Last updated: May 28, 2016
How to add audio muting to Chrome tabs
UPDATE: The manner in which users are able to mute tab audio has changed as of Chrome 46. If you are running the latest version of Chrome, see How to mute tabs in Google Chrome. Users who are running Chrome 45 or earlier, please follow the instructions below.
Add audio muting to Chrome tabs with a single mouse-click. The Google Chrome web browser conveniently displays a speaker icon in a browser tab where audio is playing.
This is particularly convenient and useful to isolate the source of sound when you have multiple tabs and windows open. But there is no need to mute your entire system sound by tapping the Mute button on your keyboard, or by clicking the Speakers icon in your system tray. You can instead add audio muting to Chrome tabs natively and individually, without the use of a third-party extension.
The feature is called Enable tab audio muting UI control, and it is located under Flags. It is important to note that Flags features, such as Enable tab audio muting UI control, are essentially beta features. As with anything designated as “beta”, this feature may still be undergoing testing, may be unstable, and may not respond as expected. It could also just vanish at any time. Chrome makes this very clear with a warning atop the Flags page.
In hoping for the best, and keeping a tourniquet handy, here is how to add audio muting to Chrome tabs. It is always best at this point to make sure your Google Chrome web browser is up to date.
Type or copy/paste chrome://flags/#enable-tab-audio-muting into the Chrome omnibox, which is the web address input field. This feature displays highlighted in the page. Click the Enable link under the feature to turn on Enable tab audio muting UI control.
Congratulations! The hard part is over. Next, in order for the change to take effect, you need to restart Google Chrome. When the browser relaunches, navigate to a page that contains audio. The functionality to mute audio in just that tab is now present. Just click on the speaker icon in the tab to mute the audio playing only in that tab. The speaker icon changes to a mute icon instead.
There are also some handy keyboard shortcuts related to tab audio muting UI control:
Mute current tab: Alt + Shift + M
Mute all tabs: Alt + Shift + Comma
Unmute all tabs: Alt + Shift + Period
To modify the keyboard shortcuts, visit chrome://extensions in the address bar. Scroll down to Keyboard shortcuts. In the window that opens, find the section under Mute Tab Shortcuts, make your edits, then click OK.
To disable this feature, return to chrome://flags/#enable-tab-audio-muting. Click the Disable link, and restart Google Chrome for the change to take effect.
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