+ Tuesday January 28th, 2020

If you’re like me and spend a bit of time browsing the Internet to get your daily fix of news, then you’ll know all about auto-play media and what a pain in the ass it is. Open a news story, and a video starts playing. Scroll down a story that doesn’t look like it’s got an auto-play video, and all of a sudden, there’s an auto play video!

Some Australian news sites (read: Sydney Morning Herald and News.com.au) are absolute bandits for this, and it’s all in a drive to have you consume more of their content. Video views are just one metric that can be sold to advertisers, so the more they shove down your throat, the better.

YouTube, sadly, has been following this same path. It’s been auto-playing videos on the Home tab for a little while now, but the ‘feature’ is now expanding to the subscription tab too. At least they don’t automatically play back with sound, but the auto-play feature is annoying, especially so on the subscriptions tab when its videos you might actually want to watch.

Why? Well, if you do actually want to watch it, chances are you’ll want to watch with sound. Click on the video, and it’ll resume – with sound – from where the auto-play left off, so you’ll have to manually wind back to the start.

Fortunately, there is a way to turn this ‘feature’ off. Pop into YouTube settings, under General, and look for “Muted playback in feeds” and turn it off. This will stop these videos on your home tab but also on subscriptions (and anywhere else Google decides to enable it later).

Or you can leave it on … if you’re in the mood for punishment.

Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free

Chris Rowland   Managing Editor

Chris Rowland

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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Daniel Narbett
Daniel Narbett

Hmm, I don’t have a YouTube ‘muted playback’ setting on either of my Galaxy Tab S4 or S8+ (both with latest updates). I’m totally with you on the annoying-ness! Do you have that setting in the apps, or is it desktop thing?

And do other ppl have a ‘muted playback’ option?

Joe User
Joe User

Nope, the setting doesn’t exist on desktop either.

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