How To Disable AutoPlay For YouTube Thumbnails

Article last updated on:
March 16, 2024

This guide teaches you how to:

  • Hide
  • Block
  • Disable
  • Turn off

The auto-play feature for thumbnails on YouTube.

How to stop Auto-Playing Thumbnails on YouTube

Whether on Desktop or Mobile, you can turn off auto-playing YouTube thumbnails by turning off “Playback in Feeds” under the “General” settings.

Here are the steps:

How to turn off YouTube Thumbnail autoplay
  1. Open YouTube → Click your profile picture
  2. Select Settings
  3. Click “Playback and performance” on the left
  4. Disable “Video previews

Thumbnails will now be static — they won’t play automatically.

Why does YouTube turn on autoplay?

Realistically, YouTube turns on autoplay for videos because they want you to spend more time on the app.

These are the 2 main reasons:

  • Content Discovery: Their main goal is to keep you engaged and watching videos. Autoplay suggests related content after you finish a video, hoping you’ll find something else interesting and keep using the platform.
  • Increased Watch Time: By automatically playing something new, YouTube increases the total amount of time you spend watching videos. This benefits both YouTube (through ad revenue) and creators (through watch time metrics).


We just finished studying how to turn off auto-play for YouTube thumbnails and the reason why this feature exists in first place.

Hope you found this useful!

Thank you for reading this,

About the author

David is the head of the editing team at ThumbnailTest. With his help, the editorial team is able to provide you with the best free guides related to YouTube thumbnails and A/B testing.