One of the most annoying things on the internet is probably those unwanted audios that automatically start playing as a site gets loaded in a browser. In the past it’s really hard to locate the source as we had to go through all the tabs. Fortunately, nowadays modern browsers have made it much easier for us to find which tab that plays audio so that we can mute or close it.
Thanks to these integrated features to mute tab, there is no need to install extension. However, an extension offering more options can be a worthy addition if you find that the built-in functions are less than what you expected.
Firefox automatically displays a speaker indicator on the tab that play audio. You can simply click on the speaker icon to mute the tab. The icon will then turn to a crossed-out speaker. Clicking on it again will unmute the tab.
The option to mute tab can be seen only when there is an audio playing. If you want to open a web page that you know will play some audio automatically, then you have to do something else to prevent it like muting the global volume through the system speaker or pressing the mute button on your multimedia keyboard.
Alternatively, you can also try to use extension like Mute Tab. You can still mute/unmute individual tab by clicking the speaker icon, plus you will also be able to mute all tabs at once. It lets you auto mute new tabs as well.
When an audio starts playing in a tab, a speaker icon appears to the left of the X on the tab. Right-click on the tab and select “Mute Tab” to stop the audio. When you want to unmute it, right-click on it again and select “Unmute Tab”.
This mute option appears on the tab menu regardless of there is an audio playing or not. Therefore you can prevent audio from playing before loading a web page on a tab.
An extension like ShutUp!Tab extends the functionality a little bit by throwing in an ability to block domains or pages from playing audios permanently.
Microsoft Edge shows an audio indicator on the left side of the tab but currently there is no option to mute it. The only way to make it quiet is to open the tab and disable the sound directly from the source.
While Opera displays an audio indicator as well, it’s not as apparent as the speaker icon used on the three browsers above. To mute tab playing an audio, you can right-click on it and select “Mute tab”. To unmute, right-click on the tab and select “Unmute tab”.
All in all, the ability to mute tab is helpful as auto-playing audio is a nuisance for many users. However, it only helps reducing or silencing the noise. It doesn’t help in saving bandwidth as it merely disable sound, not actually stop the media.