You open a link in a new tab and before you can even go and start reading it, you are frightened by the sudden blast of sound from that auto playing video.
Sadly, more and more websites are choosing to autoplay their videos as soon as you open their page. In fact, some websites are even showing video ads that auto play. There may be any number of reasons for this like exposure, views, etc. No matter what the reason is, it is a bit annoying when videos start playing automatically, especially with the sound. To deal with that, here are some extensions that can block videos from playing automatically.
Why use Extensions?
If you don’t already know, chrome gives you an option to mute an auto playing videos. Simply, right-click the tab playing audio and choose Mute Tab. From now on, the videos will still play but with no sound. However the downside is, you’ll have to do that on a site-by-site basis. Which is why, if you like me who spends a lot of time reading several websites, it’s better to use an extension and stop all videos from auto playing at once.
Extensions to Stop Video From Auto Playing
AutoplayStopper is a small and lightweight extension that is relatively new with just over 6000 users as of writing this and it does a pretty good job of stopping the videos from auto-playing. The good thing is, once you install the extension, it starts blocking the video autoplay instantly whether the tab is active or not, no configuration needed. In fact, you can see the number of auto plays blocked right on the extension icon.
If you want to, you can pick and choose which sites can autoplay video and which can’t either temporarily or permanently by setting up exceptions. Just click on the extension icon and then select either “Allow autoplay for” or “Allow session autoplay for.” To add or remove further exceptions you can go to the settings panel by selecting the “Settings” option in the extension option. In the settings panel, other than adding or removing exceptions, the extension also gives you the ability to add user scripts directly from the Chrome dev tools panel. Just select the checkbox “Devtools panel” and you will see a new “AutoplayStopper” tap in the dev tools panel.
If you are looking for a simple application with straightforward settings and usability then give AutoplayStopper a try.
While AutoplayStopper blocks video autoplay and gives you an option to add exceptions and user scripts, Video Autoplay Blocker is much simpler in what it does. It just automatically blocks any video that starts to automatically play no matter whether the tab is in focus or not. When a video is blocked from autoplay, the extension displays a striking black text in capital letters on red background letting you know the same and telling you what to do in order to play the video. i.e, just click on the video.
The extension offers no options whatsoever. It just sits in the top corner of your screen and does the job as it should. As you can guess, the lack of any options means you cannot add exceptions or you can’t even temporarily disable the extension. To disable the extension, you have to manually go to the extensions page and disable it from there.
This may not be a problem if you don’t mind lack of configuration options but can be a bit annoying if you ever need to allow autoplay on certain sites. Other than that, the extension is pretty good at what it does.
As you can tell from the name itself, HTML5 Video Autoplay Blocker is specially designed to block, well, HTML5 videos. Since chrome already restricts Flash to run by default and almost all websites and services being switched to HTML5, you don’t have to worry too much about the HTML5 limitation. Just like AutoplayStopper, the extension needs no configuration and stops any auto-playing video by default.
When a video is blocked from autoplay, the extension adds a color background to block the video thumbnail or image. This is quite helpful if you don’t want to be distracted by the video thumbnails. To play the video, all you have to do is click anywhere inside the player and you are good to go.
The good thing about HTML5 Video Autoplay Blocker is that unlike Video Autoplay Blocker, it has an options panel where you can whitelist sites you want to auto play videos. By default, the extension whitelists YouTube, Vimeo, and Netflix. In the same options panel, you can customize what color to appear as the background and transparency to meet your taste. For instance, just for the demonstration purpose I change the color to red and set the transparency to zero percent.
Of course, this is not the default color and transparency setting. So, give the extension a try and see if it fits your needs.
Video Blocker does what is say will do in that it blocks any videos from auto-playing whether the tab is focused or not. Just like other extensions, the extension needs no configuration. In fact, there is almost no separate options panel for you to configure. You just have two options, the first one is to disable the extension and the second one lets you whitelist the current website you are visiting.
To whitelist a website, simply navigate to the tab where the video is blocked, click on the extension and select the option “Allow videos on.” If you want to block video again from playing back, all you have to do is select the option “Block video on” option. By default, YouTube is whitelisted so you don’t have to worry if you are like me and love to listen to video podcasts while doing your work.
Just like the above extensions, Video Blocker clearly indicates when a video is blocked. The extension displays its logo with a big black border. Unlike HTML5 Video Autoplay Blocker, if you want to, play the video you have to click on the logo. Otherwise, the video won’t play. Of course, the user interface is not the greatest but it gets the job done as it should. So, try the extension and see how you like it.
As you can tell from the name itself, Stop Autoplay for Youtube is specifically designed for YouTube. If you are a heavy YouTube user and looking to specifically block YouTube from playing videos automatically when you click on a video then this extension is for you. The extension is very simple and just like Video Autoplay Blocker, it doesn’t offer any options whatsoever. It does one thing and does it well. Install the extension and you are good to go.
So, if you are just looking to block YouTube videos from auto-playing then this extension is for you.
That’s it for now. If you think I missed any of good extension that block video from auto-playing then comment below and share them with me.