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Few things are more annoying than runaway videos on your devices thanks to Facebook autoplay. You can be mindlessly scrolling through your timeline one minute, and the next, some rando in a chicken suit starts dancing on your screen. No one wants that.
Thankfully, this system, along with audio accompaniment, is coming to mobile devices too!
On Facebook’s desktop website, you’ll need to navigate to the top right of the site’s headline bar and click on the downward-pointing arrow. Scroll down until you see “Settings”. Tap on it.
You’ll be presented with a number of options in a left-hand pane. The option marked as “Video” is what you want to select. It should be below “Support Inbox”.
Once “Video Settings” is open, you’ll see four distinct settings, including “Video Default Quality” and “Always Show Captions”. You can change any one of those to do your bidding, but to disable autoplay videos, change “Auto-Play Videos” from default to off.
Rather obvious there, I know.
If you’re logged in, you can simply head on over to this link directly.
This breakdown applies for users on all operating systems and browsers that supports Facebook’s full desktop version.
If you’re running the Facebook Android app, you can also switch off autoplay videos immediately.
Open the app (this being the Facebook app proper, not Facebook Lite), and tap on the three-line icon in the right-hand side of the screen. It should be below the Messenger icon, and the Facebook Chat icon, but alongside the Notifications icon.
Facebook autoplay will also include audio alongside video in the future, which will really annoy those in libraries
A screen will appear detailing your account name, pages you manage and your Instagram profile (if it’s linked). Scroll down until you get to the “Help and Settings” section. Tap on “App Settings”.
Here, you can disable sound in the app completely, and a number of other settings, but we’re most interested in “Autoplay”. Tap it, and select “Never Autoplay Videos”.
An easier way to use Facebook sans autoplay on mobile is to download and install Facebook Lite. Although it’s more streamlined for low-cost Android devices, it doesn’t come with the added annoyance of video autoplay.
You can also use the basic experience — that is, Facebook without video and audio — through Vodacom’s Facebook Flex service.
Thankfully, Facebook outlines a similar process for iOS users.
You’ll need to again tap the three-line icon in the right of the app’s screen, and scroll down to “Settings”. Unlike Android, you’ll need to find the “Video” option, tap it, and head over to “Autoplay” from there. You then have the option of enabling it only for WiFi, or disabling it completely.
If our guide is confusing, you can have a look at Facebook’s actual set of guidelines here.