How to Stop Annoying Auto-Play Videos
I was surfing the morning news sites recently, sipping coffee in blissful silence. Suddenly, my serenity was shattered by a loud, fast-talking voice urging me to buy... well, I didn’t take note of what he was selling. All I wanted to do was shut him up, fast! If you've experienced unwanted audio or video, read on and learn how to turn if off, for good!
No More Auto-Play, Please
I wanted to silence my blabbering intruder. But I could not find the source of the irritating voice on that Web page. So I clicked the Back button and quickly went to another site. I wonder if that’s the outcome the site’s owners had in mind when they decided to accept invisible, auto-playing ads.
The battle against auto-playing video or audio content has been raging for years. Since at least 2010, Microsoft Internet Explorer has had an option to disable the Flash plugin, widely used to implement multimedia, except on sites where the user has specifically allowed it. Apple Safari has never supported Flash at all. I thought we users had won total victory, at last, when Google and Mozilla disabled Flash auto-play by default in their browsers.
But now the scourge of auto-play is back. Where is it coming from, and how can we get rid of it again? Here are the answers.
Auto-playing multimedia returned in the latest version of HTML, the HyperText Markup Language that is used to create Web pages. HTML’s fifth version is called HTML5. It was published by the World Wide Web Consortium in October, 2014. HTML5 is a highly advanced scripting language with features built right into it that used to be provided by add-on software. The ability to create and display audio and video natively in HTML5 is a popular new feature. Unfortunately, it also comes with an auto-play option.
As more Webmasters adopt HTML5, more auto-playing nuisances will arise. As of today, only Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox offer any defense against the auto-play demon. Apple Safari and Microsoft’s browsers (Internet Explorer and Edge for Windows 10) do not. (But Facebook does has an option to turn it off -- see below.)
How to Block Auto-Play in Your Browser
Chrome does not have a bulit-in HTML5 auto-play blocker. That capability is provided by third-party extensions that you can add to Chrome free of charge. One of these extensions is called, straightforwardly, Disable HTML5 Autoplay. Just add it to the Chrome browser (or the Chromium operating system) and enjoy the silence.
Mozilla Firefox has a built-in setting to control HTML5 autoplay. Like many Firefox features, this one is buried deeply in Firefox’s about:config file. Here is how to dig it out and set it to block HTML5 auto-play.
- Type “about:config” in Firefox’s address bar and press Enter.
- Agree to the warning in order to proceed.
- Type “autoplay” in the search box.
- You’ll see a preference called “media.autoplay.enabled”
- If that preference is set to “True,” double-click on it to toggle to “False.”
If you experience unwanted audio or video on Facebook, here's how to disable that feature. On computers, go to your options drop-down menu in the top right, and click "Settings". Select the "Videos" link on the left, and turn the "Auto-Play Videos" setting from "On" to "Off". To adjust the auto-play settings on your mobile device, open the Facebook app and tap the menu button. Scroll down and tap App Settings. Tap Autoplay, and Choose "Never".
Hopefully, Microsoft and Apple will add autoplay-killers to their browsers. Then we can all go back to sipping our morning coffee in peace, or reading in bed without waking the entire house.
Have you experienced annoying audio or video that plays automatically? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 8 Nov 2016
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- How to Stop Annoying Auto-Play Videos (Posted: 8 Nov 2016)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved