How to Disable Animated .GIFs in Google Chrome

by Ross McKillop on August 4, 2011

Chrome

This very brief tutorial will guide you through the steps required to disable (most) Animated GIFs in the Google Chrome web browser.

Background

There are a number of extensions that ‘disable’ Animated GIFs in Chrome. In this guide I will explain how to install and use 2 of them. These are the two best ways to disable Animated GIFs in Chrome, in my testing (different versions of Chrome on both Windows and OS X).

Disabling Animated GIFs in Chrome

The first method uses the Chrome Extension Paused!, which will stop animated .gif files from playing without any interaction on your part. Drawbacks: Paused! isn’t perfect. If the .GIF file is hosted on a domain other than the one the web page is using, the GIF file may still animate. Although I haven’t experienced it yet, I have also read reports that Paused! can sometimes cause CAPTCHA’s not to display correctly.

The second method uses the script Stop gif animations on escape. The difference between this method and the first is that you have to hit the escape key on your keyboard to stop the GIF animations from playing. However, I have found that this method/script works on animated GIFs that even Paused! can’t stop. Drawbacks: you have to hit the escape key to stop the animations.

You can try one (or both) of the methods mentioned above to see which works best for you – the instructions are below.

Method 1: Paused!

  1. To get started, visit the Paused! page on the Chrome Web Store. Click the large Add to Chrome button.

  2. click to enlarge

  3. Click Install when prompted.
  4. Chrome will likely notify you of the successful installation. You can close this notification window.
  5. Now visit a page that has Animated GIF’s (if you’ve previously visited the page, you’ll need to Refresh it). They (the GIFs) shouldn’t be ‘playing’.
  6. Again, Paused! isn’t perfect. Some if the images it should stop from animating will still play. If you find that Paused! doesn’t work well enough for you, you can uninstall it by opening your Extensions list. To do so, click the “Customize and control Google Chrome” button (upper-right corner of the Chrome window), select Tools -> Extensions and then scroll down to the Paused! entry. Click the uninstall link.

Method 2: Stop gif animations on escape

  1. Head over to the Stop gif animations on escape userscripts page. Click the Install button.
  2. If a ‘warning’ message pops up, click Continue.
  3. Click Install when prompted.
  4. Chrome will likely notify you of the successful installation. You can close this notification window.
  5. Now visit a page that you know has some Animated GIFs on it. Hit the escape key on your keyboard, and the GIFs should stop ‘playing’.
  6. If for any reason this script doesn’t work for you, or you just decide you don’t want to use it anymore, it’s very easy to uninstall. Click the “Customize and control Google Chrome” button (upper-right corner of the Chrome window), select Tools -> Extensions and then scroll down to the Stop gif animations on escape entry. Click the uninstall link.