With technology moving forward in leaps and bounds new features and ideas are being invented and implemented all the time. One of the most interesting recently allowing you to pause YouTube playback by simply looking away from the screen. If this has peaked your interest, follow along as we show you how to set it up.


How to Stop YouTube Home Screen Videos Auto-Playing.

Before we get into the guide and setup process, it’s important to note the entire idea and concept is still in its infancy stage and does have some issues and bugs, especially in low light situations. However, it is pretty cool to play around with and definitely worth a look.

The concept is pretty simple and uses your Webcam to detect when you are and aren’t looking at your screen, pausing YouTube playback the second you look away from the screen, more drastically or leave your seat. As you have probably already guessed, the biggest factor in this feature working correctly is the quality of your webcam and the lighting environment you are viewing YouTube in. Regardless of your webcam specs and lighting situation, let’s begin the setup guide.

How Do You Automatically Pause YouTube When You Look Away From the Screen?

To begin you’ll need to make sure you are using a computer or laptop with a webcam. Any webcam will do, however, the better resolution it captures in, the better the results. Apart from your webcam, you’ll also need to be viewing YouTube from Google Chrome, as the extension required is currently only available for Chrome. You’ll find a link to the extension below.

Download FacePause Google Chrome Extension.

Once you have the extension installed on Chrome using it is pretty straightforward. First, go to YouTube and open a video you wish to watch, once you have the video open and playing, you’ll see a message in the bottom right corner asking you to enable experimental features in Chrome. When you see the message, click Here to open the Chrome Flags menu. On this page enable Experimental Web Platform features, then Restart Chrome.

how to pause youtube by looking away from the screen

After Chrome restarts, go back to YouTube and open a video once again. This time you’ll see a new option to enable FacePause. Red means it is disabled and Green means it is enabled, so click the icon once to turn on FacePause. After clicking once, you’ll be asked to allow permission to use your webcam, if you agree, click Yes and FacePause will start tracking your eye movements and face orientation, pausing YouTube when you look away from the screen.

can you pause youtube by looking away from the screen with your eyes

If your webcam is above potato quality (a good quality webcam) and you have some form of lighting (even average screen light works most times) FacePause will work as intended. If it doesn't work 100% of the time or works a little intermittently, just remember it is still quite new and under development, so you may find some issues. However, as the developer gets more feedback and technology advances, more features of this kind will most likely become a standard option to enable on your browser.

From a security perspective, I would still suggest making sure your Webcam is unplugged when not in use or at least covered if you are using a laptop. This is pretty much SOP (standard operating procedure) for most Internet users anyway.