Google released an update to its popular browser on the 25th of January that lets users mute an entire site, handy for thwarting sites that auto-play videos with sound the second you land on them.
Auto-play videos have long annoyed web-surfers, and until now, muting them or preventing them from playing at all required the use of third-party browser extensions available through the Chrome Web Store.
Chrome itself only let you mute individual tabs, and temporarily – close the offending tab and re-open the auto-playing site in another one, and you were back to being irritated.
As of the latest Chrome update, the option to mute a site in its entirety – and permanently – replaces the “Mute tab”option. To activate it, all you need to do is right-click on the tab the site is open in, and choose “Mute site”.
How to update
If you don’t see that option when you right click on a tab, Chrome needs to be updated. To do that manually, open Chrome, click the three dots in the top right corner and go to Settings. Here, you must click the three horizontal lines in the top left of the screen, and click on About Chrome.
Chrome will then check for updates, download the latest one, and ask you to click RELAUNCH. Do that, and the Mute Site option appears in your right-click menu.
Why was it needed in the first place?
The reason some sites have chosen to annoy their visitors with auto-playing videos despite the long-standing outcry against them (just google “auto-play websites and visit the discussion forums that come up) is because, well, they work. Even if all you do is scramble back to the site in order to close the tab or mute/pause the video manually, the advertiser has won – you’ve been exposed to their content.
Now, when you click Mute site, they’ll still get you, but only once more – from that point forward, you won’t hear a peep from them again unless you unmute them yourself.
And since Chrome keeps your user preferences attached to your account and saved to the cloud, sites you’ve chosen to mute will remain forever muted on whatever computer you’re using so long as you’re logged into Chrome.
This is amazing news. Thank you, Google, from the bottom of my heart.