If you’ve been on the internet for even a couple of minutes, you’ve probably seen a tab with an annoying audio overlay. Maybe it was a video clip, or perhaps someone played YouTube too loudly in the office. Whatever the reason, there’s no need to stare at that tab anymore.

how to mute a tab in chrome

The thing is, websites use HTML5 media elements to play audio and video that you visit from any website. These media settings are often enabled by default so that your browser can show you rich content as soon as possible. This means that every time you visit a new website with an audio or video overlay, your browser will automatically play it without asking for your permission first. Fortunately, this feature isn’t hard to manage because most major browsers have an option to mute tabs on their respective built-in add-ons — whether Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, or Microsoft Edge. To learn how to do it for different browsers, keep reading!

However, unlike other browsers such as Firefox and Edge, Google Chrome only offers the “Mute site” option. That is when you select the mute site option, you mute the entire website, and the mute option remains enabled every time you visit the website. The “Mute Tab” option, on the other hand, mutes only the website on the tab as long as the tab is active. However, this article covers all the ways to mute a tab on Chrome and other browsers too.

How to Mute a Single Tab in Chrome Browser

If you are disturbed by audio/video ads when using the Chrome browser, you can mute the tab in Chrome using one of the following methods:

Method 1: Use Chrome’s Mute Site Option

Chrome has a built-in feature that allows you to silence websites that annoy you. As mentioned earlier, a website with this option will always be muted when you visit it. To mute a website in Chrome:

  1. Right-click on the tab you want to mute.
  2. From the resulting drop-down menu, select Mute Site.mute a tab in chrome:mute site
  3. This will silence the sites in the open tabs anytime you open them.

Method 2: Enable Chrome Tab Muting and Use the Sound Icon to Mute the Tab

If you prefer to mute a tab in Chrome instead, a workaround allows you to enable this in the browser. This method is meant for those with the speaker icon on their tabs, but it does not work. Follow these steps:

  1. Visit Chrome://flags/#enable-tab-audio-muting on your browser.enable tab muting in chrome
  2. Select Enabled and then Relaunch the browser.
    relaunch chrome
  3. Now, you can make use of the speaker icon in front of your tab name to mute it

Method 3: Use Chrome Extensions to Mute a Single Tab

There are also some Chrome extensions that you can use to mute a tab in Chrome instead of using the built-in option to mute site option, which is not suitable for some people. Just install one of these extensions in your Chrome browser, and you can start using the feature. Here are some of the extensions you can use and how to get started with them:

  • Tab Muter
  • Mute Tab
  • Smart Mute

To add this extension (for this tutorial, we will use Tab Muter) to your browser and use it, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Tab Muter extension page and select Add to Chrome.tab muter extention
  2. Next, click on the Add extension option.
  3. Visit your extension list and pin the Tab Muter extension on Chrome for easy access.pin tab muter extension
  4. A speaker icon is added to your pinned list and can be enabled/disabled whenever you want to mute/unmute a tab.

Method 4: Mute Chrome Tabs with Keyboard Shortcuts

chrome mute tab shortcuts

For this method to work, you must have the Mute Tab Shortcut extension in your Chrome browser. These are keyboard shortcuts that allow you to mute tabs in Chrome:

  1. Press Alt + Shift +, to mute all tabs in your current window.
  2. Press Alt + Shift + M to mute and unmute a selected tab.
  3. Press Alt + Shift + N to mute all tabs except the one your one

Method 5: Use Ad Blockers to Mute Sites on Chrome

If you are using the Mute tab option in Chrome just to silence video ads, it’s important to know that muting tabs only cut off the sound made by the ads on websites, but these ads will still keep running. Hence, if you want to obliterate the ads and popups, you can use different ad blockers recommend in this article

How to Mute a Tab on Firefox

firefox mute tab

There are a few ways to mute a tab on Firefox.

  • One is to right-click the tab and select “Mute Tab”.
  • Another way is to left-click the speaker icon, which will only mute the sound from that particular tab. If you want to mute all tabs except for one, you can do so by clicking the speaker icon in that tab.
  • Finally, you can also right-click the tab and choose “Mute Tab” to mute the browser tab altogether.

How to Mute a Tab on Safari

There are a few ways to mute tabs in Safari.

mute a tab in safari

  • The easiest way is to just click on the tab that is playing audio. This will mute the sound coming from that tab. If you want to unmute it, just click on it again.
  • You can also mute all tabs by clicking on the Speaker icon located in the Smart Search field (address bar). If you want to unmute all of them, just click on the speaker icon again.
  • In addition, Safari offers a blue speaker icon in its URL bar, which you can click to mercifully mute all tabs when you have rogue tabs playing audio in the background.

How to Mute a Tab on Microsoft Edge

To mute a tab in Microsoft Edge, you can do this by going to the top left corner of the screen and clicking on the three dots next to your address bar. From there, select “Settings” and then click on “Audio.” Toggle the tab icon to the right of “Mute tabs” to mute that tab.

mute a tab on edge

Alternatively, in Microsoft Edge, you can also mute individual tabs in settings by selecting a specific tab from the list and clicking on “Mute this tab.” If you want to unmute it later on, just go back into Audio Settings and toggle it off from there.

How to Mute a Tab on Opera

When you have more than one background tab playing audio, Opera offers the best way to mute them. By right-clicking your current tab and clicking Mute other tabs, you can mute all other tabs.

opera mute tabs

To mute background tabs, click the speaker icon or right-click a tab and choose Mute tab. When you mouse over a tab playing audio, Opera displays an audio-levels icon, then changes to a speaker icon.

How to Mute Tabs in Vivaldi

There are multiple ways to mute a tab on Vivaldi:

mute a tab on vivaldi

  • When the tab is currently playing audio, click on the speaker icon;
  • Select Mute Tab from the right-click menu;
  • Select multiple Tabs and right-click on one of them. Then select Mute # Tabs from the context menu.

How to Mute a Tab on Smartphones

There are a few ways to mute tabs on different browsers. On mobile browsers like Chrome and Safari, there is a feature that will pause audio playback when switching tabs. Additionally, all websites are muted by default on both Chrome and Firefox for Android.

There is an option to mute all sites on Chrome for Android. Go to Settings > Tap Site Settings > Tap Sound > Here’s a toggle to mute all sites or unmute all sites.

You can also add exceptions for specific sites from which you want to allow sound. To do this, tap the Add Site Exception button and select the site you want to allow sound.

Final Words

Chrome removed the basic way to mute tabs on the browser some time ago and replaced it with a Mute site option. However, different methods to mute tabs on Chrome have been realized since then, and we’ve covered them in this article. Having discussed those, you have to choose the one you prefer among the methods and start muting tabs seamlessly on Chrome and other browsers.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Yes, you can mute any website you want on Chrome using the "Mute site" option. This will silence any sound from the website anytime you visit it. To enable this, you simply have to right-click the site tab and select Mute site.

There used to be a sound icon in front of tabs that can be utilized to mute a tab on Chrome. However, this tool was removed a while ago but can be enabled in the browser using the step discussed in the article.

Instead of using the mute site option on Chrome, you can enable the Mute tab option by following these steps:

  1. Open your Chrome browser, type chrome://flags/ in the address bar, and press Enter.
  2. Navigate to Tab audio muting UI control and select Enable.
  3. Then click on Relaunch Now to effect the change in your opened tabs.

To mute a tab without muting the site, you can use Chrome extensions like Tab Muter. It's a neat way which introduces the Mute Tab option in Chrome so that you can mute the specific/individual tab instead of the whole website.

You can use keyboard shortcuts if you want to mute tabs without right-clicking on Chrome.

Mute All Tabs In Current Window: Alt + Shift + ,
Mute/Unmute Selected Tab Only: Alt + Shift + M.
Mute All Tabs Except The Current One: Alt + Shift + N.

Further Reading:

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