How to stop Video from Auto Starts in Web Browers

Hi Campbell’s world visitors! It’s a busy place here on this beautiful autumn Monday morning! We here in the Campbell kingdom wish you well! I thank Dan Thompson for allowing me the privilege to blog this wonderful newsletter. There are some good tips in here. I invite you to read them, enjoy and learn from them.

How to stop video from automatically playing in web browsers

Directions are listed for Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Internet Explorer/Microsoft

This thorough and helpful article tells you how to stop video from automatically playing in web browsers. Directions are listed for Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Internet Explorer/Microsoft Edge, and Vivaldi. This won’t prevent animated GIF’s from playing automatically in your web browser, to change that check out this article:How to Stop Animated GIFs From Playing in Your Web Browser

By  Martin Brinkmann, on May 6, 2016

Many sites throughout the Internet play videos automatically when you visit them. This can be video content that is published on the site or in form of advertisement displayed on the site.

In the case of advertisement, most sites mute these videos by default but some are pushing it and turn on audio as well.

Most web browsers ship with muting functionality to counter these without you having to hunt the tab where the sound is coming from these days, but muting won’t stop the video from playing.

Auto playing videos are worse on mobile as most users are not on an unlimited plan which means that they eat away the monthly bandwidth quota and may also slow down other transfers while they play.

Stop auto playing videos

The following guide provides you with information on how to stop the auto playing of videos in desktop and mobile web browsers. Please note that some browsers don’t offer functionality to block videos from playing automatically.

I have talked about this back in 2015. In my article entitled: ” How to disable auto-playing Flash and HTML5 videos”

http://www.ghacks.net/2015/06/07/how-to-disable-auto-playing-flash-and-html5-videos/

 

I have talked about this back in 2015 and while the article still holds true for the most part, updates have been released and new methods discovered that justify this new guide.

Also, it covers popular browsers besides Firefox and Chrome as well.

Flash vs HTML5

Websites and services use two technologies when it comes to videos: Flash or HTML5. Flash is on a downwards spiral but still used especially when desktop browsers are used to connect to sites, but HMTL5 is the rising star that is taking over (and dominant on mobile platforms).

Flash content can be set to click to play in most browsers which prevents it from loading automatically. This means however that you will have to click on those elements on web pages if you want the content to play.

Another difference between Flash and HTML5 media is that HTML5 media will still be downloaded (buffered) even if you block it from playing automatically.

Mozilla Firefox

Firefox users can block the auto play of Flash and HTML5 video in the web browser directly without the use of add-ons.

Firefox and HTML5 videos

Starting with Firefox 41, Starting with Firefox 41, Mozilla’s implementation has become even better in regards to HTML5 videos that autoplay.

As is the case for many things in Firefox, a preference is provided that defines whether HTML5 videos play automatically or not.

The following method works for desktop and mobile versions of Firefox

  1. Load about:config in the address bar of the browser.
  2. Confirm that you will be careful if a first-time message is displayed.
  3. Use search to find media.autoplay.enabled.
  4. Double-click on the preference to set it to false.

http://cdn.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/firefox-media-

This blocks auto playing HTML5 videos in the Firefox web browser.

Firefox and Flash video

Flash video is only an issue on the desktop, and the best option to deal with it (besides removing Flash completely from the system), is to set the plugin to click to play so that it only activates when you want it to.

  1. Load about:addons in the Firefox address bar.
  2. Switch to plugins using the navigational menu displayed on the left.
  3. Locate Shockwave Flash and use the menu to the right of it to set it to ask to activate (which means click to play).

Once done, all Flash content is not loaded by default but only when you allow it to.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome for the desktop and the mobile version of the browser share many similarities but also fundamental differences.

Mobile Chrome does not support extensions or plugins for instance which limits it significantly when it comes to auto playing content on the Internet.

Chrome and HTML5

Google Chrome ships without an option to block HTML5 videos from auto playing.

Extensions are available that aim to fill the gap, but since mobile Chrome does not support extensions, they are only of use when it comes to the desktop version of the web browser.

This means that there is no way currently to block auto playing HTML5 videos in the mobile Chrome browser.

Here is a short selection of extensions that you may want to try:

Chrome and Flash

The following applies only to the desktop version of the Google Chrome web browser as the mobile version does not support plugins including Flash.

  1. Load chrome://settings/content in the browser’s address bar.
  2. Locate the plugins section on the page that opens.
  3. Switch the setting to let me choose when to run plugin content.

This blocks Flash content from playing automatically on sites that you open in the browser.

Opera

The Opera browser is based on Chromium/Blink (the same source as Google Chrome). It support plugins and extensions only on the desktop version.

Opera and HTML5

Just like it is the case for Google Chrome mobile, Opera mobile does not support an option currently that allows you to stop HTML5 videos from auto play.

If you are using the desktop version of Opera, you may install extensions for the browser to block autoplaying media elements:

You can find such addins here:

Disable HTML5 Autoplay

https://addons.opera.com/en/extensions/details/disable-html5-autoplay/?display=en

  • Disable HTML5 Autoplay: works just like the Chrome extension mentioned above. It blocks HTML5 audio and video elements from auto playing.

Video Autoplay Blocker

To disable Flash from playing videos automatically in the Opera web browser, do the following:

  1. Load opera://settings in the browser’s address bar.
  2. Switch to websites using the navigational menu on the left.
  3. Locate Plug-ins on the page.
  4. Switch the preference to click to play.

Find the addins here

https://addons.opera.com/en/extensions/details/video-autoplay-blocker-by-robert-sulkowski/?display=en

Internet Explorer / Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer don’t offer options to block videos from playing automatically currently.

Both let you disable Adobe Flash but that will block Flash on all sites and is not really a good option if you need it at times.

While things won’t change for Internet Explorer, there is still hope for Microsoft Edge as Microsoft plans to launch extensions support this Summer.

Since it is easy to port Chrome extensions to Edge, it is possible that the HTML5 blocking extensions available for Chrome will find their way to Microsoft Edge to provide users of the browser with a reliable option to block videos from auto playing.

Vivaldi

Vivaldi is a relatively new browser, also based on Chromium/Blink, that is currently only available as a desktop version.

It comes as no surprise therefore that the browser supports the very same methods to block videos from playing automatically as Google Chrome.

Vivaldi and HTML5

There is no official first-party extension store yet for Vivaldi, but you can download and install Chrome extensions by visiting the Chrome Web Store.

To block HTML5 videos from auto playing, install either of the following extensions:

Disable HTML5 Autoplay

: Stops all HTML audio and video from using autoplay on all websites according to the developer.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/disable-html5-autoplay/efdhoaajjjgckpbkoglidkeendpkolai?hl=en

Or

Video Autoplay Blocker

: blocks HTML5 video only (not audio).

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/video-autoplay-blocker-by/khhablkjeghmeinlfgecddpgcopnljpm?hl=en

Vivaldi and Flash

What you may not know about Vivaldi is that you can open the Chrome content settings in the browser as well which allow you to set plugins to click to play.

  1. Load vivaldi://settings/content in the browser’s address bar.
  2. Scroll down until you find the plugins section.
  3. Set the preference to let me choose when to run plugin content.

This prevents Flash video and audio content from autoplay in the browser.

Author

Martin Brinkmann

Publisher

Ghacks Technology News

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About claire plaisted

Claire Plaisted lives in New Zealand with her husband, three children. She is a Indie Author and runs a company 'Plaisted Publishing House Ltd,' helping Indie Authors get their books online and looking professional. We are happy for people to submit their work for our team to look through.
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