How to Disable Autoplay Videos in Any Browser

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Some websites set their pages to play audio and video automatically. This is probably the most annoying kind of advertisement there is. From out of the blue, someone starts blathering about things completely unrelated to what you were doing previously.

The ad disrupts your workflow, makes you lose your focus. And if you left your speakers at a higher volume, the situation might even pose a risk for your health.

AdBlock Plus

This is where AdBlock Plus (ABP) comes into play. ABP is a free add-on to your browser which you can use to disable the various annoying ads jumping out at you on the internet.

ABP is available for download for all major browsers — Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Internet Explorer, and Safari. It’s even available for Android and iPhone/iPad.

AdBlock Plus

AdBlock Plus

Blocking Unwanted Content

There are several ways to block unwanted content with ABP.

The Simple Way

When you arrive at a site that serves auto-loading audio and video, just right-click on the video’s area and select AdBlock Plus: Block audio/video… from the drop-down menu.

ABP then lets you decide which URL you want it to start blocking from now on.

Add AdBlock Plus filter rule

Add AdBlock Plus filter rule

Select an option, click Add filter, and refresh (F5) the page for the changes to take effect.

The Slightly Harder Way

Right-click on the auto-playing video and select Inspect Element from the dropdown menu.

The Inspect Element feature will show you more details than the ABP’s filter rule window, such as this:

abp-inspect-element

Inspect Element

As you can see there is another URL that was not present in ABP’s above Filter Rule window — players.brightcove.net.

Now you can right-click on the video again, select AdBlock Plus: Block audio/video… from the drop-down menu, and in the Add AdBlock Plus filter rule window enter brightcove.net in the Custom field.

The Complicated Geeky Way

You can also add filter rules manually to ABP’s filter preferences.

There are three ways to open ABP’s Filter Preferences window:

  • use the Ctrl+Shift+F keyboard shortcut
  • click on ABP’s icon and select Filter preferences… from the drop-down menu
  • in Mozilla Firefox: type and enter about:addons into the address bar, then click on the Options button next to ABP, and then click on the Filter preferences… button

In the AdBlock Plus Filter Preferences window, click on the Add filter button, and enter one of the URLs that were identified above with some embellishment:

AdBlock Plus Filter Preferences

AdBlock Plus Filter Preferences

Results

The result of the slightly harder approach is somewhat nicer as there is no error message present.

abp-filter-brightcove

AdBlock Plus filter applied for brightcove

But in both cases, there’s no annoying auto-playing of either audio or video.

Note

The above examples are based on pcworld.com’s auto-playing audio/video settings.

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