Google Chrome to start blocking autoplay videos in January 2018

Google Chrome to start blocking autoplay videos in January 2018

Finally, the next big update to Google's Chrome mobile and web browser will silence most of the autoplay videos on the internet. Only muted video and user "interest in the media" will be allowed by default.

Google is taking on the irritating trend of auto-playing Web videos with its Chrome browser. Starting in Chrome 64, which is currently earmarked for a January 2018 release, auto-play will only be allowed when the video in question is muted or when a “user has indicated an interest in the media.”

The latter applies if the site has been added to the home screen on mobile or if the user has frequently played media on the site on desktop. Google also says auto-play will be allowed if the user has “tapped or clicked somewhere on the site during the browsing session.”

“Chrome will be making auto-play more consistent with user expectations and will give users more control over audio,” writes Google in a blog post. “These changes will also unify desktop and mobile web behavior, making web media development more predictable across platforms and browsers.”

In addition, Google is adding a new site muting option to Chrome 63 (due for release in October), which allows users to completely disable audio for individual sites. The site muting option will persist between browsing sessions, allowing for some degree of user customization.

Aside from removing the annoyance of auto-playing videos (those that follow you down the page as you scroll are particularly evil), Chrome’s blocking tools will also help users consume less data and power on mobile devices.