How-To Geek

Stop YouTube Videos from Automatically Playing in Firefox

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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 now have the play button:


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


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

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.


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.


Download FlashBlock Extension from

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 10/26/07

Comments (32)

  1. Wong Vater

    I use “flashblock” instead. It blocks all flash from loading unless you press play button. It helps load pages faster and stops flash ads too.

  2. Gustav Dahl

    Thank you. I some times open a lot of YouTube movies in tabs, and then they all start playing. Now I can control which one should play.

    Is there any way to make the videos auto DOWNLOAD and not play, so they all start streaming but need to push the “Play” button?

  3. Alter3g0

    Or use Flashblock :)

  4. mb01915

    Just a thought, but you could try not wasting time during work watching these things.

  5. Lisaweb

    I too use FlashBlock, but it might not be the most advantageous solution for those who rely heavily on a Flash-based experience. But I love it! No more distracting flashy ads to endure! And I can even set certain sites to to whitelisted, too. But you can bet Youtube isn’t one of them. lol

  6. Lisaweb

    However – I am going to check out the “Stop Autoplay” extension you mentioned, Geek. Seems like it might be an even better solution than FlashBlock.

  7. The Geek

    I have to spend a lot of time doing research online, so FlashBlock doesn’t work for me… but it’s definitely a good option.

    I’m adding it to the list, thanks everybody!

  8. Philip

    The good thing about FlashBlock is it blocks full-screen ads that many websites have before you can access the website’s content (e.g., Forbes, etc).

  9. Peter

    This has always annoyed me – but I never did anything about it. Thanks man!

  10. Hit Wicket

    I embed some of my YouTube clips on another website of mine. I want to prevent users double clicking on my website-posted clip, which then takes them out to YouTube.

    Question 1: Is there any way to prevent losing a user from my website when they double click and are take to the original YouTube embedded video?

    Question 2: How do I prevent users downloading my clips as RealPlayer 11 and other media players make it easy for users to take take my content?



  11. Prathiba

    Hi, pls help me by clarifying this query.
    We are playing a flash movie that comes as a mail in our Lotus Notes inbox. This is working fine on WIndows. But when played on Linux OS, it doesn’t (irrrespective of the browser used – IE or Firefox). We publish the flash in 8 version. Does Linux has Flash Player 8? Should we publish it in a lower version of Flash?
    Please suggest..thanks.

  12. Chris

    ‘StopAutoPlayingAlready’ doesnt work in firefox 3

  13. Vergil

    Error:document.getElementByTd(“playerDiv”)has no properties

    I get this error when using ‘StopAutoPlayingAlready’.
    It used to work but ever since youtube changed their skins for the video it stpped working.

  14. sjac

    Yeah, i get that error too now. I had to disable the addon. Any possibility it could be updated?

    [PS] is this a firefox 3 thing? I’m running Beta 5..

  15. BigJim

    I use Flashmute which suppresses the sound from flash applications, or optionally the whole browser. The video will still play, but silently. Also allows me to play flash games with my own background music.

  16. This tip is very useful.

  17. HairyMonster

    Can I suggest NoScript – allows you to control precisely which scripts (including Flash) to run on a page.

  18. abhisek

    thanks. Using the GM script.

  19. M

    Does this work on a mac?

  20. Andreas129
    This one loads the script in the background to! (Buffering)

  21. Andreas129

    * Sorry the video in background, not script!

  22. AussieNoob

    I use Stop Autoplay. It doesn’t just stop the .flv from playing, but it stops it from loading until you want. This is handy if you have a slower connection or a low download quota. It also means that you can read the comments on a video first to help decide wether or not you want to proceed and download/play it. This addon blocks most .flv advertisements too, speeding up page load times.

  23. Deb

    I used to go to youtube and the videos didn’t start unless I hit the play button. However, today something changed and now I don’t have to click on the play button and it just starts. Do you know how I can go back to the way it was? I am using IE actually and maybe there was some windows update that changed this? I really like to use the play stop and pause buttons and decide if I want to hear something. I did not do anything new and do not have a channel at youtube . Thanks for any help.


  24. AussieNoob

    Hey Deb,
    There’s a little app for IE called ‘ Toggle Flash ‘. Once installed and enabled it will block all .flv from loading. To dissable just hit its little icon in the tool bar, then refresh or F5. It can be a little inconvenient though, as it is either ON or OFF and to toggle you have to refresh the page. But if your’re planning a YouTube session , just turn T’Flash on before you start. I’m sure there would be some others out there too but this might suit you in the meantime.

  25. Michael

    “TubeStop” seems like a poplular FireFox Add-On for the same purpose, but I don’t see it mentioned in this article? Do you think “Stop Autoplay” is better? Thanks!

  26. doomed

    remember this is a 2 year old posting , the stopyoutubeplayingalready extension made by this pages author will not work with current versions of firefox, and does not seem to have been updated since it was released.

  27. ansaran

    I Use TubeStop, & it Works Good in FF3.
    For those who have Compatibility problem Just install the Nightly tester Addon which adds a New Option Override all Compatibility in the Addon Window. or Force install Option when a new Addon is Installed.
    so just forget abt the Compatibility Issue with the Old Addons that are not Updated for the new Version of FF.

  28. jim williams

    you tube and other short videos downloaded to play do not –but start and run for a few seconds and stop then after a stop will start again and do the same thing until the end—may TAKE A 3 MIN VIDEO 15 MINUTES TO WATCH—DRIVES ME NUTS===Have loaded the latest version of flash player 10 and same problum—USING COMCAST INTERNET TO THE WIRELESS ROUTER AND ALL SEEM TO WORK OK EXCEPT THIS VIDEO ISSUE…will occassionally get a messagethat the server is working slowly and i should try again when iam trying to delete an e-mail…..
    Is there a remedy for this you tube issue of stopping and starting….

  29. usws

    On Chrome, there’s an extension that disables autoplay but allows the video to load in the background. The solutions above don’t allow the videos to load right, at least not until you click on the play button. Are there any addons/scripts that allows the video to load in the background?

  30. scutterman

    @Geek the greasemonkey script you posted still works, but it adds the autoplay=0 to the beginning of the video params, so any video that defined autoplay still played. I moved it to the end and it works great.

    @usws check out Andreas129’s comment above

  31. The Geek

    I have now finished this article no more edits.

  32. Ivan

    Have you seen this site? Here you can find everything for musicians and music lovers. Dont forget to click any advertisement in the right of the page. Thank you

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