How to Stop Instagram Auto Play Videos

If you’re one of the many smartphone users concerned about data usage, auto-playing videos on Instagram is a nightmare. This guide will go over everything you need to know about Instagram auto-play videos, and how to stop or limit them from playing on their own.

When the company added advertisements to our Instagram feed, it also removed the setting that allowed users to disable auto-play videos. Now we can no longer turn them off completely, but there is a way to limit them.

Read: How to Stop Facebook Auto Play Videos on Android

Instead of automatically playing videos as you scroll down your account, the app actually pre-loads all video so they’re ready as you scroll. It’s a nice feature, but one that can quickly use up a 2GB data plan for consumers. This is why we recommend changing the settings to limit video as much as possible.

Instagram-logo

How to Disable Instagram Auto-Play Videos

These instructions work for both Android and iOS users looking to turn off video.

To start, open the Instagram app and tap the Portrait button on the bottom right. This takes you to “Your Profile”. From here we’ll go into settings and change how the app manages and plays video.

On Android head into your Instagram profile and tap the 3 dots at the top right, this is the menu button. Once in settings or options scroll down to “Cellular Data Use”. 

nstagram-settings

Instagram doesn’t give users too many settings or choices. Under the Cellular Data Use tab select “Use Less Data” instead of it being set to “Default”. This will make Instagram only load videos while you’re on WiFi. When you’re on a cellular connection you’ll have to tap first before videos will play. This saves your data a bit but doesn’t completely turn off auto-playing videos. Not to mention photos may also load slower as they won’t pre-load in the background either.

Instructions

  • Open Instagram
  • Tap the Portrait icon at the bottom right
  • Tap the 3-dots Settings Button at the top
  • Scroll down and select Cellular Data Usage
  • Select Use Less Data so videos only play on WiFi
Select "Use Less Data"
Select “Use Less Data”

This is the only option and the only way to limit videos from playing automatically on Instagram. This won’t completely disable auto-play but limits it to WiFi only. Sadly there are no other options for iOS users either. Similar steps will change the same setting, and that’s it. Follow the above steps on iOS and set the app to “Use Less Data”. Additionally, Instagram offers a guide with similar details for those interested.

While you’re digging around in the settings menu you can also go to camera options and manage photos. Under “Upload Quality” and make sure it is using High-Quality or “Normal” image processing for better uploads.

In the end, this won’t completely get rid of videos on Instagram, but it’s close. It will stop them from pre-loading to save data, and ensure you only see videos automatically when you’re on WiFi. Changing this also gives you more privacy while using the app.

13 Comments

  1. ghislaine

    05/26/2015 at 10:37 am

    I think they have actually disabled this option now too, I can not find it! Boo instagram!

    Reply

  2. keshiakola

    06/12/2015 at 11:33 am

    They have deleted this option. I now have to go to Settings – Cellular – Slide the “use cellular data for:” Instagram. or perhaps just deleted. I feel violated in some way.

    Reply

  3. Joanne Torku

    07/09/2015 at 12:15 am

    This sucks. There is no video in thd options anymore.

    Reply

  4. Catherineswhitman

    01/29/2016 at 11:19 pm

    1=2226 my best friend’s half-sister makes $87 /hr on the laptop . She has been out of a job for eight months but last month her check was $16467 just working on the laptop for a few hours.
    find more info…. See More

    Reply

  5. M

    04/07/2016 at 5:21 pm

    Come on… I read the whole article and you conclude with… Cannot disable the video..
    The title is very misleading to the contents.

    Reply

  6. Tabitha

    04/10/2016 at 3:26 pm

    While the option is still there, it does not disable auto-play on the videos. If you have a bad network it *might* slow the load time.

    Reply

  7. Tahir

    05/25/2016 at 12:48 am

    this option is not working, video still going on. before they had the option for stop video play with cell data. but now there is nothing. i hope new update will come soon.

    Reply

    • Simon

      09/26/2017 at 6:53 am

      Yes! this does NOTHING when I select the option.

      Reply

  8. Tekla Zoe

    07/26/2016 at 8:45 am

    It’s a big shit idea.

    Reply

  9. Noo

    10/08/2016 at 3:32 am

    Bad bad Instagram go to hell

    Reply

  10. Anna

    03/05/2017 at 9:15 pm

    Comcast is now metering home internet accounts so not having the ability to turn auto play video off in Instagram and other apps is going to potentially cost people $$.

    Reply

  11. gaurish kadam

    03/11/2017 at 9:50 am

    Does not work.
    Phone: pixel

    Reply

  12. TJ Parisi

    05/25/2017 at 11:08 am

    Taking away this option shows utter contempt for their users. I hope Instagram likes the one-star review I just left them in the App Store.

    Reply

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