How to Disable Video Autoplay on your Mac

Most of us spend a huge chunk of the time we’re on our Mac in a web browser. Whether we’re using a tool like Google Docs, playing games, chatting, or just browsing, web browsers are a key tool for all of us. So when they don’t run as quickly as they should, it’s very frustrating. Here’s what you can do to speed up a web browser.

How to turn off video autoplay

There are a number of different ways to stop videos autoplaying, depending on which browser you’re using and which site or platform they are playing on. We’ll show you the most common ones below.

How to stop videos playing automatically on a specific site in Safari

  1. Launch Safari.
  2. Click on the Safari menu and choose Settings for this Website (alternatively, control-click in the smart search field and choose Settings for this Website).
  3. Hover to the right of autoplay and choose one of these options:
  • Allow All Auto-Play to play all videos automatically
  • Stop Media with Sound to block autoplay for videos with audio
  • Never Auto-Play to stop all videos auto-playing on that website

How to stop videos playing on all websites in Safari

  1. Launch Safari 
  2. Click on the Safari menu and choose Preferences.
  3. Select Websites.
  4. Choose Auto-Play on the left.
  5. Choose one of the following options:
  • Choose settings for a website on the list. Select the website from the list and choose the option you want.
  • Choose settings for all websites that aren’t currently customized. Click the ‘When visiting other websites’ pop-up menu and choose an option.
  • Choose settings for all websites. First, shift-click on all the websites listed and press Remove. Click on ‘When visiting other websites’ and choose an option from the menu.

Stop videos autoplaying in Chrome

Compared with Safari, Chrome’s controls for stopping videos autoplaying are buried and tricky to find. But they do exist. Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Paste the following into Google’s address bar: chrome://flags/#autoplay-policy
  2. When you arrive at the page, you’ll see the words ‘Autoplay policy’ with a dropdown menu next to it. In the menu, choose Document user activation is required.
  3. Press Relaunch Now

Now, videos in Chrome will need your intervention before they play. 

Stop videos autoplaying in Firefox

Firefox does things a little differently. Since April 2019 it has stopped videos with sound playing automatically by default. However, it allows videos without sound to play. And there’s no way to turn that off. You can, however, allow sites you choose to autoplay videos even if they have sound. Here’s how:

  1. Launch Firefox and click on the Firefox menu.
  2. Choose Preferences.
  3. Select Privacy & Security.
  4. Scroll down to Permissions.
  5. Locate the checkbox labelled ‘Block websites from automatically playing sound’ - it should already be checked.
  6. To add an exception, click Exceptions.
  7. Type or paste the URL of the site into the box and press Save Changes.
  8. Close Preferences.

Turn off autoplay videos on Facebook

  1. Launch any web browser and navigate to Facebook.com
  2. Click on the down arrow at the top right corner of the page.
  3. Choose Settings.
  4. From the menu on the left, select Videos (it’s at the bottom of the list)
  5. You will see the Video Settings listed on the right, click the drop-down menu in the Auto-play videos section.
  6. Choose Off.
  7. Click the ‘F’ at the top left of the page to return to your Facebook timeline.

How to turn off video autoplay on Twitter

  1. Launch a web browser and navigate to Twitter.com
  2. Sign in and when you see your timeline, look for the ‘More’ icon (three dots) in the left hand sidebar – it’s under your profile image.
  3. Click the More button.
  4. Choose Settings & Privacy.
  5. Select Data usage.
  6. Click on Video autoplay.
  7. Check the circle next to Never.

Turn off video autoplay on Reddit

  1. Go to reddit.com in your browser and click on the alien at the top right of the screen.
  2. Choose User Settings.
  3. Select Feed Settings.
  4. The third item on the list is Autoplay media, set the switch to off to prevent videos from autoplaying.

If you’re using the legacy version of Reddit, do this:

  1. Go to reddit.com and click on Preferences next to your user name.
  2. Scroll down to the Media section and look for the heading ‘Reddit Video Player’.
  3. Uncheck the box marked ‘Autoplay Reddit videos on the desktop comments page’.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and press Save Options.

How to speed up your browser

There are a number of reasons you might want videos to stop autoplaying, including stopping random sounds coming from your web browser and making your browser run more quickly. If your reason is to stop random audio, you can also right-click in any tab in Safari, Chrome or Firefox and choose Mute to cut out the audio – if you’re not sure which tab the audio is coming from, look for one with a loudspeaker icon on it. In Safari, you can also disable autoplay altogether for a site by right-clicking its tab.

If you want to stop video autoplay to make your browser run faster, there are a number of other things you can do to boost its speed. Extensions are a good place to start. If you’re like me, you’ve probably installed lots of browser extensions over the years and can’t remember what they all do. Now is a good time to review them. 

How to remove extensions in Chrome:

  1. Launch Chrome
  2. Type “chrome://extensions” into the address bar
  3. Review the extensions and note any you no longer need
  4. Click Remove next to the extensions you want to remove

How to remove extensions in Firefox:

  1. Launch Firefox and click on the three horizontal lines at the right of the address bar
  2. Choose Add-ons, then Extensions
  3. Look for any extensions you no longer need. If you find any, click on them and choose Remove.

How to remove extensions in Safari

You can remove extensions in Safari manually, too. But there is a better way, and one that I recommend: CleanMyMac X. Why is it better? Because as well as allowing you to easily remove Safari extensions, it can remove plug-ins, old cache files, and improves your privacy by getting rid of cookies you don’t want and removing your download and browser history. So your Mac runs more smoothly, and you improve your privacy and security in one go.

Here’s how you use it to remove Safari extensions:

  1. Download and launch CleanMyMac X — a link to a free edition
  2. Choose Extensions from the sidebar. 
  3. Click on Safari Extensions.
  4. Check the box next to the ones you want to get rid of.
  5. Press Remove.

To remove extensions from Safari manually, do this:

  1. Launch Safari, click on the Safari menu and choose Preferences.
  2. Select the Extensions tab.
  3. Go through the list and look for an extension you want to remove. 
  4. Select it, and then press Uninstall in the main window. 

Autoplaying videos on websites and social media platforms can be a nuisance, they’re often intrusive and can sometimes affect the performance of your Mac. Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to stop them playing. Follow the steps above and you won’t be bothered by them again.

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CleanMyMac X

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