Video Stops Playing When Switching Tabs in Chrome

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

Have you ever been really into a video on YouTube, TikTok, or Twitch and then it just stops or pauses when you hop over to a different tab in Chrome? It’s pretty annoying, especially when you’re trying to do a few things at once or just want the video to play in the background while you’re looking at other sites. And it’s not just a Chrome thing; folks using browsers like Firefox have run into the same snag. In this piece, we’re going to talk about why videos in Chrome might pause on their own and what you can do to keep them playing.

Also see: How to Keep a Tab Active in Chrome

Video Stops Playing When Switching Tabs in Chrome

Why do videos stop playing when you switch tabs?

The main reason videos stop or pause when you switch tabs in Chrome is all about saving computer juice and making sure everything runs smoothly. Chrome, along with other browsers like Firefox and Edge, tries to use less of your computer’s memory and processing power by putting tabs you’re not looking at on pause. This means if you move to another tab, Chrome might think the one with your video is ‘inactive’ and stop it to help the tab you’re on now work better. It’s all about making sure tabs you’re not using don’t eat up resources that could be used elsewhere.

Why are videos stop playing when I switch tabs

Another player in this game is the “Page Visibility API.” This tech lets sites like YouTube and TikTok know when you’re not looking at them directly, and they might stop your video to save on resources. It helps keep your main tasks speedy and your computer running better, but it can be a pain if you like to juggle tasks.

Useful tip: How to Cycle Through Tabs in Chrome, Firefox or Edge

How to keep videos playing when you switch tabs in Chrome

1. Turn off Chrome’s “Memory Saver” feature

Chrome’s “Memory Saver” tries to put tabs you’re not using on hold to save memory. But if you want your videos to keep going even when you switch tabs, you can turn this feature off.

  1. Hit the three-dot menu at the top-right of Chrome.
  2. Choose “Settings”.Chrome menu Settings
  3. Click on “Performance”.Chrome Performance Settings
  4. Turn off the switch next to “Memory Saver”.Chrome video pauses when I switch tabs

With this off, your videos should keep playing even when you’re looking at other tabs.

Linked issue: YouTube Video Lagging on Chrome When Full Screen (Fix)

2. Use the “Disable Page Visibility API” extension

The Page Visibility API lets websites know when you’re not actively looking at them and might pause videos. You can stop this by adding the “Disable Page Visibility API” extension to Chrome.

  1. Go to the Chrome Web Store and look up “Disable Page Visibility API”.Disable Page Visibility API Chrome Extension
  2. Hit “Add to Chrome” and then “Add extension” to get it set up.Allow YouTube or Twitch video to play in the background when switching tabs
  3. Once it’s on there, the extension will take care of the Page Visibility API for you, letting your videos play without interruption.

This way, you can flip between tabs without your videos pausing or freezing up.

Related concern: Twitch Causing High CPU Usage on Firefox or Chrome

Muted videos might still pause when you switch tabs

Even after trying the tricks above, some sites might pause your videos if they’re muted when you switch tabs. They can tell if the video’s sound is off and might stop the video to save resources.

Solution: Get “Volume Master”

To get around this, add the “Volume Master” extension to Chrome. It gives you more control over sound in tabs. You can set it to 0% but keep the video’s original volume. This way, the site won’t know the video is muted, and it’ll keep playing even when you switch tabs.

Muted videos pause when you switch tabs

With “Volume Master,” you can mute videos without them stopping as you browse other tabs.

Some ending thoughts

We’re living in a time where there’s no shortage of streaming sites and web browsers all trying to give us a top-notch time online. But let’s be real, sometimes what they think of as “upgrades” can actually be more of a pain.

Getting why these things happen and knowing your way around the settings can make a big difference. You’ll be able to tweak things just right and enjoy your favorite videos on places like YouTube, TikTok, Twitch, and more. And the best part? You can do this without any annoying stops or lags, even if you’re the type to jump between tabs on Chrome or Firefox.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

Share via
Copy link