Tag Archives: autoplay

Turning off Auto-Play of Videos on Twitter and Facebook from your Smartphone

It’s the most annoying thing … you scroll through your feed or timeline, and one of the feeds has a video.  It plays as soon as you scroll to it.  While it is a neat feature, not everyone wants it on by default.  First, it’s annoying, if you are scrolling through it, wasting time, in a doctor’s office.  If you have your phone on half volume, then everyone will hear the video.  Second, it chews up your bandwidth.

So when you read articles from Facebook, it tells you about the obvious disadvantage of it using up bandwidth on your phone.  So why the hell do you have it enabled by default?  You would expect that it would be off by default, and you would opt in, if you happen to be in high bandwidth wi-fi regions.  Not only that, they make it extremely difficult to find the options to disable it.  I guess I should be fortunate that they give you an option to turn it off … but there is no reason why it should be enabled by default, on your mobile phone!

Those Annoying Video Auto-Play

Ever go to a web site, which has multiple video feeds, and you are trying to read an article, then suddenly, this video automatically plays … arghhh!!!!  It is damned annoying.  Well, I finally found a way to have it stop doing that!  However, this may be a local only setting, so I have no idea how to modify this on a cell phone.

If using Firefox, here’s what you do:

  1. Open a new tab, and enter the address about:config.  It will give you a big warning, that you might void your warranty.  Every time I’ve done this, nothing really happens to my PC (warn you about performance, security).  Actually, having it autoplay is a security issue in itself, but that’s a different topic.  If you are fine with this, go ahead and “accept the risk”.
  2. Search for media.autoplay.enabled.  You will see that the default is enabled.  Double-click this, and it will change to false.  Video should not autoplay after modifying this.

If using Google Chrome:

  1. Open a new tab, and enter the address chrome://flags
  2. Search for autoplay.  In the pulldown, select “Document user activation is required”

This is assuming the site you are accessing is using HTML5 (which most of them are).