Updated Sept. 4, 2021, by Steve Larner
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 repeatedly close or stop them. 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 small form) as you scroll down the page. Lastly, videos eat up your data bandwidth over time and slow connections make the situation worse.
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 while using Chrome, at least not by built-in settings. Ever since Google removed the autoplay option, Chrome users have been left without a solution. In contrast, Chrome is one of the few browsers that doesn’t 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, although they are constantly getting abandoned by developers due to the ever-changing design of Chrome and the updates that block them from working properly.
Second, you can mute the sound on chosen websites so that the autoplay videos are 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 autoplaying 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 plays a role in anti-autoplay extensions.
Why does it happen? Perhaps it’s because autoplay videos are a great 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 then 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.
AutoplayStopper is a Chrome extension that automatically pauses any autoplay videos within a webpage. The app was update July 27, 2021, which makes it the latest extension to choose. 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 autplay 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. Disable HTML5 Autoplay (Reloaded)
3. HTML5 Autoplay Blocker
HTML5 Autoplay Blocker is a Chrome extension focused on blocking autoplay videos that use HTML5, which replaces the old Flash options. Take note that this app is no longer managed, and the last update was December 24, 2019. Regardless of current status, you can give this one a try, but it only blocks HTML5 video tags. Therefore, older, outdated webpages can still play some videos automatically if they used 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 a valid 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 of 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 every time a video starts to play automatically on the specified website, the sound will not disturb you.
If you find a handful of sites annoying, you can easily 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.
There is also a Mute section under the Sound menu that 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 is also not possible unless you try one the available Chrome extensions, but 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…” option on. Mute sites that play sound by clicking the “Add” button next to the “Mute” option.
Of course, you can choose to add exceptions to the Mute list, which would allow 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 that have autoplay videos, muting all websites may not be the right move for you. If that is the case, you can mute only 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 sound is your only direct option unless you get a video autoplay disabler extension to work. Here’s how to mute 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 actually play audio. To allow them to do so, add them to the Allow list. 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 knock the ones that you do find objectionable. Rather than messing with Mute sites that play sound, you would add those objectionable sites to the Mute list in the Sound menu. Like every time that you encounter an annoying site.
Hopefully, you now know how to mitigate the annoyances of autoplay videos, whether using third-party extensions or disabling the audio because you cannot actually eliminate them. Chrome allows you to mute audio on any website. Of course, it would be much better if you could disable autoplay videos directly within Chrome, but muting is all you got aside from old extensions. If you do not like how Google chooses to tackle autoplay videos in websites, 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 enough solution for you in the fight against autoplay videos? Please share your experiences in the comments section below.