Auto-play videos and delayed centre-spot adverts are a pain in the butt

It is getting more and more frustrating using the Web. The two new things that are becoming more annoying by the month are delayed centre-spot adverts and auto-play videos.

These two frustrating annoyances started to become common about the middle of last year.

Delayed centre-spot advertising usually pops up after the Web page you went to has finished rendering and you are just starting to read it, and then up comes this advertising panel right in the middle of the page. You can usually close it once you actually find the close option—which typically only appears about five seconds after the panel competes, and is often sort of hidden from obvious sight or comes up in transparency mode (making it even harder to find).

I don't seem to be able to stop this from happening. Turning off pop-ups in the browser does not stop this. I am sure there is a setting somewhere that will block this but I am yet to find it.

Auto-play videos, which are also generally adverts, are videos that start to play when you open a Web page. Apart from using up your bandwidth, these intrusive adverts can be a surprise when they happen and you don't expect them. Then you have to try and work out where on the page it is playing from so you can go and pause it.

With the Chrome and Internet Explorer browsers on the PC I know how to stop this.

With Chrome you go to the Plug-in settings and change them to "Click to play". See image at right.

To quickly get to the required Chrome settings you can enter "chrome://chrome/settings/content" in the URL bar.

With Internet Explorer you go to Tools, then select Safety, then click on "ActiveX Filtering" to turn it on (shown below).

This is for Windows PC desktop applications, however there will be similar ways to do this on tablets and smartphones as well. It's just a matter of finding the appropriate settings.

What makes the auto-play advertising videos even more annoying is that many of them are on repeat so they just keep going and going until you go and pause them. If you leave any of these open overnight it can chew up a bit of of your data allowance if the videos are swapping.