Why can’t I autoplay videos with no sound?


We often use background videos (looped, no sound) with something like the headline on it. It's a great eyecatcher and the users like it a lot. The WCAG criterion 2.2.2 says that this should not be allowed – only if the video would stop after 5 seconds. Is this correct? I can't see a benefit from this, the videos are not distracting from anything else.


Yes, unless a video that has no audio automatically stops playing after 5 seconds or less, it must have controls to pause, stop, or hide the content. Moving, blinking, and scrolling video content can be incredibly distracting for some users with cognitive disabilities. WCAG provides the following as a benefit of this criterion -

"One use of content that blinks is to draw the visitor's attention to that content. Although this is an effective technique for all users with vision, it can be a problem for some users if it persists. For certain groups, including people with low literacy, reading and intellectual disabilities, and people with attention deficit disorders, content that blinks may make it difficult or even impossible to interact with the rest of the Web page."

Even if your video content is not "blinking", moving video content can be equally as distracting. The Knowledge Base post "Does WCAG allow autoplay of videos?" from Accessible Web explains the alternative format that is also required for pre-recorded video only content.

For more information on video accessibility, check out the "Accessibility Concepts for Marketing and Content Creators" course from Accessible Web.

Free Tools to Continue Learning

Accessible Web Company Logo

Accessible Web RAMP

Monitor your website and manage your progress towards WCAG conformance.

Accessible Web Company Logo

Accessible Web Academy

Career specific courses to help power up your accessibility knowledge.