Chrome Finally Mutes Autoplay Videos by Default—Here’s How to Make Sure It Works

By Patrick Lucas Austin on at

Well, would you look at that. Google Chrome is finally getting its act together, at least when it comes to all those annoying autoplay videos.

The latest release of the web browser, Chrome 66, mutes autoplay videos and unmutes them if you’re the kind of maniac who wants it to do such a thing.

You’ll still see autoplay videos, but you won’t hear them unless you have a habit of clicking on them (or if they’re audio-free). The auto-unmute is based on whether you’ve engaged with autoplay videos on that particular site in the past (measured by Google’s Media Engagement Index tool), or have that site saved to your home screen on your mobile device.

Screenshot: Google

That means videos on YouTube will probably autoplay unless you otherwise forbid it, but your average autoplay video will be as quiet as the grave.

Want to ensure you never hear a damn autoplay video for as long as you’re on God’s green earth? You can keep your Media Engagement Index low by avoiding watching autoplay video for more than seven seconds or keeping the video size smaller than 200x140 pixels in your browser. You can see how short your attention span is when it comes to autoplay videos by going to chrome://media-engagement/ in your address bar.

If this all sounds familiar, it’s because Google’s been teasing us with muted autoplay video support for months. In Chrome 64, the feature was included as a user-selected option in the URL bar, letting Chrome users decide whether or not they want to hear any audio on a site at all. Making it a more automatic and seamless feature is definitely a plus, but I’m hoping Google and its Engagement Index don’t get the wrong idea and start blasting ads for laptops while I’m in a library.


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