How to stop videos in your Facebook news feed from auto-playing

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This past week I was talking to my friend Sue. She uses Facebook sometimes, and she was asking about videos that show up on her Facebook news feed. As you scroll down looking at all the things that get posted, you might notice that if someone has posted a video, it just starts automatically playing when you see it. You can turn off Facebook video auto-play if you want.

Facebook video


There are a couple of reasons why you might want to turn off video auto-play (there are probably others, but these two come to mind pretty quickly):

1. Data usage factor. Obviously, a high percentage of people use Facebook on their phone. If you do that, and you’re not connected to a wifi signal, you’re probably using up your monthly allotment of data on your cell phone plan. That can get expensive. In Sue’s case, she and her husband are only in this area temporarily. So rather than sign up for a full internet connection, they use a mobile hotspot just so they can get online and check email. But when they go on Facebook and start seeing all those videos start playing on their own, that means data is being downloaded and counts toward their monthly limit. Sue doesn’t care about seeing those videos, but if the videos start playing on their own, she’s paying for them.

2. Annoyance factor. Sometimes when I’m on Facebook and I’m trying to read something, there’s another post on the screen that has one of those videos. There’s no sound of course (unless I deliberately hit “Play” to watch it) but the movement can be pretty distracting. I’m trying to read a friend’s legitimate status update but an inch away from that text is a kitten chasing a laser pointer dot, even though I didn’t ask for it to start playing.

The good news is, you can turn that off. If you disable autoplay, you’ll just see a still frame of the video. If you want to watch it, just mouse over it and click play.

Here’s how to disable Facebook video autoplay on your computer:

1. In Facebook, look up in the top right corner. Click on the dropdown menu at the right:

Facebook video


2. In the new menu that is displayed, click on Settings:

Facebook video


3. In the next window, click on “Videos” over on the left side:

Facebook videos


4. In the “Video Settings” window, click the dropdown menu next to “Auto-Play videos” and choose “Off”:

Facebook videos



Here’s how to disable Facebook video autoplay on your Android phone:

1. Open the Facebook app, click on the phone’s “Menu” button, and then click on “Settings”:

Facebook videos on Android


2. In the Settings screen, click on “Videos play automatically” and choose “Off”:

Facebook videos on Android



Here’s how to disable Facebook video autoplay on your iPad (iPhone is similar I think):

1. Go to the “Settings” page and scroll down, then click on Facebook

2. On the right side, click the word “Settings”, then click “Auto-play”

3. In the Auto-play settings window, choose “Off”

Facebook video IOS


(can’t verify this for sure on the iPhone, since I don’t own one to test it – maybe an iPhone user could verify in the comments below)

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