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 to 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 an unnecessary wastage of network bandwidth and traffic.
This article tells you how to stop automatic playback of audio and video content on websites when browsing in Google Chrome.
Stop autoplay of videos in Google Chrome
As of 2018, the only way to stop video autoplay in Google Chrome is using a Chrome extension. AutoplayStopper is one such Chrome Web Store extension that does the job flawlessly:
The AutoPlayStopper Chrome extension lets you set the default mode (to block Autoplay vs allow autoplay), and you can set exceptions (blacklist or whitelist sites.)
From now on, audio and video content on websites will not play automatically. You can play it by clicking on the play button manually.
Older versions of Google Chrome
In earlier versions of Google Chrome, you had the
#autoplay-policy experiment where you could disable autoplay. But that flag will be missing in recent Chrome releases as the feature/experiment has been removed since 2018.
Open Google Chrome and enter this URL in the address bar:
This policy setting decides if audio or video is allowed to autoplay.
Select Document user activation is required from the drop-down options.
Also, the following command-line (listed in the new Chrome Autoplay policy documentation) doesn’t seem to disable autoplay practically:
New Chrome autoplay policies
Here are the new Google Chrome’s autoplay policies since 2018.
- Muted autoplay is always allowed.
- 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)
- Site has been installed using the “Add to Homescreen” flow (mobile only)
- Top frame can delegate autoplay permission to their iframes to allow autoplay with sound.
Autoplay Policy Changes | Web | Google Developers: https://developers.google.com/web/updates/2017/09/autoplay-policy-changes
What is the 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:
- Consumption of the media (audio/video) must be greater than 7 seconds.
- Audio must be present and unmuted.
- Tab with video is active.
- 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.
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