How To Disable AutoPlay Videos in the Facebook Mobile App


UPDATE:8/29/14 Facebook now provides instructions on how to disable videos on your mobile device. https://www.facebook.com/help/633446180035470.

If you’ve been scrolling through the Facebook App on your iPhone or Android phone recently you may have noticed that videos autoplay silently within the newsfeed. Not everyone will see this ‘feature’ at this time as it’s not available to all users. I was apparently ‘lucky’ enough to be part of a test group for this ‘feature’. I found it very annoying and it raised a major concern. The autoplay of videos will eat up my data plan if I’m not on wifi. Aside from being completely annoying, it opens the door for video ads. Thankfully the videos did play silently unless I clicked on them to view them in ‘full screen’.

After doing some research, I found the official release as well as an article from a reputable source. The facebook announcement is here: An Easier Way to Watch Video and an article about this from the Huffington Post is here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/13/facebook-videos_n_3916427.html

What intrigued me the most was the article from the Huffington post stating that users would be able to turn off autoplay. Sign me up. I don’t want autoplay. I couldn’t find a place with instructions so I had to do some digging on my own.

If you scroll through the newsfeed and find a video that autoplays, simply click in the upper right corner as though you’re going to report the video as spam. Within the options presented will be Disable AutoPlay. This feature was recently removed as an option in Instagram so I can’t help but think autoplaying videos will be forced on us at some point.

Disable Auotplay Facebook App

UPDATE 11/8/2013: I’m getting feedback that the Disable option has been taken away. If you want to leave some feedback for Facebook to tell them how annoyed you are with the autoplay ‘feature’, you can leave feedback for them here: https://www.facebook.com/help/127103474099499

UPDATE 11/9/2013: I was using Facebook via the mobile app and a video autoplayed. I attempted to disable it and the option was not available. I’ve now uninstalled the mobile app.

UPDATE 11/11/2013: A user commented that you can sort of disable Autoplay in iOS 7 Phone Settings–>Facebook–>Settings–>Auto-play videos on WiFi only. By definition this means videos could still autoplay while on your mobile connection. I’ve reinstalled the app and am going to play with this setting. I don’t expect the outcome to be able to disable videos entirely, but something may be better than nothing. If the videos continue to autoplay while I’m connected via my mobile connection, I’ll ditch the app once again.

 

 

iOS 7 Settings Icon iOS 7 Settings Icon
Facebook Settings  Scroll down to Facebook Application
Facebook Settings 2  Click “Settings”
Auto-Play videos on WiFi only Turn Auto Play Off

 

UPDATE 11/13/2013: With the Auto-play videos on WiFi only disabled, videos autoplay on Wifi AND mobile. With that option turned on, videos only autoplay on Wifi. Obviously browsing Facebook is faster on Wifi but turning on that option and turning off Wifi will disable video autoplay. It is unfortunate that we’re not given the option to disable autoplay altogether.

UPDATE 12/7/2013: This article has had over 5,700 views. Apparently autoplay videos aren’t very popular with a lot of users if they’re seeking out ways to disable them.

UPDATE 12/8/2013: This article has had over 7,000 views. I can only hope each viewer is giving feedback to Facebook about disliking autoplay videos.

UPDATE 12/13/13: I received notification that Facebook mobile for iPad has an update available. The added feature is videos now play automatically in the news feed. LOL! I won’t be installing that update.
update

UPDATE 3/12/2014:Go to this link to give Facebook feedback specifically about autoplay videos. https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/1387634944819628?rdrhc. Also there’s a plugin for FireFox and Chrome that lets you disable autoplay videos. I’ve been using FB Purity for a few weeks now and it’s perfect?

UPDATE:5/27/14 The latest Facebook iPhone app (ver 10) allows for autoplay videos to be disabled. On the iPhone, go to Settings–>Facebook–>Settings and select Off for AutoPlay Videos. Don’t let Facebook use up unnecessary amounts of your mobile data. If you want to disable autoplay videos on your desktop, you’ll need to be using Firefox or Chrome as your browser and install the FBPurity Extension. It’s free….but donate…it’s worth it.

UPDATE:3/12/2014 Go to this link to give Facebook feedback specifically about autoplay videos. https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/1387634944819628?rdrhc


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Brian Gilbert

Brian Gilbert serves as the Director of Business Development for Thomason Management, Inc. Thomason Management, Inc manages premium domain portfolios including Innovation HQ, Inc., who owns DUIAttorney.com, WhatIsMyIP.com, Earth.com, MortgageCalculator.com, Grants.com, PromDresses.com, Unemployment.com plus many more premium names.

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Comments

  1. Terri says

    I appreciate this instruction sooooo much!! I will decide which videos I want to watch on fb, thank you very much!!

    • Brian Gilbert says

      Hi Terri, I’m glad you found the article useful. I fear that one day we won’t be able to disable this autoplay ‘feature’. We’ll wait and see.

  2. Dessmar says

    Thank u so much for figuring this out it was driving my husband crazy n he was also worried about his data. They really need to take that into concideration when doing changes like this or set it up where it only does it while ur on wifi.

    • Brian Gilbert says

      Glad you found the article useful Dessmar. My fear is that Facebook will do as they did with Instagram and remove the option to disable video autoplay. Only time will tell.

    • Brian Gilbert says

      That sucks. As soon as videos start to autoplay again in my mobile app and I can’t disable them, I’ll uninstall the app.

    • Brian Gilbert says

      That sucks Wendy! The only way Facebook will turn off autoplay is if enough users stop using their app. That’s the only way they’ll get the hint.

    • Brian Gilbert says

      The only choice it seems we have is to stop using their App. Once enough users stop using the app, maybe they’ll understand.

  3. Graham says

    They moved the autoplay disable function to Settings, where arguably it better belongs… But they only allow you to select on/off for “Auto-play videos on WiFi only” — not permitting you to turn off autoplay entirely.

  4. Lori says

    Just sent them this message:

    Hate, hate, hate autoplay!!! I especially hate that you took away my option to stop it!!! This should be a choice. Facebook is going downhill – choosing whose posts I get to see, timeline keeps changing my feed from most recent to top stories, privacy is a joke, and now autoplay of videos eating my usage and slowing my feed. I think it may be time to just delete the app altogether.

    • Brian Gilbert says

      I wonder how many negative comments it takes for Facebook to give the users what they want? I hope others are complaining about this ‘feature’ as well.

      • Keith says

        The thing you have to remember is that you are not the user/customer. You are the product that Facebook sells to its real customers. That’s the nature of “free” services.

        • Brian Gilbert says

          That’s very true Keith, the users are the product. So when the users start using Facebook less and less because of these added ‘features’, they’ll be forced to change because they want us on their site as much as possible. I’ve uninstalled the mobile app as there is no way now to disable the autoplay videos which started becoming annoying. I know my single site usage won’t make a difference but if enough people don’t like it, stats will dip and so will revenue.

  5. Derek Wade says

    In addition to nasty feedback and these steps, I am also marking ever single autoplay video as spam, regardless who posts it.

  6. Susan says

    Ugh, I have never reached my data plan limit until those videos started automatically running…hopefully using the “auto-play on WiFi only” on will help. Makes me mad!

  7. John says

    You’re only able to disable it on your phone. If you’re on the computer there isn’t an option to disable them at all.

    • BWS says

      Which is a big problem if you’re using an older, clunkier computer where the auto-play chews up valuable memory and CPU time. I use multiple tabs in my browser, because reasons– Chrome is the only browser that lets me do that neatly, and this totally kills any advantage I’d otherwise gain.

      Facebook, you’re so much better when you’re innovating and doing your own thing than when you’re trying to chase other social networks for market share. Stick to what you’ve done well all along and you’ll be fine. Believe me, you’re in no danger of becoming the next MySpace anytime soon.

  8. Kathryn says

    There’s no use. I just upgraded my phone to the iPhone 5S and have never had this auto-play crap until now. I’ve gone in settings a dozen times and unchecked the “auto-play videos on wifi only” option, and EVERY TIME I get on Facebook after unchecking the box, all videos continue to auto-play, and when I go back to settings, it is mysteriously turned back on. It’s so frustrating >:(

  9. Laura says

    I am livid, and grumpy, and have left them one-star feedback for videos telling them I want a way to turn off video auto-play or else for them to remove videos entirely. Now it’s on my phone and on my web version, and on the web version it is not kind to the limited resources of my computer. Plus, if I _do_ want to see the video, I want to click it and _see and hear it_ not pick it up partway through an auto-play.

    I use FB to connect with friends and family, so completely giving it up would stink, but that really is the treatment it deserves, if I can’t just make all the videos stop auto-playing. :(

  10. someone somewhere says

    I haven’t tested this thoroughly but when the video starts playing (on wifi or otherwise) touch the video to open in full screen mode and immediately pause it. Then, go back and the video doesn’t continue to autoplay. It shows the play icon in the middle of the video. I have had success with this on my Galaxy S3.

  11. Chris says

    Just received my cell phone and cable broadband bills, both went over the data plan limits, needless to say I am pissed off. Just posted a facebook status

    Dear Facebook – TURN OFF AUTOPLAY VIDEOS! – You do not pay for my data plans and your new “video auto play” feature has caused me to go over my data plan and incur extra charges. Either turn it off or I will cancel my Facebook account.

    • Brian Gilbert says

      Unfortunately, I’m not sure they’ll listen. I’ve uninstalled the app from my phone. The mobile site is not as usable as the app, but I don’t get the autoplay videos on the mobile site. Because the mobile site is not as usable, I’m spending less time on Facebook. If more users spend less time on the site or cancel their accounts because of the autoplay videos Facebook will have no choice but to listen. Strength in numbers! : )

  12. Johnny says

    I have also sent complaints to facebook. I may not have a phone but I have an incredibly slow internet connection, so even a single video playing is taxing. When I scroll past three or four my internet shuts down on me completely.

    Also told them I would delete my account if not fixed.

  13. Sean says

    I get everyone being upset with the data plan portion, I’m a lucky one who is still grandfathered in to unlimited data. My big issue is when there is actually a video I want to watch, or if I’m trying to pull something up on YouTube, and my phone tells me, “unable to this video: please close other video before trying to play.” When to my knowledge I have nothing else playing.

  14. Daniel martinez says

    I take this as a sure sign that Facebook is the next Myspace. They are slowly but surely alienating their user base

  15. williamos Cl says

    for desktop now there is an option as addon: F.B. Purity the new version appears o have an option to disable autoplay,

  16. Laura says

    Facebook… This is a bad move for those of us who have children. At least make it an option to TURN OFF ‘Auto-play Video’! Some videos people post are NOT for children’s eyes and ears! Many moms and dads sit at the computer with their child sitting on their lap or right next to them doing homework. This is NOT acceptable! Give me the OPTION to shut the auto-play off!

  17. Tim Jefferson says

    Hi, i found a great solution for stopping the Autoplay videos, its called “FB Purity”. Its a browser extension that lets you fix a multitude of facebook annoyances. To disable autoplay just install the extension, its safe and free, then open the Settings page, go to the “Video Stories” section of the options screen and tick the “Disable Autoplay” option.

    • Tim Jefferson says

      BTW this solution is for the Desktop version of Facebook not the mobile version, thought some people might be interested…

  18. Rica Jones says

    Another unhappy Facebook user. No solution to stop video autoplay on desktops. I sent in my complaint, but don’t really think Facebook will change anything. Just like Timeline- they figured we’d get used to it….

  19. Kerrie says

    Beyond the annoyance and data issues with the auto-play “feature,” this is an accessibility issue. Just like people with vestibular disorders (and even those prone to motion sickness) felt ill when using iOS 7 prior to the update in accessibility settings, the unexpected and peripheral motion of video auto-play can also make us dizzy, nauseated and woozy. Focusing on the accessibility issues with iOS spurred Apple to make a change, perhaps it will work for Facebook as well?

  20. bogger jones says

    i finally found the fix!!! i closed my facebook account. i got tired of all hidden things they kept throwing in..so…SCREW EM.. same thing i said to yahoo when they wouldn’t let me sign into my e-mail account that i had had for over 7 years because i wouldn’t give my phone number. screw em. i’m not playing anymore

  21. Eric Andersen says

    http://www.fbpurity.com/install.htm

    I installed this for my Facebook on laptop…..lots of options, mainly you can turn off autoplay videos, does nothing for mobile app though, only thing i found is the disabling Wi-Fi trick……. Not sure if it’ll work for any of you but it puts a line directly below update status box allowing you to manipulate what comes up on your Facebook on laptop…..Firefox | Google Chrome | Safari | Opera

  22. David Lang says

    FACEBOOK: You MUST allow a “Disable Auto-Play” option for Your MEMBERS, people that PAY FOR BANDWIDTH! This is OUTRIGHT THEFT, costing me MONEY OUT OF MY POCKET!
    Is it going to be necessary to take legal action TO GET YOU TO STOP STEALING MY BANDWIDTH?
    PLEASE LET ME, AND OTHERS KNOW!

  23. says

    We were forced to do away with Facebook altogether. We live in the country and purchase a Wi-Fi data package through a satellite provider. We are only allowed 10 gig per month and thanks to auto-play, we used 11.52 gigs in a week. This would cost us a fortune since we’re charged $15 per gig over 10. Is FB going to pay for all these overages?

  24. anjuli says

    Yup, NO way to disable autoplay videos. SOOOOO bloody annoying. I really hope FB realizes it and gives us the option to disable auto play videos. For me it is not a matter of data usage. I just find it simply annoying when I am browsing my newsfeed on my iPhone. Videos I really don’t care for start playing automatically. Dammit FB.

  25. Tom says

    The disable auto play in settings option except when on wifi doesn’t help me at all. I tether my iPad. Even if I’m using Bluetooth instead of wifi to tether to my phone the videos still autoplay. This is just super annoying. I’m going to go over my data on my phone this month and this is unacceptable to me. I’ll drop FB if they don’t resolve this.

  26. Don says

    I am on a desktop but have to have satellite internet with a 10Gb bandwidth per month and would like to turn it off also. I find it really annoying and will limit my use of FB and maybe not use it at all.

  27. Jen says

    I’m using the Samsung android version of the App, and unfortunately I am forced to put up with autoplay all the time – despite choosing the ‘only autoplay on Wifi’ option provided to me. Even with Wifi switched off on my device! Not happy…

  28. Lisa says

    i agree with all thats been said and will also add that it is particularly bad when the material is offensive, and obscene and you already hid this person from your feed yet somehow they continue to show up! :(

  29. Lisa says

    i have some relatively good news!!!! mobile app users download friendly for facebook!!!! it does NOT autoplay videos. it is more webpage format that the fb app but it at least is an alternative. :/

  30. Brian Connelly says

    This is absolute garbage. Facebook cares little for the users because we don’t pay to use it. All the companies buying ad space off of them drive this crap. If I didn’t have so many old friends that I keep in touch with through it I would tell Zuckerberg that I hope his yacht sinks and delete my profile.

  31. Valerie says

    I am a paid, professional church musician and I often discreetly scroll Facebook on my iPhone during the sermon. Today, a video not only began playing but at full volume even through I leave the sound on my phone OFF! This is absolutely unacceptable. Shame on you, Facebook, for not listening to your users. No company that wants to stay in the game can afford this attitude!

    • Brian Gilbert says

      Thanks for this tip Thomas. I’ve now re-installed the app and can confirm that from the iPhone, you can disable autoplay videos.

  32. says

    Hi Brian – any chance you can tell me how to also remove this from happening on my Verizon Samsung? Out of the blue my data is getting eaten up.

    • Brian Gilbert says

      Thanks to Thomas (previous comment) I have installed version 10 of the app and I’m happy to report you can disable autoplay. I’m using an iPhone so the settings may be a bit different for other smartphones. I went under Settings (for the phone), scrolled down and chose Facebook. I then chose Settings and found Auto-Play. The options under Auto-play are On, Wi-fi only, Off. I selected Off. :)

  33. Julian says

    As of today, on the most current version of the Facebook app on iPhone, I have the current options in Settings>Facebook>Settings>Auto-play> *On *Wi-fi only *Off . I’ve set it to off and see how well it works. I have an “unlimited data plan” BUT, I still get my speeds slowed after I reach a certain point each month. I can usually make it without getting slowed down, but since I’ve been using Facebook more, I get slowed down the last few days of my billing period now. Hopefully the extra data s saved on these videos will put me back in balance with my data plan each month.

  34. says

    Hi I have a prob with watching videos on fb fine on wifi but on 3G it keeps asking me to check my connection that’s on ip5s but I used to be able to could you shed any light on this would be great thanks Stuart

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