Apple’s new version of macOS comes out today, and while almost every upgrade is under the hood and out of sight, there is one really great new feature inside Safari that is definitely worth updating for: in High Sierra, Safari automatically mutes autoplaying videos. The update to High Sierra is free and will be available for all Macs released since 2010, and some Macs introduced in 2009 as well.
I’ve been browsing the web in Safari for the past couple weeks, and the internet has felt like a somewhat calmer place, thanks to this new feature. If a video would normally autoplay with sound, it’ll still appear, but Safari will automatically pause it before the video can start to emit noise. That way, you get to browse in peace and quiet but can still hit play in the (unlikely) event that the autoplaying video was something you were interested in.
The feature works well. I tested it out on a number of websites that include autoplaying videos on their pages, including Bloomberg and CNET, and Safari always paused the videos before they could start to play. Safari also mutes those annoying ads that start to play sound only once you mouse over them (which you inevitably do by accident, not because you’re interested in them), even when they would normally get activated, which I was particularly happy to see.
Safari tries to be smart about which sites it blocks autoplaying video on, too. YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Twitch, Crackle, Vudu, and DailyMotion are among the sites allowed to autoplay videos with sound turned on by default. That makes enough sense, since we want videos to play when we go to…
click here to read more