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The bad thing about Flash video was that it required a third-party plugin to play the content. The good thing was I could select which content to play; using the click-to-play feature in Firefox and Chrome.

But now that HTML5 video is getting popular, I see a lot of ads popping into view again. They are not only a distraction, they hog resources on my computer and make the fans spin full speed.

Is there a way to disable HTML5 audio/video content by default, and enable it only selectively?

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“HTML5” is a buzzword. Please specify what you want to disable. –  kinokijuf Nov 7 '13 at 9:01

7 Answers 7

up vote 11 down vote accepted

In Firefox you can set media.autoplay.enabled to false in about:config though as of now this may not be sufficient for every case. An extension like NoScript (default settings) could be used to complement the missing functionality or even otherwise used by itself without the about:config setting. In NoScript it's also possible to extend the functionality to whitelisted sites (NoScript Options > Whitelist) via NoScript Options > Embeddings: Apply these restrictions ...

about:config Entries

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This works, thanks! I luckily use NoScript already. Still looking for a setting in Chrome. –  HRJ Nov 8 '13 at 3:10
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No problem :) Regarding Chrome, this thread (though not related to Chrome settings) could be helpful. –  vWil Nov 8 '13 at 15:34
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Firefox 34.0 sure autoplays HTML5 video as if Minitrue itself had ordered it to in Jan 2015 (case of: no Flash installed, NoScript installed with "Forbid Other Plugins" set to 'true' and with Firefox "about:config - media.autoplay.enabled" = false) and there is as yet no way to disable that. Oh well. Bug 659285 mentioned in the response above seems to indicate the FF developers are in some kind of quandary about how to control invocations of play(). I hope this gets solved. –  David Tonhofer Jan 11 at 7:35

For Chrome/Chromium, there is HTTP Switchboard (available in Chrome store or github). There is a column in the matrix which can be selectively be turned on or off, which turn on/off HTML5 video/audio/SVG/fonts -- for whatever hostnames you wish.

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Link to Chrome Webstore: chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/http-switchboard/… –  joeytwiddle Aug 5 '14 at 20:56

For Chrome I am satisfied with Stop HTML5 Video Autoplay
Does not prevent loading but good enough to prevent media from auto playing

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Extension deleted by author... –  user11153 Jun 15 '14 at 11:55
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I have emailed the author, he said it was removed by Google and now it has been restored –  Costin Gușă Jun 19 '14 at 10:27

According to a blogpost, to disable HTML5 and autoplay of videos in Mozilla Firefox is to force them to use Flash version.

Type about:config in the Mozilla URL field, make a new boolean with type media.html5video.blocked and give it value of true.

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In Firefox 36.0.4 open about:config and search for media.webm.enabled set this to false and the html5 videos will not play anymore. ;)

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Nothing worked for me.. tried everything but html5 still sneaked in.

Ultimately.. installed opera 28, installed extension "Disable Youtube™ HTML5 Player" and it's good now.

hope this helps.

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http://superuser.com/a/406044/105108
This post helped me to disable ogv video. Setting media.ogg.enabled to false in about:config worked for me.

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