Chrome will make autoplay videos less annoying in 2018

Unless it thinks you're interested in watching them, that is.


Over the next few months, Chrome will gain abilities to minimize the impact of annoying autoplay videos until they no longer make you want to hurl your laptop across the room. Starting in January next year, the browser will no longer autoplay videos unless they're muted and don't have sound or you've shown interest in watching them. The feature will roll out with Chrome 64, though version 63 will also come with its own autoplay-busting feature: when it becomes available for download in October, it'll give you the ability to permanently mute whole websites.

Wondering what Chrome considers as "showing interest in autoplaying videos?" On mobile, it'll autoplay files on websites you've saved on your Home Screen. Chrome for desktop, on the other hand, will initiate autoplay if you typically play media on the website you're looking at. Google says the feature will "unify desktop and mobile web behavior" and that the changes "will give users greater control over media playing in their browser, while making it easier for publishers to implement autoplay where it benefits the user."

While the feature won't officially come out until January, the new autoplay policies will go live in Chrome 64 Beta in December. Google also promised to release a built-in ad blocker for Chrome in 2018, though that will likely roll out after the browser's new autoplay protocol goes live.