Control animated GIFs

How to stop animated GIFs from playing automatically on Chrome

This tiny Chrome extension prevents animated GIFs from playing automatically.

It won’t be long until you come across animated GIF images on the internet. Although GIFs are fun to watch (at least a few times), because they play in loop automatically, when you’re trying to read some text, they can quickly become a distraction.

In addition, web browsers don’t offer a way to control them, which means that if you leave open a page running animated GIFs your laptop’s battery will last a lot less.

Fortunately, if you’re a Chrome user, Google created an extension called Animation Policy to give you some control on GIFs when browsing the web.

When Animation Policy by Google installs on your Chrome web browser, you can click the lightning bolt icon in the address bar to access the options that allows you to control GIFs. You can let animated images to play freely, you can select to play images only one, or you can choose not to play images at all.

Control animated GIFs
Animation Policy extension to control animated GIFs

Because you won’t know if an image is an animated GIF if you disable auto play, I find that play once is a more suited option.

Animation Policy by Google is a free extension for Chrome, and you can download it from the Chrome Web Store.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].