How to disable auto-play for videos in Facebook for iOS, at least when you aren't on WiFi

Some people don't like when videos auto-play as they scroll past them. Back when Instagram started doing this, I had a feeling Facebook and other social networks wouldn't be far behind and I was right. While Facebook doesn't let you completely disable auto-play for videos, you can at least stop it if you're using cellular data instead of WiFi. Here's how:

  1. Launch the Settings app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Facebook.
  3. Now tap on Settings.
  4. Under the Video section, turn On the option for Auto-play on WiFi only.

That's all there is to it. At least this can stop Facebook for iOS from eating your data in order to auto-play videos.

Do you like the auto-play feature for videos, even if they're muted by default? I personally don't as I feel it's very distracting when scrolling. I'm interested to know how you guys feel about it too so let me know in the comments!

Allyson Kazmucha

iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.

  • I hate this. We have satellite internet at our house which means we're on limited data (we have no other options currently in our subdivision). We only get 15 gigs a month. I'll have to stay off Facebook while at home or just be hyper vigilant that a video isn't streaming in the background eating my data.
  • That's a real struggle. My family uses almost 500GB a month and thank God we have unlimited usage. Downloading, streaming, gaming, etc. I'd move to a better location if I was in your situation lol.
  • As Phil Robertson would say there's no good that comes from living in a subdivision. Lol
  • Holy crap, 15gb?? Can you even OWN an Apple TV.. well i guess you can, you'd just have to look at it, not actually use it :(
  • Haha, thanks for everyone's pity :-). It is a struggle and a monthly issue for us. No, no Apple TV, no netflix. We have to be very careful with our usage. Before we moved I had "normal" internet and this was quite the wake up call. Satellite internet is an option for those of us that have absolutely no other options. The cable company does run just outside of our subdivision so hopefully one day they'll expand to include us. That would be my true Christmas miracle lol.
  • I'm not liking it either. I only get 5Gb a month via wifi, and the sneaky muting means I have no clue half the time that ANYTHING is playing. I just want the auto play OFF 100% of the time, regardless of how I am connected (at home via wifi or on the move with prepaid data).
  • You can turn it completely off with ios 7.1.2. I have unlimited data for both cell and home usage, BUT it slows down on cellular data after 2gb :( (stupid sprint!) I was super happy to find this article and for the option to be able to shut it off completely!
  • Thanks for this tip. A good setting to help on those months where I come no where near my data cap. I'll turn it in to get closer... ;) Sent from the iMore App
  • Simply hate it. Sent from the iMore App
  • I am not sure, but how come my iOS 7 iPhone 5 switch does not have the | and O on the switch? it is just plain green with no |
  • It's in the accessibility options. "On/Off Labels" Sent from the iMore App
  • Don't like it at all. I'd prefer to have the option of disabling auto-play period.
  • Here comes video adverts on Facebook. Joy. Sent from the iMore App
  • This is the first time I have NOT updated an app as soon as it was available. I also want to be able to disable it all the time.
  • I would have preferred a disable auto play option by default. But I'll take it. Helps with my limited data.
  • I dislike the auto play. I uninstalled the Facebook app after the upgrade.
  • Stop using Facebook months ago. Sent from the iMore App
  • Thank you for the tip Ally! The thing I can't stand the most was how it ate up my mobile data. Not to mention that I don't like being forced into watching someone's video! I think it should be at our discretion (the FB user that is). Sent from the iMore App
  • My app defaulted to this setting being turned off which is good but this feature is extremely annoying. Sent from the iMore App
  • And by off I mean on. Oops Sent from the iMore App
  • I hate it. I hope they allow you to disable it completely in a future update. I doubt that will happen though because they are planning on bringing auto-play adds next.
  • Yeah that's the idea. Ads, ads, and more ads. I know they need to make money but they're latest attempts have really been turning me off of Facebook. The constant ads on my wall, now auto playing videos.....I've been using Facebook less and less these days.
  • Very helpful, thanks! Mine was already on by default, but glad to know that was an option!
  • do not like it. I would rather start it myself. Thanks for the tip.
  • I hate it. It is very presumptuous to assume that I want to see those videos. I should have the option of choosing which ones I would like to see or not.
  • Autoplay is terrible. It gives a video fake plays and just annoys users. If I want to watch a video I'll click on it and hit play. Every time I scroll by I have to click on the video that's autoplaying to stop it so I can continue browsing. I've disabled it in my desktop browsers and now it will be disabled on my mobile device iphone. They should at least give the user an option to disable or enable it easily. It's not productive and only pisses people off. If people are interested in watching something, they will watch it. Don't force someone to watch something they don't want to watch.
  • Absolutely HATE it! Totally distracting and even when I am at home on wifi I don't want to use up bandwidth for all the videos that I scroll past. To pause them you have to click on them and then the mute goes away. YUCK! Hope they take this away.
  • Stupid idea, if i want to play a video i press play , not have it play for me, hate it hate it hate it
  • In the latest update of Facebook there's now a setting to completely disable autoplay of video's. Follow the instructions mentioned in this article, and you'll find three options: 'on', 'only on wifi', 'off'
  • As an iOS 8 developer, the current betas (Beta 4) show that iOS 8 will bring the ability to completely turn the "feature" off. I hope for the sake of facebook that Apple leaves this feature in place for the official iOS 8 release. So, for the rest of you, you are stuck with WiFi only until this fall. At which point, follow the same steps as mentioned above, but instead of a toggle, find Auto-play and tap on it. Then select "off" and this so called "feature" will be disabled completely.
  • Can not disable on my Iphone 6 I just purchased. Followed directions but on Facebook Settings under Video...all I have is upload HD. Auto-play on WiFi only does not appear on my phone? Is it my phone or am I doing something wrong?