How to Mute a Tab in Any Web Browser

While browsing multiple tabs, we often encounter websites which automatically play videos without our permission. Even before the webpage has loaded properly, these sites will turn the audio on. To avoid annoyance, you may want to quickly mute the videos and unmute only if necessary.

In this tutorial, we explore native methods to mute tab sounds across Google Chrome, Safari, Opera, Microsoft Edge, and Mozilla Firefox.

Mute a Tab in Google Chrome

On Google Chrome, when you run into a website which autoplays videos, go to the top of the current tab and right-click to select “Mute site.” This will turn the audio off even if the computer speaker is on.

Mute Browsers Google Chrome

Once muted, continue to watch the video with subtitles or pause it if you just want to read the web contents. If you want to hear the audio once again, you can choose "unmute site" from the same corner.

Mute Browsers Google Chrome Unmute

For a more permanent solution, Google Chrome allows you to mute all sites that play sound. This can be accessed from “Settings -> Privacy and Security -> Site Settings -> Additional Content Settings.”

Mute Browsers Google Chrome All

As shown here, you can mute sites that play sounds or allow exceptions for a few news, gaming and entertainment sites.

Mute a Tab in Safari

If you're using Safari on Mac, you can mute audio in any open tab. Look for the tiny Audio button on the right side of the Smart search field or the tab bar to "mute the tab." The following screen is for Safari 12 on macOS Mojave. You can find similar placement of the audio button for Safari 14.1 on Big Sur.

Mute Browsers Apple Safari

Another option is to right-click on the audio icon to mute the tab from there. This option is useful if multiple tabs are open and you want to mute all the other tabs. Click the muted Audio button anytime to unmute the sounds.

Mute Browsers Apple Safari Mute This Tab

Mute Tab in Opera

If you're using the Opera browser, go to the top of the tab where the audio/video is playing. Right-click and select “mute tab,” an option very similar to the one on Google Chrome. To unmute the audio, just click the muted tab and select “unmute tab.” Currently, Opera doesn't offer a permanent option to mute tabs.

Mute Browsers Opera

Mute Tab in Microsoft Edge

The Microsoft Edge browser has a similar option to mute the current tabs as Chrome and Opera. Go to the top of the tab and right-click to select the mute option. Unmuting is also similarly done from that same icon.

Mute Browsers Edge

For a more permanent solution in muting audio, go to “Settings -> Cookies and Site Permissions -> Media autoplay.” Here you can control if audio and video play automatically on sites. The media will only play depending on how you've visited the page and whether you interacted with the media in the past. Refresh the page to see changes to this setting.

Mute Browsers Edge Media Autoplay

Mute Tab in Firefox

Firefox has one of the strictest solutions to deal with autoplay videos. Like the other browsers, you can turn off the audio from the tab on top by selecting “mute tab.” Unmuting is also done from the same position.

Mute Browsers Firefox

For a more permanent setting, go to the “Autoplay Settings” from “Preferences -> “Privacy.”

Mute Browsers Firefox Autoplay

Here you can set the default for all websites to block audio and video and selectively allow audio and video for specific sites.

Mute Browsers Firefox Block Settings

Have you encountered unwanted web audio recently while surfing your favorite websites? You learned here how to mute the browser tabs for various browsers. You may also want to learn how to enable Chrome flags to optimize your browsing experience on Chrome.

Sayak Boral

Sayak Boral is a technology writer with over eleven years of experience working in different industries including semiconductors, IoT, enterprise IT, telecommunications OSS/BSS, and network security. He has been writing for MakeTechEasier on a wide range of technical topics including Windows, Android, Internet, Hardware Guides, Browsers, Software Tools, and Product Reviews.

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