The latest version of Google’s Chrome web browser is here and, as expected, it includes some security and privacy enhancements including patches to help protect you from the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities and a feature that prevents scripts from unexpectedly redirecting you to a different website.

Chrome 64 is also the first version of Google’s web browser with a “mute site” option that lets you permanently silence web pages on a site-by-site basis.

Mute site

Previously if you noticed a website was playing sound that you didn’t want to hear, you could right-click on that browser tab and select the “mute tab” option to make it stop. But the next time you visited that web page you might hear auto-playing audio again.

Now “mute tab” has been replaced with “mute site,” and this time it sticks. The only way you’ll hear sound from that website again is if you actively unmute it.

Ads Settings (not strictly Chrome-related

In other Google takes-aim-at-annoying things news, the company has announced a few new options for getting rid of annoying ads.

First up is an option to mute “reminder ads,” which have a habit of following you around the web when you start shopping for something. For example, if you’ve ever found yourself shopping for a specific laptop, TV, or pair of socks online there’s a good chance that you’ve seen ads for that item when you visit other websites.

The idea is that you may have added something to your cart and then decided not to purchase them, and the ads remind you to complete the purchase… even if you’ve changed your mind or already bought that item somewhere else. Now you can mute those reminder ads on websites that use Google’s ad networks. Eventually you’ll be able to mute them in YouTube, Google search, and Gmail as well.

Google is also updating its Mute This Ad feature that lets you tell the company when you don’t want to see an ad because it’s irrelevant, inappropriate, covers the content you’re trying to read, or just something you’ve seen too many times.

Now when you mute an ad on one device, that preference should follow you to other devices (as long as you’re logged into Google). For instance, muting an ad on your phone should prevent it from showing up in your desktop browser, and vice versa.

Chrome again

Back to the browser, other changes in Chrome 64 include an improved popup blocker, some new APIs, and a bunch of bug fixes and other changes.

There’s also now support for HDR content if you’re using Chrome on a PC running the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. You’ll also need discrete graphics and an HDR-compatible display.

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3 replies on “Google Chrome 64 brings “mute site” feature, Spectre and Meltdown patches”

  1. I have mixed feelings about his. On the one hand, there are sites I mute every Time I go so this is helpful. Like if I am listening to a Lecture and playing Pac-Man to pass the Time. I don’t want the Pac-Man sounds, I want to listen to the Proffessor, but I do want to do something else as well to help stay focused.

    But what if I want to, say, Listen to a Lecture on Youtube, and mute a slideshow on Youtube? Sure, YouTube lets me mute individual Videos, but I wish we had the option to both Mute Tab and Mute Site.

  2. I’d like to see a Mute Video feature, to prevent videos from slowing down by browser on websites like Yahoo.com

  3. The mute sound feature works best, IMHO, when you make no sound the default and then allow sound at those few sites that you want sound–e.g. Youtube. Otherwise, you’re continually adding new sites.

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