Disabling Video Auto-Play (A How-To)

I have been complaining forever about news sites that auto-play their annoying videos when you click on an article. The problem has become more pronounced in recent months, apparently because videos are a huge money-maker for news sites (apparently young people prefer watching them to reading.)

Finally, I found a way around them and it's easy in all browsers.


  • Type "about:config" into your URL bar.
  • A warning will come up - dismiss it
  • An alphabetical list will come up of various processes. Scroll down to "plugins.click_to_play". Right click on it and choose "toggle." Restart Firefox.

That's it. the next time an article with a video comes up, it will look like like the one below. If you want to watch it, just click on it. [More...]

For Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer, see here.

The major TV news sites are the biggest culprits, and now our local 9 News in Denver has joined them. I no longer read any of them. It's like nails scratching a chalkboard to be peacefully reading the news and have some news anchor come blaring through your computer.

Memo to media sites: Even though I have figured out how to stop your annoying auto-play of videos, I will continue to waste a half-hour of my time (if that's what it takes) searching for a similar news article without the video to avoid linking to your site and sending unsuspecting readers to you. Nor do I want you to get the added traffic. Your unwanted intrusion on my and other readers' senses will not be rewarded with a traffic hit, at least not from this site.

One other suggestion for readers. You can block news sites in your settings on Google News so articles by certain sites don't come up.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Thank you for this info, Jeralyn. (none / 0) (#1)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 02:41:06 AM EST
    I feel the same way you do about auto-start videos. This will help. There are certain sites I used to visit regularly, but I started avoiding because I got really annoyed at being assaulted aurally every time I opened a new page, especially since it usually opens with loud advertising. That's the primary reason why I stopped reading the Huffington Post.

    Awesome (none / 0) (#2)
    by mexboy on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 06:02:30 AM EST
    I hate those things. Thanks Jeralyn; I know, it's been a while.

    That's awesome (none / 0) (#3)
    by Yman on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 07:45:29 AM EST

    If you're running Firefox... (none / 0) (#4)
    by unitron on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 09:50:27 AM EST
    ...the Flashblock plugin will accomplish the same goal and it'll present you with a right-pointing arrow to click if you actually want to run the video.

    I found this method (none / 0) (#6)
    by CoralGables on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 12:23:48 PM EST
    easier to work with Firefox. Drawback for both. If you are playing a stream of songs on youtube you have to click at the end of each song to continue.

    Done, thanks. (none / 0) (#5)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 12:11:40 PM EST

    ESPN, ABC and CBS are the worst offenders.... (none / 0) (#7)
    by magster on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 12:45:42 PM EST
    You very well may be canonized for this post St. Jeralyn.

    In less than 5 minutes... (none / 0) (#8)
    by magster on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 01:01:09 PM EST
    I've gotten 4 thankyou's for posting a link to your story on my Denver Nuggets blog (NBA.com has autoplay too).

    Loved this at first, but ... (none / 0) (#9)
    by ballgame on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 03:38:23 PM EST
    ... there appear to be some drawbacks. When I'm on YouTube now, none of the in-screen controls appear to work (i.e. the "Skip Ad" button, the 'close ad' button, or the 'adjust resolution' menu). I'm curious if anyone else has experienced the same (I'm on Firefox FWIW).

    I do hate the auto-stream of video material on HuffPo and elsewhere, but not being able to banish ads as quickly as possible when watching a YouTube clip is a definite downside.


    The Internet giveth, and the Internet taketh away.

    SITE VIOLATOR (none / 0) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Dec 26, 2015 at 11:01:24 PM EST