1.4.2 Audio Control (Level A)

Users must have a way to pause or stop any audio that automatically plays for more than three seconds.

What you need to know

  • One of the fundamental principles of accessibility is to put the user in control of the page’s content. The user decides what they access and interact with.
  • This success criteria drives the “user control” point home and is fairly simple to meet.
  • WCAG discourages the practice of having any automatic audio, but provides a quick three second exception.

What you need to do

  • Don’t have any audio that automatically plays on your website.
  • If you do have audio that automatically plays, limit it to three seconds and provide for an easy way to adjust, mute, pause, or stop the video.


Read the full explanation of success criterion 1.4.2 on

Related Resource

Check out “1.4.2 Common Failures” from W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative for more information about this success criterion.