Last updated on June 17th, 2017
One of my pet annoyances is YouTube and other embedded videos playing automatically in Firefox and Chrome. Pet annoyances in that it disturbs the cat too. Worse still, is when multiple videos play at the same time. I have found solutions to put control back into your hands so that you choose when videos start playing.
When I come across something interesting, while browsing, I open new background tabs from links on webpages, so that I can continue reading the page I am on and go to the link pages later. When those pages contain embedded videos and start playing together the noise not only annoys me but those around me, especially if I have my sound turned on high from a faint audio stream that I had previously listened to.
Even worse is when videos wake our cat, who sleeps close to my desk. She then takes a flying leap up to her favorite waking resting spot: my partner’s shoulder while he is sitting at his PC. If she misses, his shrieks accompany the video, as she slides down his chest, digging in her 20 sharp weapons, as she unwillingly heads for the floor. If he is typing and she cannot get up there easily she will plant herself squarely in front of his monitor.
In the interests of our sanity and that of the cat I researched for methods to stop videos playing automatically and to my relief found fixes that work in Firefox and Chrome. Both involve changing settings in your browser itself rather than using scripts or extensions. The extensions that were available for Firefox no longer work because of browser upgrades.
1. Load the url: about:config?filter=plugins.click_to_play in Firefox. You will be presented with the following message:
Promise to be careful. You are only changing one setting here so you do not have to worry about upsetting anything else.
2. Right click on plugins.click_to_play and then click on Toggle. This will change the Value field to true:
If on a later date you want to change the setting back to auto-play, make a note of the url above so that you can easily go back to it. I use One Note for all of my notes and reminders as explained in my prior post. You may prefer Evernote, emailing yourself a reminder, or creating a document in Word or Notepad and saving it to your PC.
Load the url chrome://chrome/settings/content in the address bar of your Chrome browser. Scroll down in the pop-up that appears until you see the Plug-Ins preferences and choose the Click to play option.
If you only wish to prevent YouTube videos from auto-playing, there are options for Chrome using scripts. There are no working Firefox extensions that do the task at the moment.
YouTube Options for Google Chrome – from the Google Webstore.
YousableTubeFix for Chrome – from userscripts.org