How To Disable AutoPlay Videos in the Facebook Mobile App

by on October 20, 2013

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

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 IconFacebook SettingsFacebook Settings 2Auto-Play videos on WiFi only

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?

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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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{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

Terri October 27, 2013 at 8:25 pm

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

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Brian Gilbert October 28, 2013 at 10:48 am

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.

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Dessmar November 4, 2013 at 6:40 am

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.

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Brian Gilbert November 4, 2013 at 12:58 pm

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.

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Andrew C. November 8, 2013 at 2:07 am

Aaaannnnnnnnddd it’s gone. My mobile no longer has the disable autoplay option. Good call.

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Brian Gilbert November 8, 2013 at 9:42 am

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.

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Wendy O'Connell November 8, 2013 at 2:58 pm

They took the disable away!! They are spending MY data. Time to hang out somewhere else.

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Brian Gilbert November 8, 2013 at 3:26 pm

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.

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Marlon November 8, 2013 at 2:58 pm

It sucks last week i was able to disable it now disable autoplay is no where to find.Whats nxt step maybe

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Brian Gilbert November 8, 2013 at 3:27 pm

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

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Brian Gilbert November 8, 2013 at 3:29 pm

I’ve found a link where feedback can be given. https://www.facebook.com/help/127103474099499

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wilkin November 8, 2013 at 6:25 pm

they did take away the button it should be my choice to click on a video i want to see or not. its annoying.

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Brian Gilbert November 10, 2013 at 12:14 pm

I’m not able to disable autoplay now either. I’ve uninstalled the mobile app from my phone. They’re not going to eat my data. :)

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Sara November 11, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Unbelievable! I won’t have an app on my phone that uses data at will. I have uninstalled as well and I won’t reinstall it.

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Brian Gilbert November 12, 2013 at 4:06 pm

I agree Sara!

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Graham November 11, 2013 at 12:29 am

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.

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Brian Gilbert November 12, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Good find Graham. Thanks for sharing! I’m going to re-install the app and play with this setting to see if/when videos still autoplay.

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PG February 3, 2014 at 3:24 pm

Where in settings for mobile app can you make this change?

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Lori November 11, 2013 at 2:39 pm

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.

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Brian Gilbert November 12, 2013 at 4:05 pm

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.

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Keith December 7, 2013 at 3:07 am

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.

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Brian Gilbert December 7, 2013 at 10:48 am

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.

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Derek Wade December 8, 2013 at 12:36 am

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

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Brian Gilbert December 8, 2013 at 9:36 am

LOL! Not a bad idea Derek.

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Susan December 13, 2013 at 7:39 pm

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!

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John December 14, 2013 at 10:24 pm

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.

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BWS January 16, 2014 at 4:50 pm

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.

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Kathryn December 14, 2013 at 11:48 pm

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 >:(

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Laura December 16, 2013 at 10:36 pm

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. :(

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someone somewhere December 17, 2013 at 12:25 am

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.

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Chris December 17, 2013 at 10:33 am

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.

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Brian Gilbert December 17, 2013 at 11:14 am

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! : )

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Johnny December 17, 2013 at 9:52 pm

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.

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Sean December 18, 2013 at 6:04 pm

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.

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Daniel martinez December 21, 2013 at 3:27 pm

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

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williamos Cl December 22, 2013 at 5:02 pm

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

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Laura December 24, 2013 at 1:34 am

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!

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ray December 25, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Closing my Facebook account as I do not want to jeep wasting my data plan on videos I do not want to see

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Tim Jefferson December 26, 2013 at 4:12 am

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.

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Tim Jefferson December 26, 2013 at 4:13 am

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

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Dave December 26, 2013 at 8:46 am

THANK YOU!!!! I HATE THIS FEATURE!

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Rica Jones December 27, 2013 at 7:27 am

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….

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Kerrie December 28, 2013 at 4:06 pm

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?

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bogger jones January 3, 2014 at 11:28 pm

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

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Eric Andersen January 5, 2014 at 11:36 am

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

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David Lang January 11, 2014 at 8:06 am

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!

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Tom Hatfield January 13, 2014 at 10:47 am

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?

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M February 12, 2014 at 9:08 pm

Some of us not in the U.S. pay for data on wifi just like you do on the cell network! So annoying.

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anjuli February 14, 2014 at 9:38 pm

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.

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Tom February 15, 2014 at 12:57 pm

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.

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Don February 23, 2014 at 9:35 am

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.

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Brian Gilbert March 12, 2014 at 11:07 am

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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Jen March 29, 2014 at 10:44 am

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…

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Lisa April 1, 2014 at 10:25 pm

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! :(

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Lisa April 1, 2014 at 10:33 pm

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. :/

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