How to Mute Tabs With One Click in Google Chrome

As Google Chrome grows, it’s been getting even more useful features and advanced settings to play with. Among them was a one-click tab muting feature that enabled you to mute tabs by clicking their speaker icons. Google removed that feature, but then re-established it earlier in 2022.

However, the big G inexplicably disabled the one-click tab muting again in the Google Chrome 108 update in December 2022. Users with up-to-date Chrome browsers are now right-clicking tabs to select the Mute site option. Yet, you can restore the one-click tab muting in Chrome with the methods below.

How to Re-Enable One-Click Tab Muting by Changing Flag Settings

You already know that Chrome displays a speaker icon on tabs that are playing audio, which is great for identifying rogue sounds when you have too many tabs open. To make that speaker icon a mute option again, you’ll need to enable a couple of flags.

You can enable those flags via Chrome’s Experiments tab in the following steps:

  1. Click in Chrome’s URL bar, input chrome://flags/, and press the Enter button.
  2. Then type Temporarily unexpire M107 flags inside the search box at the top of the Experiments tab.
  3. Select Enabled for the Temporarily unexpire M107 flags setting.
    The Temporarily unexpire M107 flags setting

  4. Click Relaunch to restart Chrome.
  5. Reopen the Experiments tab.
  6. Input Tab audio muting UI control inside the tab’s search box.
  7. Click Enabled on the Tab audio muting UI control drop-down menu.
    The Tab audio muting UI control flag

  8. Select Relaunch to restart Chrome, and now you’ll be able to mute tabs just by clicking on the speaker icons.

Try out the restored one-click tab muting in Google Chrome. Open a YouTube video page in your browser. Press the video’s play button. Clicking the speaker icon on the tab will then mute the video’s sound just like it used to!

Now when sites load annoying autoplaying videos–or when you visit a horrible website that still plays background music–you have a weapon you can use against them again.

There are many more ways you can upgrade your Google Chrome browser by tweaking flags. Our how-to speed-up Chrome guide tells you how to enhance that browser’s speed by changing flag settings. You can also capture and edit webpage screenshots in Chrome by enabling the Desktop Screenshots and Desktop Screenshots Edit Mode flags.

How to Mute Tabs in One Click With the Mute Tab Extension

Alternatively, you can add a one-click tab muting feature to Google Chrome with an extension. There are extensions available for Chrome that add buttons for muting tabs to that browser. Among them is the Mute Tab add-on, which also includes some settings for muting tabs.

To install that Google Chrome extension, click its download link below; press the Add to Chrome button for Mute Tab, and select the Add extension option to confirm. Add the extension to the toolbar by clicking Chrome’s Extensions menu button and the Pin option for Mute Tab.

The Pin button for Mute Tab

Now you’ll see the Mute Tabs button on your toolbar. To access that extension’s settings, right-click its button and select Options. The Mute Tab – Options page includes five settings for the extension. Select the Mute all tabs checkbox to set the extension to silence all pages open in your browser.

The Mute Tab settings

Play a YouTube video to try out the extension. After playing the video, press the Mute Tab button to silence its tab. With that extension set to mute all tabs, it will silence videos on multiple pages when you press its toolbar button.

The Mute Tab extension button on the toolbar

You can also set the extension to mute only the active tab. However, then you’ll need to click a tab and the Mute Tab button to silence its video. If you want genuine one-click muting, select the Mute all tabs option.

Or you can set up a hotkey for the extension that will mute tabs when pressed. To do so, type chrome://extensions/shortcuts inside Chrome’s address bar and press Enter; click the pencil icon beside Activate the extension box for Mute Tab to activate it. Then press a key combination like Ctrl + M to set a hotkey for the add-on.

The Mute Tab keyboard shortcut box

Now, you can press the add-on’s hotkey to mute tabs. You don’t need to click the mouse at all to silence videos when you’ve set the extension to mute all tabs. If set to mute only an active tab, you’ll only need to click once to select the page with a video to mute.

Download: Mute Tab for Google Chrome (Free)

Get One-Click Tab Muting Back in Google Chrome

Exactly why Google disabled the one-click tab muting in Chrome 108 is unclear. Nor is it clear whether the big G will ever restore that feature in a future update.

However, you can easily get one-click tab muting functionality back in Chrome today by changing the two flag settings or adding the Mute Tab extension. There are plenty of other flags you can change to improve Chrome as well.

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