Can you autoplay HTML5 videos on the iPad?

JqueryIosObjective CHtmlCocoa Touch

Jquery Problem Overview

The <video> tags autoplay="autoplay" attribute works fine in Safari.

When testing on an iPad, the video must be activated manually.

I thought it was a loading issue, so I ran a loop checking for the status of the media:

videoPlay: function(){
	var me = this;
	console.log('STATE: ' + $("#periscopevideo").get(0).readyState);
	if ($("#periscopevideo").get(0).readyState != 4){
	  setTimeout(function(){me.videoPlay();}, 300);
	else {

The state remains at 0 on the iPad. On my desktop safari, it goes through 0, 1 and finally 4. On the iPad, it only reaches 4 if I manually tap the "play" arrow.

Moreover, calling $("#periscopevideo").get(0).play() from an click via onClick works too.

Is there any restrictions by Apple in regard to autoplay? (I'm running iOS 5+ by the way).

Jquery Solutions

Solution 1 - Jquery

iOS 10 update

The ban on autoplay has been lifted as of iOS 10 - but with some restrictions (e.g. A

To see a full list of these restrictions, see the official docs:

iOS 9 and before

As of iOS 6.1, it is no longer possible to auto-play videos on the iPad.

My assumption as to why they've disabled the auto-play feature?

Well, as many device owners have data usage/bandwidth limits on their devices, I think Apple felt that the user themselves should decide when they initiate bandwidth usage.

After a bit of research I found the following extract in the Apple documentation in regard to auto-play on iOS devices to confirm my assumption:

> "Apple has made the decision to disable the automatic playing of video > on iOS devices, through both script and attribute implementations. > >In Safari, on iOS (for all devices, including iPad), where the user may be on a cellular network and be charged per data unit, preload and > auto-play are disabled. No data is loaded until the user initiates it." - Apple documentation.

Here is a separate warning featured on the Safari HTML5 Reference page about why embedded media cannot be played in Safari on iOS:

> Warning: To prevent unsolicited downloads over cellular networks at > the user’s expense, embedded media cannot be played automatically in > Safari on iOS—the user always initiates playback. A controller is > automatically supplied on iPhone or iPod touch once playback in > initiated, but for iPad you must either set the controls attribute or > provide a controller using JavaScript.

What this means (in terms of code) is that Javascript's play() and load() methods are inactive until the user initiates playback, unless the play() or load() method is triggered by user action (e.g. a click event).

Basically, a user-initiated play button works, but an onLoad="play()" event does not.

For example, this would play the movie:

<input type="button" value="Play" onclick="">

Whereas the following would do nothing on iOS:

<body onload="">

Solution 2 - Jquery

I want to start by saying by saying that I realize this question is old and already has an accepted answer; but, as an unfortunate internet user that used this question as a means to end only to be proven wrong shortly after (but not before I upset my client a little) I want to add my thoughts and suggestions.

While @DSG and @Giona are correct, and there is nothing wrong with their answers, there is a creative mechanism you can employ to "get around," so to speak, this limitation. That is not say that I'm condoning circumvention of this feature, quite the contrary, but just some mechanisms so that a user still "feels" as if a video or audio file is "auto playing."

The quick work around is hide a video tag somewhere on the mobile page, since I built a responsive site I only do this for smaller screens. The video tag (HTML and jQuery examples):


<video id="dummyVideo" src="" preload="none" width="1" height="2"></video>


var $dummyVideo = $("<video />", {
  id: "dummyVideo",
  src: "",
  preload: "none",
  width: "1",
  height: "2"

With that hidden on the page, when a user "clicks" to watch a movie (still user interaction, there is no way to get around that requirement) instead of navigating to a secondary watch page I load the hidden video. This mainly works because the media tag isn't really used but instead promoted to a Quicktime instance so having a visible video element isn't necessary at all. In the handler for "click" (or "touchend" on mobile).

$(".movie-container").on("click", function() {
  var url = $(this).data("stream-url");
  $dummyVideo.attr("src", url);
  $dummyVideo.get(0).load(); // required if src changed after page load

And viola. As far as UX goes, a user clicks on a video to play and Quicktime opens playing the video they chose. This remains within the limitation that videos can only be played via user action so I'm not forcing data on anyone who isn't deciding to watch a video with this service. I discovered this when trying to figure out how exactly Youtube pulled this off with their mobile which is essentially some really nice Javascript page building and fancy element hiding like in the case of the video tag.

tl;dr Here is a somewhat "workaround" to try and create an "autoplay" UX feature on iOS devices without going above and beyond Apple's limitations and still having users decide if they want to watch a video (or audio most likey, though I've not tested) themselves without having one just loaded without their permission.

Also, to the person who commented that is from, this still unfortunately would not have been a solution to your issues which is time based audio play back.

I hope someone finds this information useful, it would have saved me a week of bad news delivery to a client that was adamant that they have this feature and I was glad to find a way to deliver it in the end.


Further finding indicate the above workaround is for iPhone/iPod devices only. The iPad plays video in Safari before it's been full screened so you'll need some mechanism to resize the video on click before playing or else you'll end up with audio and no video.

Solution 3 - Jquery

Just set

webView.mediaPlaybackRequiresUserAction = NO;

The autoplay works for me on iOS.

Solution 4 - Jquery

As of iOS 10, videos now can autoplay, but only if they are either muted, or have no audio track. Yay!

In short:

  • <video autoplay> elements will now honor the autoplay attribute, for elements which meet the following conditions:
    • <video> elements will be allowed to autoplay without a user gesture if their source media contains no audio tracks.
    • <video muted> elements will also be allowed to autoplay without a user gesture.
    • If a <video> element gains an audio track or becomes un-muted without a user gesture, playback will pause.
    • <video autoplay> elements will only begin playing when visible on-screen such as when they are scrolled into the viewport, made visible through CSS, and inserted into the DOM.
    • <video autoplay> elements will pause if they become non-visible, such as by being scrolled out of the viewport.

More info here:

Solution 5 - Jquery

In this Safari HTML5 reference, you can read

> To prevent unsolicited downloads over cellular networks at the user’s > expense, embedded media cannot be played automatically in Safari on > iOS—the user always initiates playback. A controller is automatically > supplied on iPhone or iPod touch once playback in initiated, but for > iPad you must either set the controls attribute or provide a > controller using JavaScript.

Solution 6 - Jquery

Let video muted first to ensure autoplay in ios, then unmute it if you want.

<video autoplay loop muted playsinline>
  <source src="video.mp4?123" type="video/mp4">

<script type="text/javascript">
$(function () {
  if (!navigator.userAgent.match(/(iPod|iPhone|iPad)/)) {
    $("video").prop('muted', false);


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Content TypeOriginal AuthorOriginal Content on Stackoverflow
QuestionJemView Question on Stackoverflow
Solution 1 - JquerydsgriffinView Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 2 - JqueryBrandon BuckView Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 3 - JqueryEr LiView Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 4 - JqueryJackKalishView Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 5 - JqueryGionaView Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 6 - JqueryMohammad Ali AkbariView Answer on Stackoverflow