Accidentally playing media in icon thumbnails on Mac? Here’s how to turn it off

Years ago Finder on Mac added a really nifty little feature where the icon thumbnail for audio and video files offers a teensy tiny player right in the icon. While technically really cool, I think I’d file this feature under “we did it because we can”. All too often, I see people trying to click a file intending to select it, but instead, it starts playing. Fortunately, this feature can be disabled. Though it involves using Terminal, so be careful.

To get rid of this itsy bitsy player, open the Terminal app (if you don’t know where to find that or what I’m talking about then you probably shouldn’t be there) and enter the following command.

defaults write QLInlinePreviewMinimumSupportedSize -int 50000

Once you restart your Mac, the media controls will only be active if the icon is more than 5000 pixels wide, which it probably never will be.

Further help

If you are an existing customer who needs help with this or if you have other questions, or if you are in San Francisco and interested in becoming a client I invite you to book an appointment with me. Otherwise, you may wish to contact Apple Support or find a local Apple consultant.

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