Animated GIFs are probably one of the best things to happen to images in a while. They add a sense of life to otherwise static photos. This allows creators to convey much more information with GIFs than they can with other image formats (JPEG, PNG). I personally love GIFs. They can be funny, informative, and pointless at the same time. But what I don’t like about GIFs is the way they are used. Websites usually use them in autoplay mode and take the power of choice from their users. Also, if a web page is heavy on GIFs, it will take a lot more time to load, especially if you have a slow internet connection. And frankly, it can be annoying sometimes when it starts playing automatically on a web page. While we cannot prevent websites from using auto-playing GIFs, we can stop this on our part. So, if you are a victim of auto-playing GIFs, Here’s how to stop GIFs from playing automatically in your browser:
note: The methodology differs from browser to browser. So, scroll down to find your browser and use the method mentioned for that.
1. Stop GIF Autoplay in Google Chrome
Since Google Chrome is the most used browser in the world, let’s start our list in the same way. If there’s one thing Google Chrome knows, it’s a healthy choice of extensions. Extensions add a ton of functionality to Google Chrome and today we are going to use one to fix our problem. There are several extensions that can help us fix the GIFs autoplay issue, but it’s probably the best GIF Jam (download).
What the extension does is pretty obvious from the name. Basically, will only show you the first frame of any GIF serve it on a web page and stop it from loading. But that also means you won’t be able to see any GIFs. What you need to do to watch GIFs disable the extension and then reload the page.
If your problem is with loading times and not autoplaying GIFs, then GIF delayer (download). While the extension is running, Show GIFs on a webpage only when fully loaded. That way, you won’t have to wait for them to load while you’re looking at GIFs while they’re buffering.
2. Stop Autoplaying GIFs in Mozilla Firefox
Just like in Chrome, you can use an add-on in Firefox to stop GIFs from playing automatically on any web page. To do this, download and install Toggle Animated GIFs (download). The best part about using this plugin is that it lets you use simple keyboard shortcuts to enable or disable GIF animation. So, if you want to play GIFs, you can do so easily by pressing the keyboard combination. You can do Press Ctrl+M to enable/disable GIF animation press or on current tab Shift+M to restart all animations.
However, if you want Disable autoplay of GIFs forever, you can do this by changing the browser configuration. To do this, follow these steps:
1. Open Firefox and type “about:config” in the address bar. Press Enter and then “I accept the risk!” Click .
2. In the search bar, type “animation”. Choose “image.animation_mode” and then double click above.
3. type “none” inside the pop-up box and then click “OK”. Follow the pictures for more clarity.
Once you hit OK, no GIFs will automatically play in your Firefox browser. If you want to revert to the original settings replace the text “none” with “normal” in step three.
3. Stop Autoplaying GIFs in Opera
Similar to Chrome and Firefox, there is a pretty good add-on for Opera available in the extension store that can stop GIFs from playing automatically. this the extension is aptly called GIF blocker (download) and you can install it by clicking on the specified link. Once installed, just Click on the extension icon to enable or disable. Once enabled, GIFs on any web page will be replaced with the extension’s icon. If you want to see GIFs, you need to disable the extension by clicking on it and then refresh the page to load the GIFs.
4. Stop (Or Not) GIF Autoplay in Safari
The macOS High Sierra update brings many changes to Safari. One of the additions to Safari is the feature that prevents videos from playing automatically on any website. However, this feature does nothing when it comes to stopping GIFs from playing automatically on a web page. The only thing you can do right now to stop GIFs from playing automatically in Safari is to install the Deanimator extension (download). However, the extension has not been updated for the last 6 years and doesn’t seem to work on my device. IT May work on older versions of Safari, if you are on old version of macOS, you can check it out. Other than that, there is currently no way to disable autoplay of GIFs in Safari.
SEE ALSO: How to Create GIFs on Mac with Ease
Stop Autoplaying GIFs in Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Safari
As I mentioned in the introduction, GIFs are one of the best things to happen to images in a while. However, it is important to stop them from playing automatically as they are overused on certain websites. Stopping the autoplay of GIFs will result in faster page loading with less data consumption. Both results are pretty helpful if you’re on a limited data service. Currently there is no apparent way to do this in Safari as well as the Edge browser on Windows 10, but we will update the article as soon as we find one. In the meantime, let us know if autoplaying GIFs bother you. Leave your thoughts about them in the comment section below.