When you are browsing the web and busy with some important assignment, the thing that annoys the most is the autoplay audio and video in your browser. They are one of the biggest distractions that need to be taken care of instantly. In this article, we will explain how you can stop auto plying audio and video in Chrome browser.
Related: Google Chrome tips and tricks
Built-in Chrome Autoplay Blocking
Chrome has a built-in feature to stop autoplaying media content as announced officially in their official product post. However, it works only with the following two scenarios.
- Chrome based on it’s own database blocks 1000 of annoying sites. There are no reference or guidelines for this list.
- You can login to your Google account in Chrome and browser. Chrome will keep your history of autoplay and try to stop the sites you have blocked previously.
In our opinion, neither of these ways works as you can see in the next examples.
Autoplaying Video Examples
Unfortunately even popular sites play popup video or play video in picture in picture mode. For example, open any article in CNN that has video header. It will start automatically playing without your permission with audio. The video will strict to the sidebar when you scroll the page.
Another annoying example is on CNET. The advertisement video will start autoplaying on the lower right sidebar screen. However, you have an option to hover over the video and disable autoplaying on further articles.
What Can I Do with Autoplaying?
Well, you have multiple options.
- Each time mute or stop autoplaying manually.
- Disable the audio settings from Chrome.
- Disable autoplaying video in Chrome.
The last choice is not using the site anymore, however this is hard to follow as you may rely on getting information from the site.
Remember you can’t block these videos with ad blocking Chrome extensions.
5 Ways to Stop Autoplaying in Chrome
- Mute sound settings of a site
- Mute or unmute from tab menu
- Completely stop autoplay using Chrome flag
- Use Chrome extension
- Stop autoplaying in Chrome mobile apps
1. Mute Audio Settings in Chrome
Open the site in Google Chrome that you want to mute the annoying and autoplaying sounds.
- Click the pad lock icon on the address bar and choose “Site Settings” option.
- This will take you to the site-specific settings on Chrome. Look for “Sound” option and select “Mute” from the dropdown.
- Chrome will ask you to reload the webpage for the changes to take effect. You can either close and reopen the window or refresh the page.
- Now, click on the pad lock again. Chrome will show the “Sound” setting as “Mute”.
- This will stop the autoplaying audios on the site completely.
2. Mute Volume from Chrome Tab Menu
Some of us have the habit of listening to audio or FM radio while surfing. You can quickly mute the volume, when audio that plays distracts you.
- Chrome will show a loudspeaker icon on the tab when it plays an audio. This will help you to quickly click on the tab that plays audio.
- Right click on the tab and choose “Mute Site” option. The audio will stop instantly, however it continues to play on the backend of the browser.
- Whenever you want, you can right click and “Unmute Site” again.
This is quick fix option to stop audio for short term and unmute again.
3. Disable Autoplay Audio and Video Using Experimental Feature
Both of the above methods will only mute the audio. It will not stop it completely from playing on the browser. Apple has an option to stop autoplaying video on Safari, however Google does not offer any option for Chrome. You need to use an experimental feature to disable the autoplaying audio and video on the browser.
- Go to the Chrome and open “chrome://flags/#autoplay-policy”.
- Chrome will open the experimental flags and highlight the autoplay policy.
- In the drop down box that appears, change the setting of browser from “Default” to “Document user activation is required”.
- Click “Relaunch” button and relaunch the browser windows.
- Now, go to the pages that were playing audio or video to check all autoplaying stuffs are blocked.
4. Using Chrome Extensions
In order to stop playing video, Chrome also gives you third party extensions. As mentioned earlier, most of the popular ad blocking extensions will NOT block autoplaying audio or video. However, there are few extensions like “Mute Tab” to help you out.
- Open the URL “chrome://extensions/” in the address bar.
- Click on the hamburger icon and open “Chrome Web Store”.
- Search for “mute” and install “Mute Tab” extension.
- Click on the extension icon next to the address bar and choose your preferred action.
- You can only mute the currently playing tab, background tabs or all tabs with single click.
Instead if hovering over to the tabs that has audio and then muting, this extension automatically turns the sound off.
Related: Open Chrome in incognito mode by default.
5. Stop Autoplay in Chrome Android App
Unfortunately you can’t use Chrome experimental features on Android mobile app. Follow the below instructions to stop autoplaying on specific sites on Chrome Android app:
- Open the site and tap on the three dots button.
- Go to “Settings” and then to “Site Settings”
- Tap on “Media” and then “Autoplay” option.
- Turn the switch off to disable.
There are no settings on Chrome iOS app. However, follow the below instructions at device level.
- Tap on “Settings” app and go to “iTunes & App Store” option.
- Again tap on “Video Autoplay” and turn it off.
There are many sites that continue to push their audio and video content forcefully. Some companies will offer you discount and amazing gift hampers if you listen to full audio or hardly find the x button to close the audio. We hope with the above explained steps and tricks; you can avoid any unnecessary noise without wasting your time.
Nope. They apparently removed this. when entering chrome://flags/#autoplay-policy there is no autoplay policy displayed nor is it found if you do a search on autoplay.
Following Step #3: Chrome does not “open experimental flags & highlight audioplay”
Following Step #5: There is no “Media” listed to tap.
I must be operating in a different universe… :-(((
I did a copy/paste on the command address but I couldn’t find the autoplay flag when all the options appeared. I scrolled all the way down to the bottom of the very long list but it wasn’t visible and even a search came up with nothing. The site (The Independent, a British national newspaper’s site) wasn’t a secure https but I found a tiny lock icon next to the address bar which displayed “view site information” when I hovered the cursor over it. I managed to mute the sound from there and continued reading the article in blissful silence!
I followed the steps as listed above but still can’t get it to stop playing. I guess it’s because the media button is unavailable. I use a Nokia 7plus running on Android 9 pie.