How to Automatically Mute New Tabs in Chrome and Firefox
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The scourge of the internet was once popup ads. But now, many websites have let go of flashing popups in favor of something worse: autoplaying videos with sound.

How many times have you been surfing the web with a ton of tabs open, when all of a sudden noise comes blaring out from one of them? Not only is it annoying, but if you’re in public, it could draw embarrassing attention to you.

Auto-Mute Tabs in Chrome

Google Chrome is working on a feature that will permanently let you mute domains. But until then, you can mute websites individually using an extension like MuteTab.

Install this extension, then you can manage it using its icon in the upper-right corner of your browser. If you’re sick of all audio, enable the Privacy Mode option to automatically mute all tabs no matter what.

How to Automatically Mute New Tabs in Chrome and Firefox Chrome MuteTab Extension

But you can fine-tune the muting too. Select Mute background tabs to mute everything except your current tab. Open the Options and you can specify sites to always mute and never mute. MuteTab even lets you even specify music sites that are immune from the “mute all tabs” button. It’s pretty handy.

Auto-Mute Tabs in Firefox

For Firefox users, an equivalent addon is Mute Tab, which isn’t related to the above. Click the three-bar Menu button followed by Add-ons, then select the Extensions tab on the left to view your installed add-ons and manage their options. Select the Options button for Mute Tab to configure it.

How to Automatically Mute New Tabs in Chrome and Firefox Firefox Mute Tab Add On 592x500

Here, just check the Auto-mute new tabs box to apply its functionality. You can also use the Mute Tab while holding a certain key option to enable a quick shortcut. Specify a key here, like ALT, and hold it while clicking a tab to instantly mute it.

Note that this Firefox extension only mutes new tabs. The first tab you open will still have sound, so keep that in mind.

Do you hate auto-playing videos on websites? Is this feature useful or do you just keep your PC sound muted? Tell us in the comments!

Image Credit: ryanking999/Depositphotos

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  1. Keith
    September 13, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    I'd rather keep videos from auto-playing in the first place. That's easy to do with Flash media, but not so easy with HTML5. Firefox, which is what I'm using, has an about:config setting, but with auto-play turned off, some HTML5 media won't play at all. How do you suggest doing this?

  2. Anon
    September 13, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Two months before Firefox v57 is released you should at least include a WebExtension. The shame, the horror! I seldom see auto-playing video/audio because the 2-3 domains responsible for the majority of it I've blocked with uBO. I bookmarked a couple webext that look promising just in case: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/mutelinks/ and https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/mute-sites-by-default/