How to mute videos, prevent preloading with the latest Instagram update

A recent Instagram update provides a method for users to save some on their data plan, and silence videos in their timeline.

Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
2 min read

Jason Cipriani/CNET

On Thursday, Instagram released a what appeared to be a rather mundane update to its Android and iOS apps. Reading the release notes you'd think the update only addressed various bugs. The company later announced by a tweet from the Instagram account, it was revealed the update also included new controls for video playback in your timeline. While the update was announced for both Android and iOS at the same time, the Android update has yet to hit the Google Play Store.

When Instagram first launched it's video feature a switch was included in the settings to prevent videos from automatically playing when browsing your timeline.

With the update this week, that switch is no longer present, having been replaced by two new options. You can find either of these options by tapping on the profile tab, followed by the settings icon in the top-right corner of the screen, where the settings are bundled under the Video section.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

The first is a setting that will mute all videos on your behalf, or base the audio playback on the current sound profile settings on your device. So if you have the mute switch set to silence on your iPhone, audio will not play when the video starts rolling. Android users only have the option to enable or disable sound by default.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

The second setting gives you a chance to save some on your data plan by preventing Instagram from preloading videos when you're not connected to a Wi-Fi network.

It appears videos will now autoplay no matter what, but you're able to control whether or not audio will be included, as well as how fast any videos in your timeline will be ready to play. When a video is muted and it begins playing, you'll see a small speaker icon displayed in the top-right corner, which you can tap on to unmute the video.