Argh! Auto play! It's a day like any other day and you are on Facebook, checking out your news feed, trying to find out what's new with friends and family and wham-o, several videos auto play as they scroll through your browser window. Well, you don't have to take that and we're going to tell you how to shut it off. Auto play is the bane of online video. It's like people constantly forcing pictures of their babies on you, people knocking on your door to save your soul, downright annoying. But unlike the others, there is a quick and easy way to stop those videos on Facebook from auto playing.
Ever since Facebook introduced video and video ads auto play has been the plan of attack. But Facebook has also provided the tools to prevent that all from occurring. It will need to be done on every device you use to access Facebook because it's a browser-based setting not an account setting. You didn't think they were going to make it that easy did you?
Facebook Video Settings - Standard Browser
First off, head to the settings, which you can find from the down arrow in the upper right corner of the Facebook interface in a standard web browser. That will pull up the categorized list of settings including at the very bottom, Videos. That category currently has a single setting, whether or not videos will auto play. Flip it from on to off.
Facebook Video Settings - Android App
On the Android app the location of any video settings is slightly different. The three lines (without the head) in the upper right corner open the app interface or context menu and scrolling down that list will get you to a Settings list.
From there choose App Settings which then gives you a list of specific things you can change including Auto-play videos on Wi-Fi only.
That means you can turn it off so that they don't auto play when you are on a mobile data network, consuming your bandwidth, but they will, still auto-play when connected to Wi-Fi. That's the best we are going to get right now from Facebook for this.
I hear you out there scratching your heads and saying to your monitors, "But Chris, where are the video settings on iOS?"
Well folks, there are none... not in the Facebook app anyway. They are in the iOS Settings app.
Facebook Video Settings - iOS
Since iOS has a far different type of walled garden of access, some major settings for apps are in the main Settings app, including Facebook. Opening the app and then scrolling down you will find Facebook listed on the left. Tapping that will open the app specific settings including Auto-play on Wi-Fi only. Not the most descriptive setting but at this point, we know what it is. Simply turn that on and you are all set.
So while you cannot fully turn off auto-play on the mobile devices, you can at least limit it to when only on Wi-Fi networks. Then again, if you have a Wi-Fi only iPad like I do, it's a moot point.
H/T to ghacks.