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 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:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/autoplaystopper/ejddcgojdblidajhngkogefpkknnebdh

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.)

chrome autoplay disable

chrome autoplay disable

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:

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

Also, the following command-line (listed in the new Chrome Autoplay policy documentation) doesn’t seem to disable autoplay practically:

chrome.exe --disable-features=PreloadMediaEngagementData,AutoplayIgnoreWebAudio,MediaEngagementBypassAutoplayPolicies

New Chrome autoplay policies

Here are the new Google Chrome’s autoplay policies since 2018.

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

  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.


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About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2012.

8 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.

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  3. Doesn’t work. Doesn’t even work for muted videos (still annoying) – just had a sodding advert for hearing aids at full volume through my speaker when I wasn’t even in the tab!
    This article needs to be corrected or deleted.

    Reply

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