How to Disable Video Autoplay in Google Chrome Browser?

Autoplay of video content when you visit a news site or computer magazine portal is one of the most annoying things that can happen to users. Every time we need pause those videos or move the slider to the end of the video to stop it from playing. It’s not just a nuisance but also a unnecessary wastage of network bandwidth and traffic. Google Chrome has a flags setting that allows you to stop automatic playback of audio and video content on websites.

Stop autoplay of videos in Google Chrome

Open Google Chrome and enter this URL in the address bar:

chrome:flags/#autoplay-policy

This policy setting decides if audio or video is allowed to autoplay.

Select Document user activation is required from the drop-down options.

chrome flags disable autoplay video

From now on, audio and video content on websites will not play automatically. You can play it by clicking on the play button manually.

Chrome autoplay policy to be stricter from 2018

Google Chrome’s autoplay policies are about to change in 2018. Users are going to love it, says Google team!

These are the new Chrome’s autoplay policies:

1. Muted autoplay is always allowed.

2. Autoplay with sound is allowed if any of the following conditions are met:

  • User has interacted with the site (click, tap, etc.)
  • Media Engagement Index (MEI) threshold is crossed (desktop only)

3. Site has been installed using the “Add to Homescreen” flow (mobile only)

4. Top frame can delegate autoplay permission to their iframes to allow autoplay with sound.

What is Media Engagement Index (MEI)?

The MEI measures an individual’s propensity to consume media on a site. Chrome’s current approach is a ratio of visits to significant media playback events per origin:

1. Consumption of the media (audio/video) must be greater than 7 seconds.

2. Audio must be present and unmuted.

3. Tab with video is active.

4. Size of the video (in px) must be greater than 200×140.

From that, Chrome calculates a media engagement score which is highest on sites where media is played on a regular basis. When it is high enough, media playback is allowed to autoplay on desktop only.

More information on autoplay policy changes is available at Autoplay Policy Changes  |  Google Developers.

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.

5 thoughts on “How to Disable Video Autoplay in Google Chrome Browser?”

  1. As of at least Version 66.0.3359.139, chrome://flags/#autoplay-policy set to “Document user activation is required” no longer works. I’ve used this setting for the better part of a year with reasonable results. It did not always work. But, it did provide enough of a respite from annoying auto-playing videos to prove itself useful. Now, it’s gone.

    Once again, Google is trying to convince us that their AI knows more about our needs than we do ourselves. If so, why can’t their AI “learn” that I really-really-really don’t want *any* video to play unless *I* am interested? I don’t want them to play at all without my express permission. Muted auto-play is still auto-play! It seems simple enough to me. So simple that a simple chrome flag did the job reasonably well with out any “artificial thinking” needed at all!

    AI is supposed to stand for Artificial Intelligence. The reality is that it stands more for Artificially Intelligent — which way back in my (very old) school days, calling someone that would have made some kid cry.

  2. Just tried this on Version 67.0.3396.62 and it does NOT work. CNN is a huge PITA with constant popup video that autoplays with full sound. This is driving me insane.

Leave a Comment