How to disable autoplay videos in Google Chrome for every site

It was reported late last year that Google would be offering various improvements in Chrome 64 to help quell user concerns over website’s that autoplay videos–especially those that do with the sound enabled. I know first hand that I’ve been nearly scared out of my chair one too many times because of autoplay videos with the sound on. The new improvements in Chrome 64 are supposed to allow users to mute specific websites from being able to play sound on their computer. There’s just one problem: the feature only works on a site by site basis.

In other words, while the setting to have autoplay content automatically muted in Chrome 64 does exist (right click on a tab and click “Mute Site,”) unfortunately, it isn’t a one-and-done setting — it has to be done for every website you want it applied to — but it will mute sound for any content that is navigated to under the parent domain. That wasn’t good enough for me so I started trekking through Chrome 64’s internal settings and found something that appears to do exactly what we all want: disable autoplay videos on every site. Here’s how to enable it.

In the Chrome Omnibar (URL/Search bar) type the following:

chrome://flags/#autoplay-policy

You will be brought to a page where you’ll see something called Autoplay policy and to the right of the description will be a drop down menu which will likely say “Default” click on that and select the following option from the drop down menu: “Document user activation is required.”

This means that videos should only play if you explicitly click on them.

What the setting should look like when changing it.

You will now see a message towards the bottom of Chrome tell you to restart the browser for the changes to take affect–don’t restart Chrome just yet as there’s one other setting I’m going to have you change here.

In the Chrome Omnibar type the following:

chrome://flags/#enable-tab-audio-muting

You will now be brought to another setting called Tab audio muting UI control. This setting makes the little sound icon that appears inside a site’s tab clickable, allowing you to quickly mute or unmute any audio coming from a site if for some reason it starts playing when you load up a website. This will be the fastest way to mute any audio. I don’t know why it isn’t enabled by default. Regardless, where it says “Disabled,” in the drop down menu click on that and select “Enabled.”

What the Tab audio muting UI control should look like when changed.

Now restart Google Chrome.

And that’s it, you should be autoplay video free on every site you visit.

About the author

— Jeff Weisbein

Jeff is the founder & CEO of BestTechie. He has over 10 years of experience working with technology and building businesses. He loves to travel and listen to music.

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