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Stop YouTube Videos from Automatically Playing in Chrome

If you’ve actually used the internet before, you’ve probably come across a page with an auto-playing YouTube clip, and chances are good it was a rather annoying one. Here’s how to stop them from starting automatically in Chrome.

We’ve already told you how to stop them from automatically playing if you’re a Firefox user (best answer: use Flashblock!), but now it’s time for Chrome users to get their turn.

Use the Stop Autoplay for YouTube Extension

The great thing about this extension is that it stops the video from playing, but it allows it to continue buffering, so when you do feel like playing the video, it’ll already be downloaded—really useful for people with slower internet connections.

There’s no UI or anything fancy, just head to the extension page and click the Install button.

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If you want to get rid of it later, use the Tools –> Extensions menu (or you can type chrome://extensions/ into your address bar), and then click the Uninstall link for that add-on.

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Download Stop Autoplay for YouTube [Google Chrome Extensions]

Using FlashBlock for Chrome

If you really wanted to, you could just disable Flash across the board using FlashBlock for Chrome. Once you’ve installed the extension, you won’t see any Flash elements anywhere, and you’ll have to move your mouse over them and click to enable them each time.

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When I installed the extension the first time, I noticed that YouTube was already in the allow list. I’m not sure if that’s the default setting or not, but you can use the icon in the address bar, or the Options from the Extensions panel to get to the settings page, and from there you can remove anything from the White List that you wouldn’t want.

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Another nice feature about Flash Block is that it can also block Silverlight, or you could simply uninstall or remove unnecessary Chrome plug-ins.

Download FlashBlock for Chrome

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 04/28/10

Comments (3)

  1. Alec S.

    Yup, the auto-play (or more accurately, the lack of not auto-playing) is definitely a huge annoyance.

    Be warned though that this script does not actually prevent the video from playing, but rather pauses it. As such, it does not always work fast enough and you may get a spurt of noise from the video before it is paused. (Particularly jarring when the sound is turned up.)

    Also, since the script only stops the video from playing, it does not stop it from continuing to download, it is still not feasible to open a bunch of tabs in YouTube (as is wont to happen) since they will bog down your system and Internet connection.

  2. Johnny Shiloh

    It blows my mind, that Chrome would have the arrogance to auto play You Tube videos, something no other browser would do. A few little, despicable annoyances like this are why I always end up uninstalling Chrome again for a long period before trying it out again. They are such simple things that common sense would dictate that you just don’t do. Like closing the browser just because I close the last tab, again, something no other browser would do. I can’t believe we have to get a special add-on to have a HOME button on the toolbar. Yet I see ads for Chrome plastered every where. I always think, “Let me know when you are serious.” If you are going to annoy me by auto playing videos I had no thought to play, then you aren’t really serious about being my browser.

  3. Harry Foresman sr

    my crome does auto downloads from the tweetsource page can’t stop it

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