How To Stop Images and Videos from Auto-loading in Chrome

The images and videos on the web page are loaded automatically as the web page loads. But you can change that behavior when needed, especially in a metered network. Here are a number of ways how you can do it in Chrome.

Stop images from auto-loading

First of all, Chrome has a setting to disable all images from auto-loading.

Go to Settings, expand Advanced settings and click Content settings… button in Privacy section. Or simply copy the setting’s URL chrome://settings/content and paste in Chrome. Then select the option “Do not show any images” in Images section and click Done to save the change.

Settings - Content settings - 2016-01-10 21_28_28

You can set some exceptions in Manage exceptions to allow images to be loaded on certain websites. While it works flawlessly I have to admit that it’s not as intuitive as I thought. When disabled, none of the images will be shown either automatically or manually. There seems just no way of even manually showing the images.

Now, let’s see if there are any good extensions that can do this job better.

Block Image is a simple but effective Chrome extension that stops images from “downloading”. After installed, you can toggle the blocking action on/off by clicking the extension icon on the Chrome toolbar.

Block image Chrome Extension

Wizmage Image Blocker is another Chrome extension that also blocks images from auto-loading. Instead of not showing the images completely, it hides them in a way that minimizes the impact on the user’s browsing experience, by displaying a colored texture where the blocked images would be.

Wizmage Image Blocker - colored texture image

If you want to see all original images, click the extension on the Chrome toolbar and select Show Pictures button. You can also pause the extension from the same context menu to temporarily allow all images to be loaded.

Wizmage Image Blocker options

Stop videos from auto-loading

Since Chrome doesn’t have a setting out of the box to disable videos from auto-loading, the only way to stop that is to use an extension.

Disable HTML5 Autoplay is a Chrome extension that stops auto-loading of videos on the website that has HTML5 Video support. But, one thing to note that video will continue buffering. There are 2 buttons that lets you disable autoplay or disable nothing.

Disable HTML5 Autoplay options

One thought on “How To Stop Images and Videos from Auto-loading in Chrome

  1. From the author of Wizmage – thanks for including this extension. However it says in the description “It does not save bandwidth – see later … Wizmage was not written to save your bandwidth – many images are loaded in the background. This is necessary to determine whether they are real images or icons.”. So it won’t help for a metered connection.

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