Quick Fix: Disable Circle Jerking and Autoplay in Chrome

Disable Autoplay Chrome Browser

I use Safari by default, but I’m a still bit of a browser hopper at times. The stark reality for anyone who runs a website — whether a bonafide developer or a hack like me — is Chrome Browser accounts for around 60% of all web traffic 1. I have made the mistake of optimising this site for Safari, based on a ropey sense of potential reader preference. If you’re a chrome user reading this, I assure you I have disabused myself of that notion. 2 Given Google all but owns the web, knowing your way around Chrome is non-negotiable.

Chrome Flags

In many ways Chrome is drastically more functional than Safari. For extensibility, it leaves Safari in the dust. If there is one thing I have always appreciated about Chrome, 3it’s the ability to dig into the experimental features. To do similar things with Safari requires invoking a terminal incantation, using the Safari Technology Preview version, or both. It is a little on the janky side.

If you’re ever troubleshooting chrome, it is worth looking at the flags to see if you can’t put paid to unwanted behaviour. There are some useful features buried in there. If you don't know what chrome flags are, or you're wondering what they can do, here are a couple I set recently.

Disable Circle-Jerking

This is an old trick that douche-bags use to trap users on a site. Loading history entries with the current URL means when users hit the back button it simply reloads the same page. Chrome has a handy little flag to disable this behaviour.

  1. Type Chrome://flags into the address bar
  2. ⌘+F and search for ‘History’
  3. Set the ‘New history entries require a user gesture’ to ‘Enabled’

Disable Autoplay

There are two flags I like to set for this. One for Autoplay, and the second to automatically mute any tabs that somehow escape this rule.

  1. Same as above, type Chrome://flags into the address bar
  2. ⌘+F and search for ‘Autoplay Policy’
  3. Set to ‘user gesture is required for cross origin iframes’
  4. ⌘+F and search for ‘Tab audio muting UI control’
  5. Set to Enable

Get back to browsing, and enjoy.

  1. depending where you get your stats
  2. For anyone who cares, until recently part of the caching system used by my web host Cloudways was intermittently broken on Chrome.
  3. And Firefox, for that matter.

New Firefox: Faster, Privacy Focused Web Browser

Firefox Updated

Firefox Quantum has just been released. I was once an avid Firefox user.  Unfortunately, as the web engine in the previous version aged, it became slow and tired. So this is great news, especially for privacy focused users. In my casual, unscientific testing so far, the claims might not be too far from reality. It does appear to be fast. I'm not sure I care for the new look, but that has never been a problem with the ability to customise Firefox.

I posted recently about the improvements to Safari. The control I gain from WebKit blockers. Along with continuity features, that would make it difficult to switch properly, even if I wanted to. 1 But as I learn more about web development, I can see myself turning more to the Mozilla offering. If you remember the bad old days, browsers haven’t always covered themselves in glory. Thankfully for users, we now have serious options.

When you load it for the first time, you’ll notice that it looks different. Some highlights include a unified search bar that helps you get to what you’re looking for lickity-split, navigation icons are organized on the left and the far right side is where you can find all your personal items like downloads, history, screenshots). Even better, this bold new design and intelligent menus are easy to use and look amazing on PC, Macs, phones or tablets.

I recently had my iPhone sent in for a warranty service. While it was there, the carrier gave me an Android to carry around 2. On thing I took out of it was, running an Android phone next to an iPad is not the insurmountable nuisance a lot of people think it is. I prefer not to do it, but not everybody has that choice. If you are mixing and matching, there are plenty of solutions for syncing all kinds of data. Firefox is one of those options. And, given the hodge lodge way that Android OEMs ship the OS, Google Chrome is not the same kind of native experience you get with Safari. That kind of choice is meant to be the part of the attraction. If you happen to be using an Android, and an iPad, I would consider giving Firefox another look.

If your concerns lay with privacy, the performance improvements will be welcome indeed.

  1. A note on contents blockers. I support the independent websites I browse, but I won’t control over the constant noise, invasive tracker and general nuisance elements of the web. The granular control I get from 1Blocker gives me that.
  2. Like an animal