It drives me crazy that YouTube videos start playing automatically. It’s especially annoying when you click on a link from a co-worker and then the phone rings… and then your speakers start blaring a completely inappropriate sound, usually accompanied by terrible dancing.

So I went searching for the best method to disable these videos from playing automatically, and came up with three different options that I’ve listed for you here.

Method 1: Using the StopAutoPlayingAlready Extension

I’ve created an extension for Firefox that will prevent YouTube videos from automatically playing by converting the default player to the embedded one that doesn’t auto-play.

Note: I can’t really take any credit for this, because all of the logic is from the greasemonkey script below. All I did was convert it into an extension for people that don’t use greasemonkey.

Once you install the extension, you’ll notice that the videos on YouTube.com now have the play button:

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To install, download the extension to your hard drive, and then drag it to your Firefox Add-ons dialog:

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Install StopAutoPlayingAlready Extension for Firefox

Method 2: Using the Youtube Prevent Autoplay Script

If you love using Greasemonkey you’ll probably prefer this method. All you need to do is install the greasemonkey script and it will work exactly as the extension above.

All of the credit goes to Yansky for figuring out this method. I assume he used Fry’s 7-leaf clover.

Download Youtube Prevent Autoplay Script from userscripts.org

Method 3: Using the Stop Autoplay Extension

This extension will not only stop Youtube videos from auto-playing, but will stop all embedded media from playing automatically. Note that if you use this extension you really don’t need the other solutions.

After installing this extension, you’ll notice that the video is completely gone from the page.

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Once you click on the video, it will then load and then start playing. This definitely isn’t quite as elegant of a solution, but if it’s brute force you want, enjoy!

Install Stop Autoplay Extension from Mozilla Add-ons

Method 4: FlashBlock Extension

I’m adding this to the list per suggestion from the readers… you can also use the FlashBlock extension to completely block flash, which is a good option for some people. It will block the flash players exactly the same as the other solutions… just click on it to make it play.

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Download FlashBlock Extension from mozdev.org

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Lowell is the founder and CEO of How-To Geek. He’s been running the show since creating the site back in 2006. Over the last decade, Lowell has personally written more than 1000 articles which have been viewed by over 250 million people. Prior to starting How-To Geek, Lowell spent 15 years working in IT doing consulting, cybersecurity, database management, and programming work.
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