Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve seen more and more popular websites hosting autoplay content. At times like this, I’m grateful that Chrome indicates which tab is playing media so I can turn it off, but some ads are tricky. They mute the volume and play videos, and it’s up to you to find them. So what is a user to do? The answer is to stop autoplay and stop the madness. Autoplaying content is something your browser ‘allows’ by default and if you think about the sentence you just read for a bit, you realize that the browser is controlling this and can tell you to stop autoplaying content.

Stop autoplay in Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari and IE


Possibly the best of all browsers when it comes to easily disabling autoplay is Chrome. Head over to the Settings page, which is chrome://settings/ and scroll down to see the advanced settings. Under Privacy & Content, click Content Settings and scroll down to the Plugins section. Here select the ‘click to play’ option. You may want autoplay to run on some sites like YouTube, so use the Manage exceptions area to add domains that are exempt from this setting.


Open Firefox and go to the about:config page. Find the ‘plugins.click_to_play’ preference and set its value to ‘False’. You will not be able to enter exceptions to the value of this preference as you would for Chrome until you visit a website and are prompted to allow the plugin for all future visits. However, there could be a plugin that offers better customization options.

  Using the Hola extension in Mozilla Firefox


Open Settings in Opera (Ctrl + F12) and in the Advanced tab, select the Enable plugin on demand option. Like Chrome, you can enter exceptions for settings.


Safari, if you’re on Mavericks, has a built-in feature called Power Saver in Preferences > Advanced. Enable the ‘stop plugins to save power’ option. If you’re running an older version of OS X, you can try one of two extensions; ClickToPlugin or ClickToFlash. The reason why you would want to go with the extension instead of the default option is that they offer more customization options, i.e. you can set exceptions.

internet explorer

If you are using Internet Explorer, you will need to disable the Flash plugin. Open the settings (the cogwheel button on the top right) and select ‘Manage Add-ons’. In the window that opens, select Toolbars and Extensions and use the dropdown menu to view all installed plugins. Find the Shockwave plugin, right click on it and select ‘More Info’

In the new window, click the ‘remove all sites’ button and you’re done. The next time you visit a website with autoplayable content, the browser will ask if you want to enable it for that site. It is permanently enabled for that site and not just for that session.