Google Chrome gets Experimental Audio Muting Functionality

If you’re in the habit of having multiple tabs open while using Chrome, then you’ll definitely find this feature to be helpful.

Depending on how you browse the web, you may have encountered situations where audio suddenly started to play in the browser. It is sometimes easy to pinpoint the tab and location where the audio is coming from, while it may not be as easy at other times.

Browsers like Chrome offer audio indicators which help you identify tabs with audio elements that play at that point in time.

While that is great as an indicator, it still means that you have to display the website, locate the audio element and stop playback if you don’t want it to continue.

Chromium-based browsers have a distinct advantage over Firefox in this regard thanks to Google’s control of the Flash plugin in the browser.

A new experimental flag in recent Chrome Dev and Canary builds improves the process in the browser further. Instead of just displaying audio indicators in the tab itself, Chrome now supports the muting of the audio in those tabs with a single click on the audio indicator.

tab playing audio

tab muted

This enables you to quickly toggle audio in any tab in the browser without doing so manually. This speeds up the procedure significantly as the activating and hunting for the audio element is a thing of the past now in Google Chrome.

A click on the audio indicator mutes the audio while another reverses it so that audio plays again from that tab.

The feature is not enabled by default right now but available as an experimental flag in the browser. Here is how you enable it:

  • Load chrome://flags/#enable-tab-audio-muting in Chrome’s address bar and hit enter.
  • Here you should find the Enable tab audio muting UI control right away as the loading should jump to the flag right away.
  • It reads:”When enabled, the audio indicators in the tab strip double as tab audio mute controls. This also adds commands in the tab context menu for quickly muting multiple selected tabs”.
  • Hit Enable underneath it and restart the browser.

The feature is now active so that you can mute any audio playing from any tab in the browser with just a single-click on the audio indicator in that tab.

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