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How to disable autoplay in Firefox

Websites change all the time as new technology allows them to do more and more. Early websites were basic compared to the ones we have now. Unfortunately, not all changes have been for the better. Videos are now common on a lot of websites and many of them autoplay with or without the audio. They’ve become an annoyance which is why browsers have begun to add a feature that will block it. As of its latest update, you can now disable autoplay in Firefox.

Disable autoplay in Firefox

Autoplay is not, as yet, disabled out of the box in Firefox 66.0.3. You need to change two preferences in Firefox to disable autoplay.

Open Firefox and in the URL bar, enter the following;

about:config

This will open the Firefox configuration page however, before that you will see a warning screen telling you to be careful and making changes will void your warranty. Accept the warning to get to the configuration page.

The configuration page has a search bar at the top. Use it to search for the following preference;

media.autoplay.default

Double-click it and enter 1 in the value box that opens. Next, look for the following preference (use the search bar).

media.autoplay.enabled.user-gestures-needed

Once you find it, double-click it to change its value from True to False. That should do the trick. To be on the safe side, close and reopen Firefox. Autoplay will now be disabled.

There’s a setting in the Firefox options page that can disable autoplay and if you have it enabled, chances are the media.autoplay.default preference is already set to 1. The option works for most videos but not for all which is why you need to change the value of the second preference mentioned earlier.

It’s possible that you changed the value of a preference called ‘media.autoplay.enabled’ a few updates ago and it helped disable autoplaying content however, that preference has been removed over the course of several Firefox updates. The preferences mentioned earlier are new ones that were added to replace it. There are a few other preferences that control media as well but as far as disabling autoplay in Firefox goes, the ones mentioned here will do the job.

Disabling autoplay has been a task left to add-ons and extensions for a long time. While they work great, they tend to drag down a browser’s performance. Firefox and its add-ons are actually better at memory management but Chrome has become something of a leech on a system’s resources so any features added by a browser are great.

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