Ways To Stop Auto-Play Videos On Webpages

You open a webpage and you’re instantly bombarded with sound from an auto-play video somewhere on the page. It’s annoying and often just makes you leave the page completely. Until sites realize no one likes this, we’re forced to do the only thing we can – block those videos from automatically playing. Don’t worry. Any videos you want to view are still easily playable with a single click.

Block Flash

Despite Flash being phased out, many videos still use Flash. One of the easiest ways to stop auto-play videos is to block Flash in your browser.

Internet Explorer:

Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon at the top right. Select Manage Add-ons.

Manage Add-ons


Select Toolbars and Extensions on the left and select Shockwave Flash Object. If you don’t see it, click the Show drop down box on the left and select All add-ons. Once you’ve selected the Shockwave Flash Object, click Disable at the bottom right.

Shockwave Flash



Open Firefox and type about:addons in the address bar. Select Plugins and highlight the Shockwave Flash plugin. Click the drop down box to the right and choose Ask to Activate.



Open Chrome and type chrome://settings/content in the address bar. You’ll see a pop-up window.

Chrome Settings


Scroll to the Plugins section and click Let me choose when to run plugin content. Press Done to save your settings.

Let Me Choose

Whenever you encounter a Flash video after blocking Flash, you’ll see an icon in place of the video or be prompted to allow Flash content. If you want to play a blocked video, click the video or right-click the video (you’ll see directions depending on your browser) to play just that video.

Dealing With HTML5 Videos

Some sites, such as YouTube, are now using HTML5 for video content. While it requires a plugin, you can block HTML5 auto-play videos too. Currently, Internet Explorer doesn’t have a plugin or option to block HTML5 video content. The new Edge browser in Windows 10 doesn’t have a blocking feature yet either.

For Firefox, you have two main options. The first is FlashBlock. This add-on blocks both Flash and HTML5 videos. The main problem is it doesn’t stop HTML5 content from buffering. This can be a bad thing for anyone on a limited bandwidth connection.



The second option is Stop Tube HTML5. This add-on blocks only HTML5 content and stops it from buffering.

Stop Tube HTML5


For Chrome and Opera, Magic Actions for YouTube is the most popular and reliable option. This blocks HTML5 YouTube videos from auto-playing on most sites. You do have to change the settings first.

During the installation, click Settings when prompted.

Magic Actions Settings


Scroll down the page until you see Change Your Settings. Scroll within this section until you see Stop Auto-Play. Check the checkbox. You  may need to restart your browser for the settings to take effect.

Magic Actions Settings - Autoplay


When using any of these add-ons or extensions, all you have to do is click the video you want to watch in order to play it. All these do is stop the content from automatically playing when a page loads.

Exceptions To The Rule

Blocking Flash and HTML5 may not stop every single ad, especially with HTML5. For browsers other than Chrome and Firefox, you can only block Flash for now.


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