You’re minding your own business, surfing the web and suddenly you start to hear a commercial or news report blaring through your computer’s speakers.

Most modern web browsers will help you figure out which tab the sound is coming from, by showing a speaker icon. Some, including Chrome and Firefox will also let you mute that tab by giving it a right-click and then choosing the mute option.

But next time you visit that site, there’s a good chance the same thing will happen… but it looks like Google is working on a fix that will let you permanently mute pages on a per-domain basis.

Google’s François Beaufort notes that the new option shows up when you click the page info button in the location bar (the part that tells you if a site is secure or not).

You can choose whether to allow or block audio from the page, or you can choose “ask” if you want to grant the page permission to ask whether it should make noise every time you visit.

Beaufort says the Chrome team “is currently experimenting” with the feature. But you can give it a try by running the latest Chrome Canary build and turning on the experimental SoundContentSetting switch with the following flag:

–enable-features=SoundContentSetting

Eventually the feature could make its way to Chrome’s dev, beta, and then stable channels.

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12 replies on “Chrome to let you permanently mute websites”

  1. That’s nice but what I wont is an option that will pop up a little window informing me that “You have muted this site in the past, do you still wont to load the page, or go back/close the tab”.

    By offering me this option I will have the option to TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY boycott that site.

    What Google is doing is offering those horrible sites the option to be less annoying to the users. What I wont from Google is the option to make those sites regret by implementing auto start videos or audios.

  2. Autoplay is so annoying. I welcome features such as this that do something about it, whether prevention or muting. I use Firefox and found an option to disable autoplay which works most of the time.

    1. I have a comment above with the instructions I followed to disable auto-play on Firefox 54 and 55. The auto-play disable remained working after updating Firefox to the latest version recently (from 54 to 55) so at least for one update it didn’t have to be re-enabled.

  3. This feature has been available in Opera for over a year.

    Any specific tab playing music has an animated EQ sprite overlaying the icon, one click silences/mutes the tab regardless of sound source.

    Very useful when a rogue ad starts playing sound and you’re not sure which of the 30 tabs is the source.

    1. Opera was always ahead of the curve. It’s like these guys actually used the browser they were developing (and tested it on both high-end and low-end systems). Haven’t used them since they transitioned to the new engine and made other sweeping changes. Should probably give them another look…

      1. I find Vivaldi good for old, low-power computers but YouTube doesn’t play well (even if it does on Firefox using the same computer), especially when first starting the video. I find browsing on Firefox to be painfully slow and sticky on these computers whereas Vivaldi works smoothly (I have tested it on two, one low power 2013 laptop with an AMD E1-2100 1.0GHz CPU and an approximately 2009-2010 computer with a Celeron 900 2.20GHz CPU), both have spinning HDDs. Both were Windows 7 equipped computers. This surprised me since Vivaldi is supposedly based on Google Chrome (with many modifications) which is the resource-hoggiest browser known to man. It should be noted that Vivaldi is essentially in beta so everything won’t be perfected but the most problem I ran into was playing YouTube videos. Bookmarks can be copied over from Firefox if they are already on the computer hard drive that you are installing Vivaldi on.

  4. Good. *insert grumpy cat*. Some backlash against careless advertisers.

  5. Now if they could only make it so websites don’t autoplay video, or shove them into the sidebar and restart them after I paused the video. So stupidly annoying.

    1. I can’t wait for the day I can block CNN.com from autoplaying videos. What kind of attention-depleted boob do you take me for, that you would assume I’d rather watch a video instead of reading an article? Its insulting.

      I instantly close any news article that autoplays a video.

      That, and articles that are nothing more than a slide-show gallery of pictures with small blurbs written underneath (Top 50-type articles). I call it “slideshow journalism”. If it was print media, I would wipe my ass with it.

      1. If you use Firefox this should work although you will run into the relatively rare site where this blocks playing of videos completely (I think I ran into it twice over several months). Big sites like YouTube will play by clicking the Play icon on the bottom of the video screen but the block only works about 70% of the time on YT whereas other sites are usually completely blocked from auto-playing:

        1. Type about:config in the browser’s address bar and hit enter.

        2. Confirm that you will be careful if the notification comes up.

        3. Use the search at the top to find the preference media.autoplay.enabled.

        4. Double-click on it.

        (Credit: Google)

        If you do this be damn sure you don’t mess with anything else in the about:config screen unless you know what you are doing. You could theoretically ruin your Firefox install messing with the wrong functions. Good luck.

    2. This used to be the easiest thing in the world to do. Flashblock it all and forget it. Once in a blue moon, it blocks something you want (hulu video), right click, enable that one element, and you’re good. Bonus, static ads still show, you can still support your publishers safely. But yea! Flash is dead! We’re all safer now that the same stuff that can toast our machines (and annoy us) is so interwoven that nearly every element of every page is infested with it, and we have to rely on blocklists that can’t keep up with all the spoofing.

      Flash sucked. But it was soooo easy to contain. HTML5 is basically pandora’s box projectile vomiting all over the entire internet. If I never read another stupid blog post about how great it is that flash is dead, it’ll be too soon.

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