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.
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.
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.
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.
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.