CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Christmas Gift Guide
Mobile

Facebook kills silent video: Here's how to mute 'em again

But will video creators still add text so you can understand them?

Bad news for silent video lovers -- sound is back.

Facebook

Why are autoplaying Facebook videos suddenly screaming at you? Weren't they supposed to be silent -- and thus easy to consume in public places without subjecting you to embarassment?

No more: Facebook has just decided to start autoplaying audio whenever you scroll past an autoplaying video in your News Feed, with an update rolling out today. If that's not your cup of tea, though, it's pretty easy to turn it off -- and perhaps, voice your objection in the process.

Update: The Facebook video updates doesn't seem to be live yet for many of us, in case you're wondering why you don't see it.

The simplest way

If you simply set your phone to silent, that will mute the audio right away. Of course, you'll have to unsilence your phone if you actually do want audio for a specific video, which used to be as easy as tapping on the video in question in Facebook.

Disable autoplaying audio on Android

But you can also disable it in the app -- which may come with the added benefit of letting Facebook know that you aren't interested in auto audio. After it gets the new update, simply:

  • Open the Facebook app
  • Tap the three horizontal line button in the upper-right corner of the screen (the one that's just three lines, not the three lines next to a head)
  • Scroll way, way, down to Help and Settings, and tap App Settings
  • Tap the little slider to switch Videos in News Feed Start With Sound to the off position

Disable autoplaying audio on iPhone or iPad

  • Open the Facebook app
  • Tap the three horizontal line button in the lower-right corner of the screen (the one that's just three lines, not the three lines next to a head you see in the top-right corner)
  • Scroll a ways down to Settings.
  • Tap Settings > Account Settings > Sound
  • Tap the little slider to switch Videos in News Feed Start With Sound to the off position

That's it! Just don't assume that video content creators will necessarily keep moving to provide easy-to-read text for many videos, now that Facebook has sent this clear signal that audio is OK.

Oh, by the way: Facebook is coming to your TV.

Disclosure: Sean's wife works for Facebook as a business-to-business video production coordinator.