Picture this: you’ve got some downtime and you’ve decided to watch a YouTube video. The video ends, but instead of reverting to a blank screen, a new video assumes its place and starts playing.
If you’ve ever experienced this continuous roll of YouTube videos, then you’re already familiar with YouTube’s Autoplay feature.
Some people like Autoplay, but others don’t. There’s a solution for both types of YouTube users, and it’s here in this article.
Below, we teach you how to turn it on or off to suit your personal preferences. But first, let’s learn how Autoplay works, its history, and why it exists.
What Is Autoplay on YouTube and How Does It Work?
In 2015, Google (which was YouTube’s parent company before it was restructured into Alphabet Inc.) started testing a new feature: Autoplay.
Autoplay makes it easier for YouTube users to keep watching videos as long as they want without having to select a new one after the last one ends.
But it also ensures that more videos get more views. Users who don’t realize that a new video has started may watch at least part of it before they turn it off. Those extra views help YouTube (and YouTube creators) earn more ad revenue.
Autoplay springs into action as soon as the video you’re watching ends.
On the blank screen at the end of the video, a timer starts counting down from 8 seconds. Beneath the timer, you have two options: a Cancel button, which will stop the next video in the queue from playing, and a Play Now button. The latter allows you to start the next video in the queue right away instead of waiting the full 8 seconds.
What is this queue, you may ask? It’s a list of videos that YouTube creates automatically from different categories based on your watch history and channel subscriptions. This list may be filled with content from the same channel as the first video or a similar one, or it may sprinkle in content from other channels that you’re subscribed to.
Autoplay is enabled on YouTube by default, regardless of whether you use the YouTube website or the mobile app. This means that if you ever want to get rid of it, you have to turn it off yourself.
Similarly, if you turn Autoplay off and find that you want it back, you’ll have to make that change manually, as well.
In case you haven’t guessed it, YouTube’s goal is to keep you watching. That’s why it continues to show you videos that it “thinks” you would want to see without you prompting it.
Like many new features that are introduced to “improve” your experience with a product, Autoplay met with a lot of complaints from YouTube users. That’s probably why a few months after it first launched Autoplay, YouTube installed a special toggle button that allows users to turn the divisive feature on or off at their leisure.
How To Turn On and Off Autoplay on YouTube Using the Computer
Follow these steps to turn Autoplay on or off on YouTube using your computer.
How To Turn On and Off Autoplay on YouTube Using the Mobile App
If you want to switch Autoplay on YouTube on or off on your iPhone or Android, here are the steps to do that.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is YouTube Turning on Autoplay?
YouTube automatically turns on Autoplay for all YouTube accounts. You can disable it for your account by selecting the Autoplay button on your video player.
How Do I Stop YouTube From Playing Videos Automatically?
You can turn Autoplay off by clicking the Autoplay button (a small Play symbol with a slider) on your YouTube video player.
For some YouTube users, Autoplay is a great feature that lets them keep watching videos they like for hours on end. But for others, it’s an irritant that disrupts their viewing pleasure. No matter which camp you fall into, know that you can customize your experience with Autoplay by turning it on or off whenever you want.