How To: Disable Auto-Playing Video Previews on Your iPhone in iOS 13

Disable Auto-Playing Video Previews on Your iPhone in iOS 13

The long-awaited Dark Mode may have grabbed all the spotlight with iOS 13, but Apple has made subtle changes across the whole platform to make your iPhone even more user-friendly. A small option aimed at people who are sensitive to motion is one such example — a feature that can also be a godsend for the rest of us.

While in-app video previews are a good way of viewing featured content, the functionality might be jarring, and it can even cause anxiety for people sensitive to sudden movement. And if you think this issue is rare, think again — Apple notes that one in three users experience some form of motion sensitivity, with a smaller subset being affected by on-screen animations.

To tackle this issue, Apple has included a toggle for disabling video previews from automatically playing inside the new Accessibility menu within Settings to further streamline the user experience. And besides helping prevent motion sickness and anxiety, the feature also offers added benefits to performance and battery efficiency thanks to the reduced workload, along with fewer distractions.

Of course, having the ability to disable video previews isn't new to iOS. In iOS 11 through iOS 12, you were able to turn these previews off for Apple's web stores by accessing the "iTunes & App Stores" page within Settings and setting "Video Autoplay" off. It was limited to just the App and iTunes Stores and didn't extend to other apps like Safari that feature video previews.

Now, the new "Auto-Play Video Previews" toggle — which can be found inside the "Motion" page within the "Accessibility" menu in Settings — when toggled off, disables video previews for native Apple apps across the board. And while primarily aimed at native apps, Apple has made the option's API open for third-party developers to bake into their apps and games.

What's more, the "Video Autoplay" option can still be found within the "iTunes & App Stores" settings page, and can be toggled off if you only want to disable the feature for just those apps. Just keep in mind that if you've disabled "Auto-Play Video Previews" inside Accessibility, you won't be able to turn previews on for the App Store and iTunes using "Video Autoplay."

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Cover image and screenshots by Amboy Manalo/Gadget Hacks

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