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Stop Videos Playing Automatically And Prevent Injury By Cat

One of my pet annoyances is YouTube and other embedded videos playing automatically in Firefox and Chrome. Pet annoyances in that it disturbs the cat too. Worse still, is when multiple videos play at the same time. I have found solutions to put control back into your hands so that you choose when videos start playing.

When I come across something interesting, while browsing, I open new background tabs from links on webpages,  so that I can continue reading the page I am on and go to the link pages later. When those pages contain embedded videos and start playing together the noise not only annoys me but those around me, especially if I have my sound turned on high from a faint audio stream that I had previously listened to.

Even worse is when videos wake our cat, who sleeps close to my desk. She then takes a flying leap up to her favorite waking resting spot: my partner’s shoulder while he is sitting at his PC. If she misses, his shrieks accompany the video, as she slides down his chest, digging in her 20 sharp weapons, as she unwillingly heads for the floor. If he is typing and she cannot get up there easily she will plant herself squarely in front of his monitor.

cat not disturbed by video playing automatically

Our Burmese Cat, Pearl

In the interests of our sanity and that of the cat I researched for methods to stop videos playing automatically and to my relief found fixes that work in Firefox and Chrome. Both involve changing settings in your browser itself rather than using scripts or extensions. The extensions that were available for Firefox no longer work because of browser upgrades.



1. Load the url: about:config?filter=plugins.click_to_play in Firefox. You will be presented with the following message:

Stop automatic playing of videos in Firefox warning

Firefox warning – click Ill be careful I promise

Promise to be careful. You are only changing one setting here so you do not have to worry about upsetting anything else.

2. Right click on plugins.click_to_play and then click on Toggle. This will change the Value field to true:

Stop auto play YouTube and embedded videos in Firefox

If on a later date you want to change the setting back to auto-play, make a note of the url above so that you can easily go back to it. I use One Note for all of my notes and reminders as explained in my prior post. You may prefer Evernote, emailing yourself a reminder, or creating a document in Word or Notepad and saving it to your PC.


Load the url chrome://chrome/settings/content in the address bar of your Chrome browser. Scroll down in the pop-up that appears until you see the Plug-Ins preferences and choose the Click to play option.

Stop auto-play of YouTube and embedded videos in Google Chrome

Stop video auto-play in Chrome

Other Options

If you only wish to prevent YouTube videos from auto-playing, there are options for Chrome using scripts. There are no working Firefox extensions that do the task at the moment.

YouTube Options for Google Chrome – from the Google Webstore.

YousableTubeFix for Chrome – from userscripts.org

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I am Sue Bride, a Professional Blogger, Web Developer and Internet Marketer from the Mornington Peninsula, Australia. Here I talk about tools and resources for Blogging, Social Media, Networking, Wordpress, SEO, Images and Marketing. I create Wordpress sites for charity and small business.
Categories Featured, Tutorials


  1. Posted January 3, 2013 at | Permalink

    I’m so glad that the automatic playing of cheesey music on websites isn’t in the epidemic proportions is was a decade or so back. Unfortunately some people still haven’t learned that it’s the fastest way to help me decide to never revisit a website.
    Rodney Olsen recently posted…What were we looking for in 2012?My Profile

  2. Posted January 3, 2013 at | Permalink

    It is so handy bieng able to stop autoplay videos, especially on safelists i find. The admins wont stop them, even tho there own rules are u can not. So this is a handy feature, thanks babe.

  3. Posted January 3, 2013 at | Permalink

    Hi Rodney, it is really good to see you here -a good reminder that I must have a good catch up on our own online content.

    I spent a lot of time on YouTube before Christmas looking for content for an online Advent Calendar/blog I do. Opening new tabs to check out a video meant that I sometimes had multiple playing at once. What a cacophony. So much online training and even blog posts are using videos now which causes the same problem.

    I agree it is great that there is not background music on website as there used to be.

  4. Posted January 3, 2013 at | Permalink

    Affliate marketing sites are the main offenders in that so many of them have auto play videos. I may be old fashioned but I much prefer to read than listen. It is so much quicker and easier to take notes for later reference. There is usually so much extraneous padding in videos that I would prefer not to listen to.

  5. Posted January 10, 2013 at | Permalink

    That happened to me just today Sue. I visited a site and it started right up. Then I added the comment and it started again. Then I clicked on a share button and it did it again. I was so sick of hearing that guy talk…

    Thanks for sharing this cool little trick. It worked easily for me on Chrome but I got nothing on FireFox. That’s okay, I mostly use Chrome.

    Your poor cat… I’m sorry but I had to laugh. I’m sure your partner doesn’t think it’s very funny but someone on the other side sure does.

    Adrienne recently posted…New Rules for Facebook In 2013My Profile

    • Posted January 15, 2013 at | Permalink

      I am pleased that this was useful for you, at least in Chrome. I had no problems implementing the fix for Firefox but will have a look to see why it may not have worked for you and see if there are any other solutions. I will let you know if I find anything. As it is not only this that causes the cat to leap to safety on D’s shoulder he is used to it and makes sure that the cat’s claws are trimmed often :-)

  6. Posted January 11, 2013 at | Permalink

    Thanks Sue. Yes, auto play can certainly be annoying at times. I’ve changed the setting in Chrome per your instructions. I’ll be interested to see how this affects other plugins.
    Steve Vernon recently posted…How to Profit from the Exploding Application IndustryMy Profile

    • Posted January 15, 2013 at | Permalink

      Hi Steve, please do let me know if there is an affect on other plugins. I have not come across any although I use Firefox more than Chrome.

  7. Posted January 19, 2013 at | Permalink

    I too have encountered some pages that have videos that play automatically and really hate it. Thanks for these tips.

  8. Posted January 25, 2013 at | Permalink

    Finally something that will wake my Maverick :-) He is an aging, overweight main coon, who insists on sleeping in the most inappropriate places. My printer was rendered unusable after it became an improvised cat bed for the winter months. Cat hair and sensitive electronics….not a good mix!

    Annoying vids have not been a problem for myself or Maverick, as I mainly use the headset which is permanently plugged in, thus bypassing the desk speakers. If I find a page grabs my attention via the immediate text message, I may go to the trouble of grabbing the headphones and listening to the video, otherwise I don’t hear it. Best I keep it that way. As the saying goes…let sleeping dogs (and cats!) lie :-)

  9. Posted April 28, 2013 at | Permalink

    Very good tips, will try them on my Firefox. Nothing annoys my surfing experience than autoplay vidoes. I want to read, not watch or listen videos. When I want, there’s YouTube for that.
    Sandro F. recently posted…San Francisco – Da lunedi’ (1977)My Profile

  10. Diane
    Posted May 1, 2013 at | Permalink

    I tried your fix on firefox today. It worked perfectly. Thanks sooo much.

  11. Posted June 21, 2013 at | Permalink

    Squidoo have just changed their video modules and every time I looked at an article the videos all played over each other. No one on their forum could help me so I went googling and found your info. Which has worked a treat on chrome. Thank you very much 😉

  12. truong quoc te
    Posted July 24, 2013 at | Permalink

    Thanks Sue. Yes, auto play can certainly be annoying at times. I’ve changed the setting in Chrome per your instructions. I’ll be interested to see how this affects other plugins.

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