There’s good news for Google Chrome users — the latest version of the world’s most popular web browser has arrived with a new feature that prevents websites from automatically playing sound. That means that pre-loaded videos, and other content that involves sound, won’t blare out unless you specifically choose to enable it to.
Aside from being a major annoyance, autoplay videos consume more data and can slow down the general browsing experience, which is particularly important when on a mobile device.
The update is due to ship to users in the coming days. The feature has been in development for Chrome since last year, but there are some exceptions.
Autoplay will only be allowed when the media itself doesn’t include sound, or when the user has indicated that they are interested in the media. In that latter case, interest is determined by a number of factors. Those include if the user has frequently played the media on the site before when visiting from a desktop browser, if they’ve tapped or clicked on the screen during the browsing session or if they’ve added the site to their home screen on mobile.
VentureBeat, which first reported the arrival of the latest version of Chrome, found that results on YouTube were mixed — with some videos appearing to autoplay — but that does seem like the point of navigating to the world’s largest video website.
Nonetheless, Chrome also includes more granular controls that allow a user to permanently block autoplay videos on a particular website domain. So anyone could prevent YouTube.com or any other website from playing audio on launch if they wish to.