Firefox users finally get option to block autoplay video, audio

Goodbye loud, annoying videos you didn't want in the first place.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Steven Musil
2 min read

Bye bye, autoplay video.

Stephen Shankland/CNET

Firefox users are finally getting the option to block the video and audio that frequently begins playing automatically when you visit websites, something already offered on Apple's Safari and Google's Chrome browsers.

Watch this: Firefox Nightly banishes video autoplays

The option was added over the weekend to Firefox Nightly, the latest test version of Mozilla's popular web browser, asking users by default whether they want to allow a website to autoplay video with sound. Users also have the option to go into their preferences and block all sites' autoplay ability if they don't want to deal with it for each site they visit.

The autoplay blocking is an example of how browsers are getting more assertive on behalf of users faced with pushy websites. The result is a web that should be less annoying to most users -- but also one where advertising-funded sites have a harder time with their businesses.

The autoplay blocking option works only in the Nightly test version of Firefox for now, but it's scheduled to arrive in the main version of the browser in October. The update also includes greater promotion of tracking protection, which blocks website publishers and advertisers from running software that follows your online behavior.

With the release of Chrome 66 in April, Google clamped down on lots of websites that tried to play video and audio automatically. Apple announced a similar feature for Apple's Safari browser in June 2017 for MacOS High Sierra.

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