When you surf the Internet, nothing can be more annoying than a browser tab that suddenly decides that it needs to be heard. Regardless of whether a website has an automatically playable video or a repeating sound effect, you can silence this annoying tab and let go of your tired eardrum. Here's how to mute a tab in today's popular web browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Opera and Microsoft Edge.
Not sure which web browser to use? Check out the best web browsers for your computer. If you are aware of privacy, we also have the best browsers for your digital security.
Mute a tab in Google Chrome
To mute a tab in Google Chrome, just move the mouse pointer over the tab that produces sound and right-click. Then select Mute Site from the drop-down menu. Repeat the above steps to reverse the process and allow the tab to produce sound.
Google Chrome also offers the option to block websites from playing sounds. To access this feature, do the following:
Step 1: Click the three-dot ellipse icon in the top right corner and select Settings from the drop-down menu.
Step 2: On the Settings page on the left, select Privacy and Security.
Step 3: Choose Site Settings.
Step 4: Scroll down and expand Additional Content Settings if you haven't already.
Step 5: Choose sound.
Note: You can also access this panel by typing the following in the address bar: chrome: // settings / content / sound
Step 5: Select which sites you want to automatically mute or unmute. It also shows a switch to toggle audio on and off for all websites, as well as the ability to manually add a website you don't want to hear.
Mute a tab in Mozilla Firefox
Firefox users can run a process similar to Google Chrome when it comes to mute browser tabs. To mute a tab, hover over it and click the small speaker icon. This symbol shows a strikethrough to indicate that it is now muted.
Alternatively, you can right-click the Firefox tab to produce sound and then select the Mute option. Repeat the above steps to reverse the process and allow the tab to produce sound.
Similar to Google Chrome, you can also choose whether audio can be played automatically when you visit a new website. Follow the instructions below to customize this feature.
Step 1: Click the three-bar icon at the top right and choose either Options (Windows) or Settings (MacOS) from the drop-down menu.
Step 2: Select Privacy and Security on the left.
Step 3: Scroll down to the Permissions section and click the Settings button next to Autoplay.
Step 4: Next to Default for all websites, select Block audio from the drop-down menu.
Step 5: When you're done, click the Save Changes button.
Add to your whitelist so certain websites like YouTube can play audio:
Step 1: Click the padlock icon next to the website URL.
Step 2: Click the right arrow next to Connection Secure.
Step 3: Select More Information from the drop-down menu.
Step 4: In the window that opens, click the Permissions tab.
Step 5: Under Autoplay, clear the check box next to Use Standard.
Step 6: Click the button next to Allow audio and video.
Mute a tab in Safari
Safari is still a popular browser for MacOS users, and the software has no functionality, so you can easily mute a tab. As in other browsers, find the speaker icon to the right of the website name on the tab and click it to mute it. You can also click the speaker icon next to the website address to perform the same functions.
If desired, you can also right-click a tab and then select the Mute tab from the drop-down menu. If you repeat these steps, you can reverse your decision and reset audio to the tab.
To mute other tabs that are playing music, right-click the speaker icon in the Smart Search box (address bar) and select Mute Other Tabs from the drop-down menu.
To mute all tabs, click the speaker icon in the Smart Search field (address bar). Click it again to bring the music back.
Mute a tab in Opera
The Opera web browser follows the same method as other applications: locate the speaker icon and click it to mute the current tab. You can also right-click the tab and select the Mute tab as an alternate method. Repeating these steps will unmute the tab, allowing you to continue playing produced audio.
An additional feature of Opera Sports is the ability to mute other tabs when you right-click a tab – a handy feature when you need to focus on one tab and block the rest.
Mute a tab in Microsoft Edge (EdgeHTML)
If you've just upgraded Windows 10 to version 2004 (also known as the May 2020 update), that version of the Microsoft browser is probably no longer available. The replace is a newer version based on Google’s Chromium open source code. However, here are the instructions for the original version if you don't plan to update Windows 10 soon.
To directly mute a tab, simply click the speaker icon next to the site name on the tab. You will then see an "X" next to the speaker icon, indicating that there is no sound. Click the speaker icon again to unmute it.
Alternatively, you can right-click the tab and select the Mute tab from the drop-down menu. Repeat the process to turn the audio back on.
Mute a tab in Microsoft Edge (Chromium)
The new version of Edge from Microsoft is based on the open source code Chromium from Google and brings it closer to Chrome. As in Google’s browser, you can click the speaker icon next to the website’s name on the tab to turn mute on. Click it again to unmute it. Easy.
You can also right-click on a noisy tab and select Mute from the drop-down menu. Repeat this process to turn the audio back on.
The Chromium version of Microsoft Edge also offers the option to block websites from playing sounds altogether. To access this feature, do the following:
Step 1: Click the three-dot ellipse icon in the upper right corner and select Settings from the drop-down menu.
Step 2: Select site permissions on the left.
Step 3: Scroll down and select Media Autoplay on the right.
Step 4: Next to Control whether audio and video will automatically play on websites, select Limit from the drop-down menu.
As the browser indicates, media is blocked based on the previously blocked tabs. The browser will apply this change to all new tabs in the future.
How do I mute a tab on my smartphone?
Mobile browsers such as Chrome, Safari and Firefox usually interrupt video and audio when you switch to a different tab – even on tablets – to save battery power. This means that in the desktop versions you won't find a way to directly mute tabs. In most cases, audio is already muted by default.
However, Chrome for Android offers an interesting solution that can mute all websites so that their audio doesn't automatically go to the movies when you're surfing the web during a boring movie. Here's how:
Step 1: Tap the three-dot menu button.
Step 2: In the drop-down menu, tap Settings.
Step 3: Scroll down and tap Site Settings.
Step 4: Scroll down and tap Sound.
Step 5: Either tap the switch to allow all sites to play sound (blue) or tap it to turn it off (gray).
If you turn off the sound, you can add exceptions to the rule so that certain websites like YouTube can play sound.
Step 6: Tap the Add Site Exception option.
Step 7: Enter the address of the site you want to allow.
Step 8: When done, tap Add.
If you want to enable sound on all sites and block audio from playing on a particular site, repeat the last three steps to add a site to your blacklist.
Another way to block audio from playing on a particular site is to do the following:
Step 1: Tap the lock icon next to the website address.
Step 2: In the drop-down area, tap Site Settings.
Step 3: Under Permissions, tap Sound.
Step 4: Tap Block and you're done.