How To Stop Those Auto-Play Videos From Stealing Your Data

We all love scrolling through our online news, social media, pausing and browsing at posts that interest us, or watching video that captures our attention. But what about when your internet data is a precious commodity and the last thing you want is video’s auto-playing and eating into your metered data as you scroll past?

If you have nbn™ Sky Muster™ or the new Sky Muster™ Plus, then you know that metered data is very limited, and the last thing you want is background video stealing that from you.

In today’s techno-savvy world, the auto play video is a business strategy to suck you in and help you buy or try, and it’s proven to work, so video ads aren’t going away anytime soon. It’s clearly on just about every app, social media platform and some news channels have video embedded onto their sites to keep playing without you even knowing.

What does data actually cost you?

Depending on the quality of video your personal computer or smartphone is set to, will depend on how much data is used when any video plays.

The amount used comes down to the quality of data you are watching. There are varying degrees from 1080p HD (high definition) quality down to 240p SD (standard definition). The ‘p’ stands for ‘pixels’, and shows how many pixels per frame of video. So this means that the more pixels the clearer and more defined the picture or video will be.

Now if you don’t care too much about quality, you can set your video playback settings to a real low definition like SD, which may lower your data usage, but if you like your HD quality then there’s some things to consider. If you’re not sure how much difference there really is, check out this video that shows the different pixel quality – pixel quality.

To paint a picture of how much data you actually use for an hour of streaming video:

Low streaming video – 240p1 hour300MB
SD quality – 480p1 hour700MB
HD quality – 720p-1080p1 hour1-3GB

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Watching a 2 hour movie in HD quality is going to use up approximately 6GB of your monthly available data, and if you do this every night that could be all of your monthly data used on video, depending on your individual plan.

This gives you an idea of how much video auto-playing on your device or computer will use up in data. Below are a few ways to turn off those annoying auto-play videos, and get back your life, or at least your data!

How to turn off Auto-Play


Just about everyone has a Facebook account, and most people spend at least a few minutes everyday scrolling through news feed. You don’t want every ‘friend’s’ video playing every time you scroll, so here’s how to disarm the data bomb!

Go to the little drop down arrow at the top of your page and click on ‘Settings’ and then ‘Videos’. Facebook gives you the option of HD or SD for video settings, so when you actually want to watch a video you can choose what quality. Here you have the option to change the video quality and also turn off the ‘Auto-play’. This should also change the settings for all your devices logged in to Facebook, but check just in case it hasn’t.

To check the settings on your smartphone and with the updates Facebook has made, you have to dive deep into the settings to find video. Try the 3 bars at the bottom of your screen – settings & Privacy – Settings – (scroll way down) Videos & photos – Auto-play.

With so many apps and programs available to use and many that have video, the smartest way to deal with auto-play is to go to the settings of every regular app or website you regularly use and switch off auto-play.


LinkedIn, the popular business app, that mimics the look of Facebook and has become a valuable recruiting and networking tool for business, also auto plays a lot of video.

Here’s how to turn that off.
– Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
– Select Settings & Privacy from the dropdown.
– Under the Site preferences section of the Account tab, click Change next to Autoplay videos.
– Click the toggle to change the setting to No.
– Click Close.


For YouTube you can just quickly click the Autoplay button at the top right hand corner of the page. This will stop autoplay after watching a video.


Windows and Mac settings

If you want to stop all auto-play in its tracks, you can go to your computer’s settings and change the overall settings. But this may become annoying when you do want to watch a quick video, so changing individual apps and sites may be a better option.

Mac Settings

If you have a Mac, you can go to ‘Safari Preferences’ under Safari menu. Click on ‘Websites’ and ‘Auto-Play. Mac will let you change individual or frequently visited sites in the preferences options.

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Windows Settings

If you are a Windows user, go to your menu, click settings, then devices and switch AutoPlay to off.

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Google and News Channels

If you want to stop auto-play on a site you don’t regularly visit or a news site, this is how you can disable from the menu.

  • Right click in the menu bar
  • Click ‘Settings for This Website
  • Go down to ‘Auto-Play’ and click ‘Never Auto-Play’

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Beware of News Sites

Be careful of news sites who embed videos to automatically keep playing, even after you’ve scrolled away from the video.

You could be busy reading a whole article only to scroll back up and find the video was playing the whole time.

Sky Muster™ Plus

With the new announcement of Sky Muster™ Plus about to be launched, being able to plan your data usage in a better way is now going to be possible. But be aware that auto-play can still chew through your data even on the new Sky Muster™ Plus.

With two great improvements to the existing Sky Muster™, more unmetered data is a welcome relief for rural Australia:

  • More unmetered & unshaped data for essential services like email and software updates
  • Faster download speeds that can burst above 25/5mbps if application and network conditions allow

At Clear, we are excited about the improvements for rural and remote Australians, and want to help you manage your data in the best possible way.

If you would like to know more about Sky Muster™ Plus and the new plans available, visit our Sky Muster™ Plus page. – Sky Muster Plus.

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