Autoplaying videos are, without a doubt, one of the most annoying things about the internet. Whether they’re ads playing in the sidebar, or related content a website presumes you’ll want to watch, autoplaying videos are bad, unnecessary, and unwelcome.
The one thing worse than a standard autoplaying video is an autoplaying video with sound. You can be quietly browsing the web when sound suddenly comes blasting out of your speakers. Thankfully, with Chrome 66, Google is acting to end this annoyance.
Chrome 66 Comes to the Rescue
Chrome 66, the latest version of Google’s ever-popular web browser, mutes autoplaying videos with sound by default. There is a caveat, but this is a huge step forward for everyone who has ever searched through their tabs looking for the culprit.
The big caveat to Chrome’s ability to mute autoplaying videos by default is that some videos will be automatically unmuted based on your previous engagement with certain sites. So, if you regularly watch videos on YouTube they won’t be muted by default.
Times I've wanted something to autoplay:
Times I've avoided sites cause they always use autoplay video:
— Falcom Brand Ambassador (@mrfeelswildride) April 12, 2018
This is all based on Google’s Media Engagement Index, which tracks the number of visits and playbacks for each individual domain. You can see your own Media Engagement Index by typing chrome://media-engagement/ into your address bar.
Still, even if your previous history with some sites means videos will autoplay with sound, you still have the option of manually muting them. Just right-click to the left of a URL, click “Site settings”, and scroll down until you see the Sound option.
Google Keeps Improving Chrome
Google Chrome’s ability to mute autoplaying videos by default wasn’t totally unexpected. In January 2018, Google released Chrome 64, which let users mute the sites responsible for autoplaying videos. Chrome 66 just goes one step further.
If you’re a fan of Google Chrome, you should check out the essential Google Chrome FAQ, our easy guide to Google Chrome, and/or our list of the best Google Chrome extensions. Just don’t hate us too much if a video starts autoplaying on one of those links.
Image Credit: Steve Baker/Flickr