In mid-2019, Google introduced live previews for videos in the main timeline of the Photos app. This autoplay behavior in the Google Photos for Android grid can now be disabled. 

While it serves as a fast way to preview videos as you’re scrolling the timeline, some find this behavior to be annoying and rather distracting. (It’s pretty much standard behavior, e.g. Instagram’s “Search” tab, in this day and age.

Fortunately, this can now be disabled by heading into Google Photos settings and tapping “Photo grid playback” just before the “Sharing” section. This preference applies to the primary “Photos” tab as well as every other grid view throughout the application, including media “Categories” (in “Search”) and folders. That said, videos still autoplay when you open them fullscreen.

Manage automatic playback in your photo grid 

“Videos” and “Motion photos” can be disabled separately, though Google recommends grid autoplay stay enabled – per the default Photos setting – “for a more seamless experience in the app.” Keeping the latter media type on does make sense, given the format’s shorter length.

The “Photo grid playback” setting first appeared in Google Photos for iOS around the second half of 2021, while it quietly came to the Android version a few months later. Be sure you have updated to the latest version of the app.

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com