Every once in a while, you’ll come across a webpage that plays videos automatically without your consent. To some extent, this is useful because it allows videos to load in the background before you take a look at them. However, some websites take advantage of this feature to display video ads that play automatically. As soon as you begin reading an article, a video hidden somewhere on the page starts to play which can be very distracting.
Safari and Google Chrome allow websites to automatically play videos, but disabling this behaviour is not that straightforward. Safari has this option hidden deep down in settings, whereas on Google Chrome, you’ll have to make use of a third-party extension.
If you’re reading this article, then you’re probably wondering how to stop videos from playing automatically in Safari or Google Chrome.
How to Stop Video Autoplay in Safari on Mac
Safari on macOS Sierra & Earlier
Safari comes with a hidden Debug menu that is meant for internal purposes only, and this menu provides an option to disable video autoplay. Here’s how to enable this Debug menu and stop video autoplay:
Step 1: If Safari is open, force close it by pressing Cmd+Q.
Step 2: Open Terminal.
Step 3: Enter the following command, then hit enter/return. defaults write com.apple.Safari IncludeInternalDebugMenu 1 This command unhides the internal Debug menu in Safari.
Step 4: Now open Safari.
Step 5: Click on the Debug menu in the top menu bar.
Step 6: Next, choose Media Flags > Disallow Inline Video.
Now Safari will prevent videos from being played automatically. If you wish to hide the Debug menu, then enter the following command in terminal: defaults write com.apple.Safari IncludeInternalDebugMenu 0
Safari on macOS High Sierra
In macOS High Sierra, Safari comes with a built-in option to prevent videos from playing automatically. Finding this option is quite easy and straightforward. Here’s how:
Step 1: Open the website where you want to disable video autoplay.
Step 2: Right click on the URL bar, then select ‘Settings for This Website’.
Step 3: A popup appears below the URL bar. Hover your cursor over the Auto-Play option and a menu pops up with a list of options to choose from.
Step 4: To disable video autoplay, select Never Auto-Play.
That’s it. Safari will now prevent videos from being played automatically. If you change your mind at any time and wish to re-enable video autoplay, you can do so by going back to the website and changing the settings.
How to Stop Video Autoplay in Google Chrome on Mac
Google Chrome doesn’t provide an option to prevent videos from being played automatically, but you can use a third-party Chrome extension to do the work. An extension called Disable HTML5 Autoplay allows you to disable video autoplay in Google Chrome. Here’s how to install and use it.
Step 1: Open Google Chrome and go to this page to install the extension.
Step 2: Click on Add to Chrome, then a popup appears for installation. Press Add Extension.
Step 3: Once Google Chrome has installed the extension, a new red icon appears to the right of the URL bar. Click on it and select Disable autoplay.
Now open a new tab and you’ll notice that the icon’s color has turned to bright red. This indicates that the extension is now active. From this point onwards, the extension will block videos from playing automatically. Note that videos will still appear on a webpage, but it won’t be played automatically unless you click the Play button yourself.
This is how you can prevent videos from being played automatically in Safari and Google Chrome.