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How to Disable Autoplay Videos on Facebook

Alyssa Bereznak
National Correspondent, Technology
April 16, 2014

In March, Facebook announced that it would soon allow video ads to automatically play in your News Feed. The new feature, which seems to do a lot for Facebook’s advertising clients and very little for its members, is slated to roll out in late April and has already begun to appear for many.

Here’s a guide to nipping it in the bud:

1. Log in to Facebook. Once you’re in and can see your News Feed, click on the arrow in the upper-right corner of the screen.

2. Select Settings in the drop-down menu.

3. On the left side of the page, there will be a list of sections. Select Videos at the very bottom.

4.  Oh, look. Facebook has enabled autoplay videos in your feed as a default. How thoughtful. Click the arrow next to the On button to change that.

You’d think that would take care of it, but you’d be wrong. As the fine print above tells us, Facebook just so happened to make your web settings for this feature completely separate from those of your mobile app. Just in case you like to see ads that automatically play in your phone but not on your PC. Its consideration is touching.

Turns out there’s no actual way you can shut off autoplay ads on your phone. This is probably because Facebook is betting big on mobile advertising and wants to profit from as many eyeballs (your eyeballs) as possible. I’ve reached out to Facebook to get its reason.

In the meantime, the best you can do is adjust your phone’s settings so your phone will autoplay advertisements only when it’s connected to WiFi, so that your data plan won’t take a hit. 

To do that in iOS, go to Settings,scroll down, and select Facebook.

Select Settings.

From there, select Auto-play on Wi-Fi only.

To change this setting on Android, open the Facebook app and tap the menu button at the bottom of your phone. You’ll see a tool icon labeled Settings. Tap it. 

From there you’ll see a screen labeled General Settings. Scroll down and check the box next to Auto-play videos on Wi-Fi only.

And there you have it, folks. It would be nice if Facebook made this whole thing a little easier, wouldn’t it? 

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