- An update to Google’s internet browser, Chrome, brought users a lot of new features including the option to mute certain websites permanently.
- This is an upgrade from the option to “Mute Tab,” which was more of a temporary fix for users, since the settings would revert to their defaults if you closed the tab or browser.
- The update could prevent users from avoiding sites with auto-play videos altogether.
In January, Google Chrome — the search giant’s extremely popular web browser — started rolling out an update with a lot of new features, including the ability to permanently mute sites that auto-play annoying videos every time you visit.
Google Chrome updates usually consist of bug fixes and other necessary security-related adjustments that make a minimal difference in your day-to-day browsing. But every now and then, Chrome serves up a little gem, and this is one of them.
Google Chrome users can now right-click on a tab and select “Mute Site” to make sure that the site never plays sound. You can also click on the padlock on the left end of the address bar, scroll down to “Sound,” and select “Block.” I found sites would remain muted even when visiting them in an incognito tab, which means only clearing out your cache would undo the site-wide mute.
Of course, this means if you do want to hear a video from of your muted sites, you’ll have to “Unmute Site,” done in the same manner. But now, you won’t have to worry about visiting websites that will interrupt your music or general browsing experience. Prior to this update, there were some sites that I avoided completely for this sole reason.
Before Google added this option to mute an entire website, there was the option to “Mute Tab,” but that fix was temporary: If you closed the tab or browser, the settings would revert to their defaults, and you’d continually need to remember to mute the tab each time. Sometimes the best option was just muting my entire computer or phone, but then I’d miss out on my Spotify playlist.
If you’ve closed your Google Chrome browser in the last month or so, this feature should be in your browser already since this was an automatic update. You’ll know if a Chrome update is pending if those three dots in the top right-hand corner of your window are any color besides grey: They can be green, red, or orange, depending on how long its been since the update was released.
I highly advise making use of the “Mute Site” feature. It’ll change your relationship with certain websites, and make for a less frustrating web-browsing experience overall.