How to turn off autoplay videos on Facebook, Twitter, Reddi…


You’ve probably been caught off guard by videos that play automatically on Facebook, Twitter, and other services; in fact, just across the internet in general. They begin playing as soon as you load a page or (if they’re more deviously implemented) when you start scrolling through a page to catch your attention.

Automatic video play is a feature that, while nice to have when it’s surfacing content that’s related to your interests, can be pretty annoying. Autoplay videos can be harmful, too, exposing you to violent, offensive, or otherwise unwanted content that you shouldn’t have to see by default. Several browsers, like Google Chrome and Firefox, now have built-in measures to curb autoplay videos, but for the most part, turning them off is still a very manual process.

Whether you just want to put an end to autoplay videos on social media platforms, or are looking for a more comprehensive fix, we’ve got some tips. Keep in mind that you’ll need to adjust these settings for every device that you use, since your preferences on, say, your phone do not automatically push to your PC.


Illustration by James Bareham / The Verge

How to turn off autoplay videos on Facebook

If you’re using Facebook on your browser, you can turn off autoplay videos by navigating to the Settings menu found within the drop-down menu at the top right of the page. Look for the Videos listing on the left-hand menu. Inside of that option is a toggle where you can turn off autoplaying videos.

Facebook has similar options available for its iOS and Android apps, but it’s much harder to find than on a browser.

If you use an iPhone or iPad

  • Click the menu button on the bottom of your screen.
  • Once you’re there, tap “Settings & Privacy,” then “Settings.”
  • From there, scroll down until you find “Media and Contacts,” then tap “Videos and Photos.”
  • Finally, once you find “Autoplay,” you can turn off the feature.

If you use an Android phone or tablet

  • Click the menu button at the top right of your screen.
  • Once you’re there, scroll down and tap “Settings & Privacy,” then “Settings.”
  • From there, scroll down until you find “Media and Contacts.”
  • Finally, once you find “Autoplay,” you can set it to “Never Autoplay Videos.”

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

How to turn off autoplay videos on Twitter

The steps to turn off autoplay videos on your browser differ if you’ve opted in for the newer design.

If you opted in for the new design

  • Click on your profile name, and “Settings and privacy” will be nested within the menu.
  • Once you’ve been taken to the settings menu, look for “Data usage” on the side panel.
  • Click on the “Video autoplay” setting. You can then switch off the autoplaying of videos on your feed.

If you haven’t opted in for the updated look

  • Click on your profile name, and “Settings and privacy” will be nested within the menu.
  • Once you’ve been taken to the settings menu, look for “Account” on the side panel.
  • Under the “Content” heading, you’ll be able to unclick “Video Autoplay.”

iOS and Android apps

The process involves a similar amount of steps on the iOS and Android apps.

  • Click the profile picture at the top of your phone screen.
  • Select “Settings and privacy” in the menu.
  • Navigate to “Data usage.” Under the “Video” section, set the “Video autoplay” option to “never.”

How to turn off autoplay videos on Instagram

The Instagram app doesn’t allow for autoplay videos to be turned off, so you’ll have to tread carefully here. Videos don’t autoplay if you use Instagram on your browser, but since almost all of the service’s users are using it on mobile devices, there’s currently no way around it.


Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

How to turn off autoplay videos on Reddit

Reddit, like most sites that host video, autoplays videos by default. However it’s pretty easy to turn it off.

If you use the newer design

  • Click your username in the upper-right corner and select “User settings” in the menu.
  • Select “Feed settings.” Within the list that is presented, toggle off the “Autoplay media” switch.

If you’re still using the legacy version of Reddit

  • Click “Preferences” next to your username in the top right of the window.
  • Under “Media,” look for “Autoplay Reddit videos on the desktop comments page.” Uncheck the box.
  • You’ll need to hit “save options” at the bottom of the screen to put the changes through.

On the mobile app, tap the icon next to the search bar, then hit “Settings.” Once you’re here, you’ll see “Autoplay” near the top of the page, and you can easily choose to turn it off.


Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

How to turn off autoplay videos on Chrome or Firefox

If you use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, recent updates have allowed (or will soon allow) you to disable videos from playing automatically, though there are some caveats.

For Chrome users, ensure that you have at least version 66 (version 73 is the latest stable release at the time of publication). There’s no toggle to make sure that videos don’t play automatically, but instead Google should remember your preferences based on your activity, as well as that of other visitors to the site. It’s by no means a perfect solution to the problem, but here’s how it currently works, according to this article from Tom Warren:

If you’ve just started using Chrome and have no browsing history, the browser will autoplay videos on more than 1,000 popular sites where visitors typically play sound on videos. “As you browse the web, that list changes as Chrome learns and enables autoplay on sites where you play media with sound during most of your visits, and disables it on sites where you don’t,” explains Google product manager John Pallett. “As you teach Chrome, you may find that you need to click ‘play’ every now and then, but overall the new policy blocks about half of unwanted autoplays, so you will have fewer surprises and less unwanted noise when you first arrive at a website.”

Chrome may not have a switch that turns off all autoplay videos, but you can manually turn off sound, images, and other settings on a per-site basis to achieve something that’s close enough.

  • Click the lock next to the web address bar, then hit “Site Settings” in the drop-down menu.
  • Once you’re here, you can adjust each setting to “Block.” If you’re specifically targeting autoplaying videos, turning off Javascript is the way to do it, but beware, it will probably break a lot of other site functionality in the process.

As of March 19th, 2019, Mozilla Firefox will have publicly rolled out its update (version 66) that mutes autoplaying videos. Compared to Chrome’s approach, Firefox is taking a harder stance on autoplay videos by muting them all, unless, as Chaim Gartenberg wrote, “explicitly allowed by a user. Users will also be able to manually allow sites to autoplay, allowing sites like YouTube (where most people tend to want the video they’ve selected to automatically play upon loading) to continue to work as normal.”

Unfortunately, this means that you still may see something that you wish you hadn’t seen on Firefox, but it’s a step in the right direction toward eliminating autoplay videos altogether.

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