Google has done us all a favor by asking Chrome to block autoplaying videos with sound. No longer will our ears be sodomized unexpectedly by obnoxious ads that we’ll never look at. There are some caveats, however.
Autoplaying videos are like door-to-door salesmen. They turn up when you aren’t expecting them. You didn’t ask to see them. It’s not easy to shut them up. Apple recognized this and it blocked autoplaying videos in Safari last year. Now Google is taking similar steps.
Chrome kills autoplaying videos with sound
The latest update to Chrome, version 66, blocks autoplaying videos with sound. It doesn’t just keep them quiet so that they cannot spew noise that makes you jump out of your skin during a late-night surf session; it completely prevents them from playing automatically.
This helps protect your ears — and saves you data when you’re browsing on a mobile device, Google says. It should also have a positive impact on performance, since those videos won’t need to load in the background. But there are some exceptions.
Not every video is blocked
Chrome will continue to show autoplaying videos without sound, and it will allow autoplaying videos with sound if it thinks you’re interested in them. It determines this based on whether you typically watch videos on a certain site, or if you’ve added a certain site to your home screen.
Chrome 66 also brings some welcome security improvements, including some enhancements for fighting potential Spectre attacks. In addition, Google has revoked its trust of Symantec certificates after it was discovered that they do not follow industry standards.
On Android and iOS, users will also find the option to export saved passwords so that they can be used inside other apps.
You can download Chrome 66 on Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android now.