How To Stop Auto Play Videos and Audios In Firefox

May 25, 2011 · 39 comments

in IT & Tech

No More Annoying
AutoPlay Videos!

Ever been enjoying a webinar, video or mp3 while surfing the web…

… found an interesting article and started opening links from it in new tabs for reading later…

… when suddenly BLAHBLAHBLAHBLAH goes some noob over whatever you were listening to?

I HATE that!

I’m a multitasker at heart and even when I’m not I sometimes indulge in some music (I love music) and the last thing I want is something I opened in a tab to be blaring at me without permission.

I’m a big girl, if I want to hear them, I am perfectly capable of clicking on the play button thanks. (And in the case of auto-plays, the X close button on my browser.)

I tried using NoScript as a single solution but disabling all flash isn’t what I’m going for and the complicated white-list was not user-friendly.

When I’m doing blog syndication and commenting I may have as many as fifteen blogs open at a time… and trust me the one that autoplays is the one that the minute I can locate I close.

Fortunately, I’ve finally found a real easy to use, simple to set up, solution to putting an end to that nonesense!

Hurray for peace and quiet!

The Firefox Add-On is called “Stop Autoplay” and does exactly that.

You can find Stop Autoplay at:

In the Firefox Add-Ons menu you will find Stop Autoplay listed and be able to easily adjust its settings.

From there if you click options you have a number of tabs where you can adjust preferences.

Here in the “General Media” tab you can select whether to block only the autostart or to block all embedded media from loading without being clicked. You can use either option for this use but you will likely have a preference.

Some people want to disapprove everything except flash on certain blacklist sites, or only disallow flash on certain sites, but since the blogs I surf are random, I leave this on defaults blocking all.

The whitelist is very easy to use and allows me to add URL keywords to not affect and by listing my (partial) domain name and Facebook’s domain name, I’m able to prevent it from affecting those sites. This is useful for Facebook as FB does not allow auto play media in the first place (for good reason!).

Assuming I had NOT whitelisted Facebook, here is an example for you.

This first image is what the video looks like before it has opened the player.

This image shows the video, after the player has been opened, blocked from autoplaying but easily able to be clicked on to remove the block and then authorized to play. This black box shows us there is media “missing” that we can easily enable. When you click on that box, it enables the media and you would be seeing the video as it would appear and able to click the play button to start it.

Have I mentioned I LOVE Firefox? (No, I don’t know if there is a chrome version of this, if you know of one please leave it in the comments.)

You can find Stop Autoplay at:

There ya go! Now you too can surf in peace!

I really like how easy it is to whitelist a site with this and how it “just works” even right out of the box with no tinkering.

This probably will be a blessing to the site using autoplay as well since I am less likely to automatically close their site before having a look at whether they present valuable information. Win-Win!

Another one of my favorites is “Easy Comment” which helps speed up my commenting time on blogs!

I hope you’ll let me know your thoughts on auto play video, whether you think I’m a control freak on this topic, your favorite Firefox add-ons and if you find this one useful!

Kimberly Castleberry
Your Partner In Online Success

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

tonyknuckles May 25, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Hey Kim in the Chrome extensions library there are two different tools available. “Stop Autoplay” and “Wait Youtube” came up for me when i did a search in the extensions library.

Will test both when time permits and report findings.

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Kimberly Castleberry May 25, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Hey Tony that would be awesome! It’s likely that the Stop Autoplay is the same one ported over as that’s happening a lot more now. Please keep us posted and let us know which ones your favorite!
Kimberly

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KEYWORD ONLY NAME REMOVED May 27, 2011 at 12:14 am

i got this problem few months ago but at that time i installed a new fresh copy of FF. but thanks to you for sharing this information this will helps me in next time whenever i got any problem regarding auto playing audios and videos.

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Sire May 27, 2011 at 7:12 am

You know Kimberley, the simple fact that these plugins exist just goes to show that you’re not the only one that is pissed off by this particular problem, or the many other problems resolved by the plugin developers. I think most of us forget how fortunate we are that these hard working plugin guys offer their blood sweat and tears just so we have more enjoyable online experience.

My hats off to you guys, and my hat off to you for bringing our attention to another great FireFox extension.

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Jaden Daniels May 27, 2011 at 7:34 am

Kim,
Love the plugin. I used to have my Youtube channel setup to autoplay, because one of the leaders told me to. After going to different sites and realizing how much I didn’t like it, I changed that setting.
Jaden

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Steve May 27, 2011 at 11:46 am

Kim,

This is a great tip. When I go from site to site i often open 6-10 tabs and then go between them. I also often play music while doing this and the autoplay drives me batty.
This is one of those awesome plugins. Thanks for sharing it.

-S

PS: I have used “EasyComment” for months now. that is another one I love. ;)

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Wendy May 27, 2011 at 3:59 pm

This is a GREAT find! Each day I start sorting through links to find the stories I want and end up with 2 monitors filled with tabs. It never fails that there are MANY videos all playing at once. I normally don’t have my ear plugs in so the sound doesn’t bother me but it can really put a drag on opening more links.

I also listen to music when I am writing so yes, the click a follow up link and have some guy blasting in my ear can set me off. LOL!

Thanks for the Add On tip!

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John Gaydon May 28, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Hi Kim,

Great idea. Those videos o autoplay are often very annoying.

Going to make sure none of mine do that so everyone won’t click off the site before they discover the gold nuggets there!

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Lori Tisot May 30, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Hi Kim! I’ll definitely check out Stop Autoplay – I am currently using Flashblock – but it looks like Stop Autoplay is more comprehensive. I love that you have screenshots showing the exact settings. Will be checking out EasyComment, too. Great tips! Thanks so much.

Lori

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Sadie-Michaela Harris May 31, 2011 at 3:26 am

Kimberley, this is a great help! This is a post for bookmarking as useful for keeps!
Like you I can’t abide the auto-play videos that some people tend to favour using. On a similar level I really don’t like videos where people have elected to remove the controls completely. Or if they are visible you can move forward, by this I mean you can’t replay just a small section without running through the whole video again. Who has time for that? Not me that’s for sure, I find it rude and rather arrogant on the part of the video owner – it turns me off straight away!

Thanks for the share, have a good week :)

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Mandy Swift Your Online Marketing "Personal Trainer" May 31, 2011 at 9:36 am

Hi Kim,
You are Awesome Sauce (your phrase!) Isn’t it funny, everyone I know hates autoplay (I thought it was just me being olf fashioned!!) – it’s kind of like an invasion of your privacy isn’t it?? What I would love to know is where the thinking (and the stats) come from that say autoplay converts better, cos all the top internet marketers recommend and use it (Or maybe if someone did some research today they would find the tide had changed and auutoplay actually kills conversions – cos you are right, I close them immediately I hear them – like squashing flies!)
Great find, thanks. My only ‘problem’ is that whilst I love firfox for speed, I hate the fact that I can never get my ‘favourites’ tab showing like I do in IE – do you have a tutorial going on somewhere showing folks how to set up FF properly so that it has all your favourites?
One last question (I always have questions, have you noticed?!) – I thought I had heard/seen that f/b do not allow autoplay yet one of my friends has an autoplay welcome message on her fan page. (Actually, it’s just behind the ‘secrecy’ curtain, so when people click ‘like’ it starts playing immediately). Is that ok or should I warn her she is in danger of getting a slap??
Thanks as always for amazing content – you definitely hit at least 2 out of 3 ‘E’s for every post you write:)

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Bob July 22, 2011 at 6:35 am

Kim,

This is exactly what I’ve been looking for, however, the add-on has been removed.

Any ideas on what happened?

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Kimberly Castleberry July 23, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Bob, I’ve not had any luck tracking down what happened. I would suspect that the developer chose not to develop it for version 5 and took it out of the repository. I’m still looking for an equivalent!
Kim

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Joy August 23, 2011 at 11:15 am

Unfortunately, Stop Autoplay doesn’t work on Firefox 5.0. I’m just about ready to go back to 4.0.1 to get rid of the annoyance. I HATE having embedded media start without my express permission.

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Gary Valan August 24, 2011 at 2:17 am

Sadly the author has removed the plugin…”This add-on has been removed by its author.”

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Joy October 10, 2011 at 6:24 am

Stop Autoplay doesn’t work with any Firefox version past 4.0.1. There’s another plugin called TubeStop that will stop YouTube videos, but I need something that will stop audio as well.

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Joy October 10, 2011 at 7:59 am

Hey! I just found an update for the Stop Autoplay extenson. It’s on the author’s website and it WORKS for Firefox 7!

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b October 21, 2011 at 12:24 am

The addon has been removed by it’s author :(

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Kimberly Castleberry October 21, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Hey b, there was a reply by another commentor that says on the plugin author’s own page for the plugin that there is an updated version that is not in the firefox add-on repository yet. Hope that helps!
Kim

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Noel Addison October 26, 2011 at 2:28 am

I thinks most of us hate autoplay videos. It irritates me specially when I am doing something important the *pop!* “blah blah blah”. Thank God Firefox did something to stop this.

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JL November 4, 2011 at 5:58 am

Just to let you know there is still a version of Stop Autoplay (1.2.1, FF 3.x) available for download from Softpedia (There may be other versions out there, too):
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Internet/Internet-Applications-Addons/Mozilla-Extensions/Stop-Autoplay.shtml

Thanks so much for this post – I was going batty trying to find and stop autoplay audio and video in unopened tabs, like everyone else.

Also, for YouTube I use the Tweak Tube add-on, which allows lots of custom settings, including quality, preview, download, autoplay, and much more:
http://www.tweaktube.com/

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Kimberly Castleberry November 4, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Oh my! Thanks so much for the updated info JL! That’s incredibly helpful. I know lots of people have been missing the app. I look forward to having a look at tweak tube as well. Have a great weekend :)
Kim

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rahul November 13, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Autoplay’s are very annoying thats why i switch to chrome!

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Houston Nursing Schools December 23, 2011 at 1:29 pm

OMG my third post here, and I have to say I have fallen in LOVE with this blog !!
THIS post oh geeze !! What an annoyance to have autoplay vids, I sometimes have metered bandwidth and every time it takes a little chunk out of my allotment.
NOT to mention if it’s late at night and you forgot to turn your sound off and you are surfing .. *BAM* a loud, stupid vid pops up ugh..
this post makes me bookmark this site..

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Pastor Sherry January 14, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Oh, I sure don’t like these auto-play videos. They feel invasive, like they’ve intruded into my home without being invited. Glad to know there’s an option available to stop them!

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Pastor Sherry January 14, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Oops — says the add-on was removed by the author…

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Andrew February 3, 2012 at 10:16 am

Hey, found your site from Google. Unfortunately, this app has been removed by the author. Any other ideas?

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Tim D. May 25, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Kim, I think I love you, thank you so much for this post! I hate this more than ANYTHING else about the interwebs, most appreciative!

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Brendan June 15, 2012 at 6:52 am

Gawd yes. I hate this “we have to design readers so that writers can shove baloney down everyone’s unsuspecting throats” attitude which has been ascendant recently. Imagine if your book slapped you in the face whenever you tried to skip a chapter.
It’s like the html open in new window (target=”_blank”). If I want it open in a new window I’ll choose open in new window myself.
Ironically, one of the nicest things about flash was it wasn’t native so if I didn’t install it on my computer (I don’t – if it’s in flash, it’s probably not worth knowing about, and there’s youtube-dl.py for all the rest) I could ignore all the videos. Now Youtube et al have adopted open formats which are natively supported (bless their souls) I’m caught.

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Winston October 8, 2012 at 11:16 am

This plug-in is no longer available.

The function it provided SHOULD BE A STANDARD SELECTABLE FEATURE OF FIREFOX since tabbed browsing is significantly hampered by idiotic video and audio autoplays.

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Captain Kirk October 21, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Unfortunately, it’s been removed. Any other ideas? Very very unfortunate – even more so when I tried to submit this and was told I didn’t “include enough words” hahaha

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Kim Castleberry October 28, 2012 at 3:10 am

Sorry for the not-enough-words stuff. Gotta do everything in my power to keep spammers away! Unfortunately at the moment I’ve not found an alternative. One can simply run NoScript, but that’s such drastic overkill that it’s not really the same type of solution.
Kim

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PtiMouss November 2, 2012 at 8:28 am

try this :
type about:config in the URL
then define media.autoplay.enabled to false

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PtiMouss November 2, 2012 at 6:27 pm

moreover i forgot plugin.click_to_play : true
it could help

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TJMOOCH November 10, 2012 at 8:23 am

Actually, I followed JL’s link from 11/04/11 to Softpedia….
There’s a version 1.2.1 which says it’s compatible with FF up to 3.x.. but I installed it in the latest firefox & YAY – NO MORE AUTOPLAY!
Options appear to be the same as your screenshots above.
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Internet/Internet-Applications-Addons/Mozilla-Extensions/Stop-Autoplay.shtml

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Kim Castleberry November 10, 2012 at 6:34 pm

Awesome TJ! I saw that but did not know that it was still working with the latest version of FF, you’re the best!
Kim

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Teresa April 4, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Thanks so much! I get so frustrated hearing some damn video that I’m not interested in playing while I’m doing something else in some other tab. And I do the same thing as you; usually close it immediately! Thanks!

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