Nobody likes opening up a browser tab on their computer or phone, only to be immediately bombarded by some video they never even clicked on. It’s called autoplay, and internet users have been unjustly startled by it for too long. While there’s no easy way too turn off autoplay on all devices at once, here’s a step-by-step guide to losing the annoying feature wherever you browse.
Unfortunately, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution to turning off autoplay. How you turn it off depends on what site you’re visiting and what you’re using to browse online. Here are a few tips for banishing autoplay from some of the most popular social media apps and sites.
Facebook is one of many sites that allows users to turn off automatic play in their personalized settings. The trick, of course, is finding the right setting to change.
If you’re browsing Facebook on a desktop computer.
- Click the drop-down menu in the upper right corner of the screen.
- Click on “Settings & Privacy,” followed by “Settings.”
- In the left menu that appears, clicking on “Videos” will give you a list of options that includes disabling automatic play.
The process is just as simple when browsing Facebook on a smartphone. Whether on IOS or Android, the first step will be to find “Settings & Privacy” in the Facebook app. Next, hit “Settings,” followed by “Media and Contacts.”
IOS users will then want to tap “Videos and Photos,” before tapping “Autoplay” to bring up the option to disable. Android users, on the other hand, won’t see a “Videos and Photos” option, skipping instead from “Media and Contacts” straight to “Autoplay.”
Like Facebook, Twitter has easily accessible settings for turning off automatic play videos. If you’re using a desktop browser:
- Select “More” from the menu on the left side.
- From there, click on “Settings and Privacy,” followed by “Data usage” to bring up the “Autoplay” menu.
- Clicking there will present you with the option to turn off autoplay.
Mobile users will follow largely the same process, beginning by tapping the profile picture at the top of the app’s home screen. Next, tap “Settings and Privacy,” followed by “data usage” and, finally, “Video autoplay.” Selecting the “Never” option will disable autoplay for all videos in your feed.
This one’s a bit trickier, as it depends on whether you’re using Reddit’s newest design or the older “Legacy” version. Those using the updated interface will want to:
- Click their username in the top right corner
- Select “User settings” from the menu.
- Next, clicking “Feed settings” and toggling off the “Autoplay media” switch will disable autoplay.
Those using Reddit’s “Legacy” version will:
- Click “Preferences” next to their username at the top right of the screen.
- From there, hit “Media” and uncheck the switch that reads “Autoplay Reddit videos on the desktop comments page.”
- Hitting “save options” will finalize the change and turn off autoplay for good.
Reddit’s mobile app, meanwhile, offers a refreshingly simple solution. All mobile Redditors need to do is tap the icon next to the search bar, followed by “Settings.” This will lead to a list of options, including disabling autoplay.
Sadly, The Verge notes that there’s currently no way to disable automatic play on Instagram’s mobile app. To avoid unexpected noise, however, users can mute all videos in the app while they are browsing. Instagram’s desktop site does not feature autoplay.
Turning Off Autoplay In a Browser
Now that we’ve covered the most popular social media apps, lets take a look at some ways to disable autoplay across all desktop sites. Here are some tips for disabling autoplay based on your desktop web browser of choice.
Apple’s Safari browser should have automatic play turned off by default. However, if you find it enabled for whatever reason, there’s an easy way to switch it off.
- Navigate to “Safari” in the top menu, followed by “Preferences.”
- Click on “Websites,” and then “Auto-Play.”
- A drop-down menu should appear with “Never Auto-Play” as an option.
To turn off automatic play in the Firefox browser:
- Click on the three lines at the top right of the window, followed by “Preferences.”
- In the left-hand column that appears, select “Privacy & Security.”
- In the menu that pops up, scroll until you find the section labeled “Permissions.”
- Clicking through, you’ll find a section labeled “Autoplay” that includes a “Settings” option. From there, you can block autoplay all together, or even just block audio or video.
To disable autoplay in Microsoft Edge:
- Click on the three dots in the top right corner and selecting “Settings.”
- In the left-hand column that appears, select “Site Permissions” before scrolling to find “Media autoplay.”
- Selecting this option allows users to either restrict or allow audio and video.
Be warned: Edge’s instructions say that blocking autoplay may or may not work depending on “how you’ve visited the page and whether you interacted with media in the past.”
Unfortunately, Google’s popular Chrome browser does not include a way to disable autoplay. Our suggestion? A quick hand, a sharp eye, and judicious use of your computer’s mute button.