Many sites now have auto-playing or automatically streaming videos: embedded in news pages, down side bars promoting other content, and some sites even have massive honking-great purely decorative videos in the background of a search page (e.g. AirBnB and Lastminute).

As well as the annoyance factor, these are a problem for me because I'm usually on a metered connection, and these things can waste hundreds of valuable MBs in seconds, on something I didn't even want to watch in the first place. There's almost always no way to stop the video downloading other than closing the page.

Is there any way I can prevent videos from loading at all in Chrome? I've already blocked Flash using Chrome's Content Settings for "Plug-ins". What I want is, a way such that any time Chrome sees a <video> or <audio>, it just shows something like a grey box and doesn't even touch the linked video content. Maybe a "click to load video" button would be a nice feature, but it's not necessary.

I thought there would be an extension for this, but it seems there isn't:

  • The promisingly-named Video Blocker actually only removes specified Youtube channels and suggested videos on the Youtube page.
  • Disable HTML5 Autoplay sounds promising, but doesn't work as expected. I have it installed, set to its strongest "disable" setting, yet videos still load and play.
  • Every other extension I can find is limited to blocking only videos in ads, or only Youtube videos, or only Facebook videos, or some combination.

To be clear, I want to stop the videos being streamed/loaded as well as stopping auto-play.

I've seen How to block HTML5 videos system wide but unfortunately the answer only addresses Firefox and IE.

It seems odd that there's apparently no simple option to block video, given that Chromes's "Content settings" has a simple, easy option to block images:

enter image description here

I want something that works like disabling images, but for videos (and I'd like to be able to keep images).

I've tried AdBlock Plus based on Sanny's suggestion but haven't yet found a way to make it do what I want.


5 Answers 5


How about HTML Content Blocker, it is different than HTML 5 Autoplay. [https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/html-content-blocker-js-c/nobnkgabkebhhlgfddbemmefjnjnahoe?hl=en]

In conjunction with your current Flash blocking it should solve your problem.

  • there is also a flash blocker extension: [chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/flashcontrol/… Sep 8, 2016 at 18:24
  • Looks promising, no reviews though. Will try to test it tomorrow. Sep 8, 2016 at 20:37
  • 1
    So far, so good. Using this set to block "Media" and "Object", several videos that got through Adblock Plus have been successfully blocked completely by this, no wasted data. Not yet encountered any videos that sneaked through the net Jan 19, 2017 at 14:24
  • 2
    I've tried it, and there are only five options: which kind of content to block. With the 'media' option selected, it prevents auto-loading and auto-playing of video. Unfortunately, it doesn't allow manual playing. So if you want to watch a video, you have to go to the extension and deselect 'media'. Not gonna work for me. Tested on this site: thekitchn.com/… May 20, 2017 at 2:15
  • 1
    This one seems to work right. For videos initially it tells the webpage that the source is unsupported, OK, and then it lets the user manually load the clip. In some cases as Kit Johnson mentions the player is flimsy so the addon will block it without being able to make it play on demand.
    – JasonXA
    Dec 23, 2017 at 11:59

First of all, what you ask may not completely be achieved as you please. If the case is that you want no video playing on websites because you are on metered connections, and regardless of using Google Chrome, I believe this can only be possible with Firefox and NoScript

But using NoScript may effect your browsing experience, since it blocks many websites' functions.

Try to install Tampermonkey and search for a script that changes the 'preload' attribute of the <video> tag from 'auto' to 'none'. However, changing this attribute would only stop auto-playing instead of blocking the element entirely, as NoScript does, which means Chrome may still buffer some small parts yet without playing them (BTW, Firefox has a feature to stop auto-play videos).

If someone wonders whether NoScript is available for Chrome, then it is not, unfortunately. But there are fork projects of NoScript for Chrome.

You can use AdBlockPlus to hide elements you don't prefer by user specific filters. Note you can use this option if you have few websites to block videos and after you discover the <dev> tags that hold them, e.g. the filter ##div.hero__background hides the background video on airbnb.com. Otherwise, you can hide every video tag on every website you visit by using the filter ##video.


I still say that you won't get something that block every video on every website. So AdBlockPlus sometimes fail to block with the filter ##video. However, if you visit a website frequently and you know it has videos, use ContentBlockHelper that will identify common elements, like images and video, as icons sorted by their URL sources. Block videos by clicking on the video icon as indicated below, and repeat with the other URL sources (on airbnb.com, videos may not load by default so the screenshot below may differ):

enter image description here

I repeat, this is not a global solution. But it does give you some control on websites you visit frequently until you switch to Firefox (honestly I'm not a fan of Firefox but it's the only browser that should provide a satisfying solution for you).

  • I've tried installing AdBlock Plus, not sure exactly what you're suggesting, do you mean just a filter saying ##video? Feb 17, 2016 at 12:56
  • In fact I was talking about ##div.class and ##div#id that hold the <video> tags. Adding ##video will cut out the tag globally. You may prefer it over scanning the page for class and id. And then if you want to watch HTML5 players that use video like in YouTube, you can just disable ADB on such sites.
    – Sanny
    Feb 17, 2016 at 13:38
  • @user568458 e.g. if you search airbnb.com homepage, adding the filter ##div.hero__background hides the background videos. And thus you keep on searching which sounds boring :)
    – Sanny
    Feb 17, 2016 at 13:48
  • I want something 100% global, blocking all videos, everywhere, ever, even if for example I click a YouTube link. Then, I can manually disable it if I did decide to go mad and blow my week's data allowance on one video Feb 17, 2016 at 13:55
  • 1
    Yeah, this doesn't work. Videos will still download.
    – Ant6n
    Aug 5, 2016 at 13:04

While none of the solutions on the 'net seemed to work for those increasingly annoying news sites that throw media in your face, I was overjoyed that chrome #61 finally allows us to control this - though it is a lab and will unceremoniously disappear on us one day.

Use this flag: Autoplay policy - worked like a charm on usatoday.com !!


Update: Doesn't work on some sites; and since switching to Vivaldi, this switch is not honored at all, so I use uBlock Origin instead, which seems to work well for most sites, except it doesn't block that darn subscribe to newsletter pop-ups which 75% of sites throw at your face. I hate HTML5 for the increased powers it has given these sites, instead of us.

  • Tried it -- didn't work at all. Two youtube videos started playing immediately over each other on relaunch of chrome (Version 70.0.3538.77)
    – Andreas
    Oct 25, 2018 at 20:29

As of 2019 August this appears to work generally in Chrome

  • use the ublock origin extension

  • open settings and then in the [My filters] tab enter the following blocking of video elements on all domains with a single exception for YouTube.



In my case I also disable sound in Chrome with exceptions (for YouTube, NPR, etc) in the settings. This may in some way alter my experience (happy altered experiences everyone).


You can change chrome settings to disable video autoplay.

  • Open chrome://settings/content
  • Scroll down to Plugins
  • select “Let me choose when to run plugin content”
  • You can also check "Manage Exceptions" to see if you whitelisted a site before
  • Click Done.

However, to disable video auto play on Facebook, you can log in into your Facebook account and visit https://www.facebook.com/settings/?tab=videos Under video settings, you can choose to turn Auto-Play settings On or Off as required.

  • 4
    That only affects Flash videos; also, I'd already mentioned I'd done that in the question Feb 18, 2016 at 6:40
  • There is no "Plugins" section on my Chrome on settings/content.
    – Matt
    Jun 15, 2017 at 4:32

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