Disabling GIF autoplay in TweetDeck

TweetDeck can play GIFs for a while now. That's nice. It does, however, automatically start playing them as soon as they are in view. That's less nice, especially if you have multiple columns on a large screen - distraction ensued.

As you may expect, however, this can be fixed with a bit of JavaScript.

The general idea is as following:

  • Every now and then, iterate over not-yet-checked GIF containers.
    This is done via querySelectorAll. Using MutationObserver could be a better idea, but dynamically assigning listeners on right elements ins a challenge.
  • GIFs that are already paused are ignored.
  • GIFs in "full tweet" containers" are ignored.
  • Attempt to pause the GIF.
    If that succeeds, mark the GIF as "checked" (to not loop over it again).
    Otherwise (no pause button / failed to pause), leave it alone till the next check.

This translates straightforwardly into a snippet of code:

setInterval(function() {
    var nodes = document.querySelectorAll(
    for (var i = 0; i < nodes.length; i++) {
        var node = nodes[i];
        if (!node.classList.contains("is-manually-paused")
        && !node.parentElement.classList.contains("detail-preview")) {
            var pauseButton = node.querySelector(".gif-pause");
            if (!pauseButton) continue;
            if (!node.classList.contains("is-manually-paused")) continue;
}, 500);

You could simply paste the above into JavaScript console, or use a userscript extension (GreaseMonkey for Firefox, TamperMonkey for Chrome, etc.) to set it up to run automatically when you load TweetDeck. For convenience, a pre-assembled script is available too.

Have fun!

Update: current versions (>= May 9, 2017) of TweetDeck spot a setting for this in General tab of Settings, so this post is mostly an example of processing TD items, I guess.

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2 thoughts on “Disabling GIF autoplay in TweetDeck

    • Firefox has a global flag image.animation_mode in about:config that you can set to none to disable GIF autoplay everywhere. Other browsers need extensions (aren’t too hard to find). Making a userscript for a specific site depends on whether the site uses actual GIFs or not – for example, Twitter and IMGUR convert images to videos while Tumblr keeps them as actual GIFs.

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