Ever get annoyed when YouTube automatically loads and plays a video right after the page loads? Well, if your answer is a YES, you are not alone. Aside that it can be irritating, this autoplay feature sometimes doesn\’t really serve the viewer\’s agenda. This particularly happens when one just wants to view the comments section or is loading too many videos in different tabs that it would be a wreck to hear all the audios playing at once. Thankfully, coders have devised ways to prevent videos in YouTube from outright loading via extensions or add-ons and tweaks in browser settings, any of which do the magic. This article enumerates the working methods to disable YouTube\’s autoplay in the two most commonly used browsers, Firefox and Chrome.
With the latest version of Mozilla Firefox –22.0 , workarounds for the autoplay feature is limited. In fact, only one plug-in remains functional and this is SmartVideo for YouTube 0.977. It is developed by Ashish and is tested on the latest Firefox update.
Aside from preventing or allowing automatic video loading, this add-on provides smart buffer configuration for slow connections (automatically calculated by the add-on), customization of buffer allocation (user assigned), and other playback preferences. SmartVideo covers both embedded (Flash) and HTML5 videos in YouTube and in Facebook.
After installation, to disable the autoplay feature, click on SmartVideo\’s logo located somewhere in the address bar area, or hit the Firefox ribbon and go to the Add-ons (Manager) menu. Enable the add-on and press the Options button. A pop-up window will appear as shown below. Just tick on the Save Bandwidth; Do not initialize video until I click checkbox under the Buffering Options, and you are good to go, without those annoying automatic video playing.
With the SmartVideo add-on enabled, the Global Preferences option will appear upon hovering on the video. Further customization is possible, as seen in the image below, depending on one\’s preference and purpose.
Being the most used internet browser of 2012, and so far of 2013 (based on Browser Statistics provided by w3schools), Google Chrome has been praised for its sleek design and bundled efficient features that come along its installation. One of the beloved options natively available in Chrome is Click To Play. This Content Setting can be accessed via typing chrome://settings/content in the address bar. A window will prompt, as below, and in order to stop autoplay, click on the Click to play option circle in the Plug-ins section.
When done, flash-based YouTube videos must be clicked first before it will load, as seen in the screenshot below. With this mentioned, this tweak is thus only applicable for videos and systems that use Adobe Flash Player to render videos. Lately, YouTube\’s HTML 5 trial option has been offered to its subscribers, although some report that even without joining the test run, some videos were loaded using the HTML5 option. Hence, an extension is required and this is YouTube Options.
Like its Firefox counterpart, YouTube Options is an immensely customizable extension. Aside from its main functionality, it can disable pre-rol and in-video ads, annotations, pre-buffering, and a lot more. It supports HTML5 “Feather” beta, or just plain HTML5, as well as embedded flash videos in YouTube.
Just simply click on the Add to Chrome button and the extension shall be downloaded. A confirmation dialogue will pop and be sure to allow the operation for the installation to continue.
Numerous options can be modified based on one\’s tastes. To access these configuration, click on the Customize and control Google Chrome button on the right most corner of the address bar area. Select Tools and then Extensions. YouTube Options should be listed and then tick on the Enable checkbox corresponding to it, and then on the Options link, right along the Allow in incognito option.
Settings for YouTube Options will appear and in order to disable autoplay, click on Show advanced settings… hyperlink. Additional configuration will be displayed including the Autoplay section. Here, tick on the Disable auto-play choice and uncheck Auto-play embedded videos.
When the aforementioned settings are applied, YouTube videos, both rendered using Adobe Flash Player and HTML5 will not automatically load. This extension also alters the user interface of YouTube, thus, the Layout tab should be explored and configured based on the user\’s preference.
The workarounds mentioned in this tutorial were tested by the author herself, and thus are assured to be working in the latest versions of both browsers. Happy viewing!