How to Auto-Pause YouTube Videos When Switching Tabs

How to Auto-Pause YouTube Videos When Switching Tabs

YouTube offers a wide variety of content, from keynote addresses to cricket matches. I haven’t had a TV subscription in almost 2 months because I can watch anything on YouTube. All you need is a high-speed internet connection and a casting device like Chromecast to enhance your experience.

How to Auto-Pause YouTube Videos When Switching Tabs

When streaming music on YouTube, I have few complaints. The tab just streams my playlists. But while watching videos, I often face issues when I accidentally switch tabs. Whether a friend pings me on Facebook or a colleague asks a question on Slack, the video keeps playing in the background. Then when I return to the video, I have to navigate back to where I left off. A real mood killer!

The goal is to automatically pause these videos when switching tabs. Also, I will show you how to force buffer a video even when it’s not being played. There are two extensions for YouTube that can help with this. Let’s take a look at them.

Smart Pause for YouTube

Smart Pause extension is available for Chrome and Firefox. It automatically pauses the video when you switch tabs and resumes playback when you return. After installing and activating the module, a pause button will appear next to the YouTube player. To auto-pause a video, simply click on the pause button.

How to Auto-Pause YouTube Videos When Switching Tabs

The extension works flawlessly and you can automatically enable the settings for all videos on YouTube. But you might want to skip that setting if you listen to a lot of music on YouTube. Apart from that, there is nothing else to configure in the extension.

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How to Auto-Pause YouTube Videos When Switching Tabs

SmartVideo for YouTube

SmartVideo is an extension available for Chrome and Firefox that helps buffer videos for those with slow connections. It allows users to select the default streaming quality and enable auto loop. After installing the extension, the settings will appear when hovering over a video. You can choose to force buffer a video from there.

To access the full settings, click on “Global Preferences”. Here, you can configure force buffering, auto loop, and playback quality for videos.

There are separate sections for embedded videos and those on YouTube, and changes can be made to each. Some features are experimental for HTML 5 videos, but they worked well during initial testing.


Two recent favorite extensions have improved how YouTube works on my computer. Like me, users who rely on YouTube for entertainment, news, and music will appreciate these extensions. If you have any favorite extensions for YouTube that you think our readers would find useful, please comment. Who doesn’t enjoy a good discussion?

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