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Google News app: How to stop annoying video autoplay

Image of a person scrolling on a smartphone at a coffee shop.

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One of the things that really bugs me about today’s various feeds (be they social or news) is the random auto-playing of videos that inevitably lead to embarrassing situations, scare my cats (or wife), or just generally annoy me. I use the Google News app on my Pixel 7 Pro daily, as it’s one of the many sources where I find news. 

You might not have ever bothered with the Google News app, but it’s a great way to aggregate the news topics you like into a single location. With just a little configuration, you get all the news you want (and none that you don’t). You can also easily share news pieces and save them for later. There’s a Newsstand feature where you can find and add more sources to really make the most out of the app.

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For years, I’ve found the Google News app to be a very pleasant source of information. Recently, however, I discovered more and more videos in the feed would surprise me by auto-playing.

Ack!

Did I forget to say how much I loathe autoplay? I’ve gone out of my way to prevent the auto-playing of anything on my phone, even to the point of keeping it on silent 24/7. It’s that annoying to me. But even with the phone on silent, some videos manage to circumvent the setting and blare out their content anyway. Needless to say, that’s a feature I had to take care of as soon as possible, otherwise, I’d risk tossing my phone across a room in frustration. Not that I would actually ever do that… but the idea of chucking my phone into a wall is certainly satisfying enough.

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Fortunately, the fix to this autoplay issue is very easy to take care of and I’m going to show you just how to do it before you wind up bouncing your phone off a concrete slab.

Stop Google News video autoplay

What you’ll need: The only thing you’ll need is a phone with the Google News app installed. This can be either Android or iOS. As long as you have the Google News app installed, you should be good to go.

The first thing to do is open the Google News app on your device, which can be done from either your home screen or the Android App Drawer.

On the Google News main page, tap your profile icon in the upper right corner and then tap News Settings in the pop-up menu.

The Google News popup menu.

This settings window is located within the Google News app.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

In the Google News Settings page, locate and tap Autoplay Videos In The Feed. In the resulting pop-up, tap Disabled. This will change the setting and dismiss the pop-up.

The Google News autoplay setting popup.

You can also enable autoplay when your only on a Wi-Fi network to save data.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

You should now see that Autoplay is set to disabled, which means no video in your Google News feed will automatically play.

Google News autoplay listed as disabled.

Congratulations, you’ve disabled autoplay for Google News videos.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

And that’s all there is finally preventing videos in the Google News app from automatically playing as you scroll past them. Congratulations on reaching next-level peace with your phone.


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