensions. This is assuming that you find one. They often get abandoned or removed by the creator/developer due to Chrome updates and changes that consistently block the app from working correctly. The demise of Flash and the move to HTML5 also play a role in anti-autoplay extensions.
Why does it happen? Perhaps it’s because autoplay videos are an excellent moneymaker for Google as they get their share of the cut. This statement is just speculation, but what else can it be? Google Chrome used to have the feature and removed it, driving thousands of people to different browsers that offer to stop autoplay on websites.
Here are some current extensions that stop autoplay videos in Chrome within Windows 10/11.
#1. Use ‘AutoplayStopper’
AutoplayStopper is a Chrome extension that automatically pauses any autoplay videos within a webpage. The app was updated on July 27, 2021, which makes it the latest extension to choose from. This app blocks the old Flash video and the newer HTML5 video tags. Customizing options include allowing certain web pages to autoplay while blocking the rest, disabling autoplay everywhere, and blocking Flash detection when loading pages. You can also change the setting of a page on a per-session basis, meaning that it will revert the next time the page gets opened.
2. Use ‘Disable HTML5 Autoplay (Reloaded)’
3. Use ‘HTML5 Autoplay Blocker’
HTML5 Autoplay Blocker is a Chrome extension focused on blocking autoplay videos that use HTML5, replacing old Flash options. Note that this app is no longer managed; the last update was on December 24, 2019. Regardless of the current status, you can try this one, but it only blocks HTML5 video tags. Therefore, older, outdated webpages can still play some videos automatically if they use Flash and it is currently installed on your PC.
How to Mute Sound on Autoplay Videos using Chrome on Android
Since you cannot disable autoplay videos with pre-included settings in Chrome on Android, muting sound on them is an alternative. To do so, follow the steps below.
- Open the Chrome browser on your Android phone or tablet.
- Tap the “Options” icon in the top right corner (three vertical dots).
- In the menu that appears, tap “Settings” near the bottom.
- This will open a new tab on the “Settings” page. Tap “Site settings.”
- Tap “Sound.”
- On the toggle switch next to “Allow sites to play sound,” tap the “slider” to turn the option “off” to disable all sites or “on” to add site exceptions that will get turned off. Tap on “ADD SITE EXCEPTION” if you turned the feature on.
- If you turned or left the option above on, add the URL and tap “Add.”
Now, the sound will not disturb you whenever a video starts to play automatically on the specified website.
If you find a handful of sites annoying, you can quickly mute them by repeating the process above.
How to Mute Sound on Autoplay Videos using Chrome on iOS/iPhone
Like Android, you cannot disable autoplay videos with pre-built functions, but you can disable the sound. Here’s how.
- Start the Google Chrome app on your iPhone or iPad.
- Tap the three vertical dots to open the “Options” menu.
- Now tap Settings.
- This opens the Settings page; tap the “Privacy and security” option in the menu to the left.
- Tap “Site settings” on the main screen.
- Now tap “Additional content settings.”
- Tap “Sound.”
- Next to the “Allow sites to play sound” option is a toggle switch. Turn it “off” to mute the autoplay video sound on all websites or turn it “on” to add exceptions that won’t play sound.
A “Mute” section under the “Sound” menu allows you to mute only specific websites. For example, you might not be against autoplay videos, but only for one or two websites that are pretty aggressive with these videos. In that case, you can mute only those websites while leaving the rest alone.
How to Mute Sound on Autoplay Videos using Chrome on Windows 10
Muting autoplay videos in Chrome for Windows 10/11 is impossible unless you try one of the available Chrome extensions. Still, you can mute the audio using steps similar to the mobile version.
- Open Google Chrome on your computer.
- Click the three vertical dots icon in Chrome’s top right corner.
- In the menu that appears, click the “Settings” option.
- The Settings page will now load as a new tab in Chrome. In the menu to the left, click “Privacy and security.“
- In the main menu, click the “Site settings” option.
- Now click “Additional content settings,” it should be at the bottom of the page.
- Click “Sound.”
- Leave the “Allow sites to play sound” option on. Mute sites that play sound by clicking the “Add” button next to the “Mute” option.
Of course, you can add exceptions to the Mute list, allowing you to mute a selection of websites. All other sites will be playing videos automatically as before. Just click Add in the Mute section and enter the site’s address.
How to Mute Sound on Autoplay Videos using Chrome on Mac
Once again, you cannot turn off autoplay videos on Chrome webpages with built-in options, but you can mute the audio on all websites in Chrome on your Mac computer using the steps outlined below.
- Open Chrome on your Mac.
- Click the three dots icon in the top right corner of Chrome’s window.
- This will open Chrome’s menu pop-up. Look for “Settings” at the bottom of the menu and click it.
- Chrome will now open the Settings page in a new tab. Click “Privacy and security” in the menu to the left.
- Click the “Site settings” option on the main screen.
- Further down the page, you will find “Additional content settings,” click that.
- Click “Sound.”
- Finally, enable the “Mute sites that play sound…” feature by clicking the adjacent toggle.
Enabling the mute option for select websites disables all audio to help with the annoyances of forced videos, but the media still plays. For those who need the audio, add them to the Allow list in the Sound menu.
If you encounter only a few websites with autoplay videos, muting all websites may not suit you. If that is the case, you can silence certain websites by adding them to the Mute list of the Sound menu.
How to Mute Sound on Autoplay Videos using Chrome on a Chromebook
Compared to other platforms, disabling the sound of websites is almost identical in Chromebooks. Since you cannot turn off autoplay in Chrome with built-in settings, muting the sound is your only direct option unless you get a video autoplay disabler extension to work. Here’s how to silence the Chrome audio in autoplay videos on a Chromebook.
- Open Chrome on your Chromebook.
- Click the three dots menu in the top right corner, then click “Settings.”
- In the menu to the left, click “Privacy and security.”
- Now click “Site settings” on the main screen.
- Tap “Additional content settings.”
- Find the “Sound” option and click it.
- The final step is to turn on the Mute sites that play sound options by clicking the toggle.
Depending on your surfing preferences, you will probably need certain websites to continue playing audio. Add them to the “Allow” list to permit them to do so. This is assuming you turned off the sound option. You can find it right below the Mute sites that play sound options.
If you do not have any problems with most websites in this regard, you can block the ones you find objectionable.
Hopefully, you now know how to mitigate the annoyances of autoplay videos, whether using third-party extensions or disabling the audio, because you cannot eliminate them. Chrome allows you to mute audio on any website. Of course, disabling autoplay videos directly within Chrome would be much better, but muting is all you got aside from old extensions. Suppose you do not like how Google tackles autoplay videos on websites. In that case, you can always switch to Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, or another browser that supports the feature.
Have you managed to mute websites in Chrome? Is this a decent solution for you in the fight against autoplay videos? Please share your experiences in the comments section below.