Firefox Finally Blocks Autoplay Videos

John Lister's picture

Firefox is to stop websites from playing videos automatically when a user visits a page. By default, autoplay will only be allowed if the sound is muted.

The move by developers Mozilla is designed to tackle the problem of unwanted noise when somebody is simply expecting to read an article. This is a particular problem with sites that carry video ads or news sites that automatically play a video report, even if it isn't related to the story the user was expecting to read.

The new default takes effect in version 66 of Firefox, which is getting a public release this week. The videos will still be playable but only if the user actively clicks on a play button that will appear on or by the video.

Manual Override Allows Autoplay

Users can manually add sites so that they'll always play videos automatically.

To do this, the user must click the circled lower-case "i" that appears on the left-hand side of the address bar. This will bring up a menu with information about the site, including a section marked "Permissions." This section will include an option to switch Autoplay sound from Block to Allow, which will affect that site only.

Mozilla has made a special exception to this set up for video streaming services such as Netflix which are designed to automatically play a new video when the current one ends - for example, when watching a TV series. (Source:

Once the user clicks play to start the first video playing, subsequent ones will continue to play automatically. This only applies to the currently visited site, so users will need to manually enable autoplay for the site if they don't want to keep clicking on the play button when they return.

Scrolling Gets Smoother

The autoplay feature is one of several functionality changes in the new version of Firefox. Another is a tweak to scrolling, which means users won't be unexpectedly sent back to the start of a page (losing their place in an article) when a slow image or ad finishes loading.

Searching within a page using the address bar is also getting an improvement. Typing a percentage sign at the start of a search phrase (in the address bar) already extends the search to cover all open tabs rather than just the current page. From now on, the search will also extend to any tabs open on another device if the user has chosen to sync their Firefox account. (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Do you find autoplay videos annoying? Is Mozilla right to block them by default? Would you prefer the Google Chrome approach where autoplay is only blocked on sites the user is visiting for the first time?

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Dennis Faas's picture

Sites that autoplay videos (with sound) alongside written content are extremely annoying. is notoriously bad for this. Their current layout eats up 1/3 of the page for autoplaying videos next to their content which may or may not have anything to do with the content. is even worse with video ads that play automatically as soon as you scroll down the page. No thanks!

lgitschlag_3159's picture

Yes, Good riddance. None should play unless I say so. I keep my speaker sound off and seldom turn it on.

KNZamtel_12047's picture

"Firefox is to stop websites from playing videos automatically when a user visits a page. By default, autoplay will only be allowed if the sound is muted."

How do i also disable autoplay when sound is muted? I prefer to keep sound muted.

David's picture

This should have been done ages ago. If I go to a news site to read a story I don't need the video of their reporter telling me the same information. Worse yet is when the original video finishes playing, completely unrelated videos autoplay afterwards. It's time to end the insanity.