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How to Stop Autoplay Videos

Yes, You Can Retain Control Over Videos

Yes, You Can Retain Control Over Videos

Last summer, I wrote a blog posting entitled Streaming Agony in which I bewailed the tendency of websites to push streaming videos in your face when you open websites—particularly prevalent among news websites. Most of these streaming videos are controlled by Adobe Shockwave. Using your Internet browser, you could request that the video be grayed out, as in the three examples in the above screen shot from the Buenos Aires Herald, and activated only when you specifically request it. By clicking on “Activate Adobe Flash,” you can see the video once, or grant blanket permission to the website.

Because I use Mozilla Firefox as my browser, I will reprint the instructions by Lincoln Spector from the February 2015 issue of PC World on “How to Stop Autoplay Videos” using this browser. If you should be a user of Google Chrome or Internet Explorer, reply at the bottom of this post and I will post the equivalent instructions for your browser. If you use Safari, you are out of luck.

Here are the instructions for suppressing autoplay videos on Firefox:

  1. Press Ctrl-L to go to the address bar and type in the local URL field: about:addons.
  2. Click Plugins in the left pane.
  3. Find Shockwave Flash in the list of plug-ins.
  4. Click the Always Activate pop-up menu on the right, and select Ask to Activate.

The article in PC World continues:

When you visit a page with an embedded Flash video, the video window will be in a box, but this time it will be white with Adobe’s Flash logo (a stylized letter ‘f’ in the center). A gray bar at the top of the page will give you options to continue blocking or allow the flash.

If you click Allow, you’ll get options to Allow Now or Allow and Remember. If you want to allow it at all, I recommend Allow Now.

Hopefully this will protect you from loud NSFW (Not Safe for Work) loud ads and most autoplay videos.


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