Living on the (New) Edge: Media Auto-Play

Posted on April 9, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Edge, Windows 10 with 13 Comments

Sites that autoplay video suck. The new Edge can only help a little at the moment

Classic Edge allows users to block all web-based automatically playing media. This isn’t possible with the new Edge, at least not yet. But there is at least a workaround, and it appears that Microsoft will more fully address this issue in the future.

If you’re familiar with classic Edge, you know that you can control whether websites can auto-play audio or video globally via the browser’s settings interface (Settings and more > Settings > Advanced > Media autoplay). This is useful on annoying sites like ZDNet and CNET that trigger video playback with audio on their article pages.

This option is not available in the new Edge, at least not yet. But because it is based on Chromium, the new Edge supports the same content-blocking functionality as does Google Chrome. And that means that you can prevent sites from playing audio on a site-by-site basis. This won’t stop auto-play videos from playing. But it will prevent that annoying blast of audio.

To do this, navigate to a website that auto-plays video. Then, click the Site information box at the left of the address bar.

Select Sound and then Mute. This will disable auto-play audio and the audio in auto-play videos across that site.

I’ll be writing more about the edge://flags interface soon, but autoplay does make an appearance there.

From what I can tell, however, it doesn’t yet work. There’s also an empty Settings page at edge://settings/content/sound that may eventually turn into something. Together, these interfaces suggest to me that Microsoft plans to duplicate the media auto-play configuration capabilities in classic Edge at some point. And that will be a happy day, indeed.

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Comments (13)

13 responses to “Living on the (New) Edge: Media Auto-Play”

  1. kshsystems

    i have noticed that even with the current Edge, some sites have code that tries to get around the autoplay block repeatedly trying to autoplay, where edge stops playback after 1/2 second. Sometimes they succeed and playback happens anyway

  2. dontbe evil

    waiting for people (that never used Edge), that now will complain about this in 3..2..1..

  3. simont

    So far the stopping autoplay if the one function I miss from Firefox. Otherwise I like the Chredge beta.

  4. Todd Northrop

    Really impressed with the initial beta release. Obviously some things are missing, but I could easily use this as my every day browser. Finally, Edge favorites and menus can be properly used with a mouse.

  5. gregsedwards

    Best Buy ads load 4x faster and 2x larger than ever before. ?

  6. Stooks

    Safari is hands down the best at blocking auto play of any media. Also it has an option to block cross site tracking as well.

    Google will NEVER give you these features in their version of Chromium. Hopefully Microsoft will.

  7. anthonye1778

    That tech websites still utilize autoplaying videos on their websites just boggles the mind. They MUST be aware of how unpopular such a practice is, so why do they still do it? Views and ad monetization, I imagine. But C|Net is a CBS publication. Quite why they think they need the extra pennies from autoplaying videos is beyond me. It's a horrible, disruptive practice and needs to stop.

    • mattbg

      In reply to AnthonyE1778:

      Agree - C|Net stands out to me as being an extreme offender. I never go to C|Net intentionally because of it, and I almost always know when I've gone there by accident because they're the only mainstream site I sometimes land on that does this kind of thing, which Edge (my primary browser) always lets pass.

  8. ChristopherCollins

    There is a Chrome extension that will stop this for now. It’s autoplayblocker and it works pretty well.

  9. JMarco

    New Edge-Developer edition does not work with Netflix. Attempting to open any netflix video gets "Error H7355" as response which has no explanation on Netflix support page (I assume new Edge gets its own error message)

  10. Lordbaal

    This way sucks. Like when I'm on Yahoo, some videos I want to see, and some I don't.

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