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Why Isn’t Video Auto Play Working?

Auto play for videos is a feature that is restricted by many browsers and device makers, so you may run into issues with it.

Why is Auto Play Often Blocked?

Here are reasons why auto play is often blocked:

  1. Avoid surprise sounds: The people who make Chrome, Firefox, Safari and other browsers really want to prevent videos from auto-playing with sound. Who wants to open a website and immediately be be confronted with a loud video that they can’t disable? For this reason, most browsers allow either sound or auto play, but not both.
  2. Save data. Many cell phone companies will set their devices to automatically ignore auto play to save data.
  3. Privacy: Videos from YouTube and Vimeo will have tracking and analytics. The cell phone companies are under pressure from government regulations to increase the privacy of their users, and so they want users to approve actions prior to actions being tracked. So for this reason also, video auto play is often removed by default. At the very least, users may have to accept cookies before the video plays.  

Possible Workarounds for Auto Play

As you can see, it’s difficult to rely on the auto play feature for your videos. Here are some tips to improve the likelihood that auto play does work:

  • Enable the “Show controls” option in MetaSlider. This will add the “Play” button and other controls to your video and will allow your viewers to manage their video experience.
  • Enable the “Mute video” option in MetaSlider. This makes it significantly more likely that auto play will be allowed.
  • Use small videos. Many browsers and operating systems will not load videos if they are too large as it uses too much data.
  • Use the Flexslider slideshows. Check to see that you’re using the “FlexSlider” option for your slideshow. The “Responsive Slides” option does support video. However, due to the limitations of Responsive Slides, Auto Play is automatically disabled when you add a video to a slideshow. Responsive Slides is a very small slideshow library, but it doesn’t offer a way to pause the slideshow once a video starts playing. Due to this, auto play is disabled automatically when a video is present in the slideshow. This ensures the slideshow doesn’t move to the next slide while a video is playing. The FlexSlider library does allow you to pause the slideshow while the video plays, then resume the slideshow when the video stops.