If you have been to the popular video hosting website YouTube recently you may have noticed that audio is not working on the site while videos are just playing fine on it.
I have confirmed this in multiple web browsers, Firefox and Chrome for example, but could not really figure out why this was happening or when.
Sometimes, the audio would just play fine while at other times, it was muted and thus not working at all.
The solution is rather simply however, and it is likely that most YouTube users have figured that out on their own.
If you look at the play bar underneath the video, you will notice that the volume icon is displaying an x next to it. This indicates that the audio is muted and the reason why you do not hear any sounds when you are on YouTube.
To fix it, simply click on the volume icon and change it to an appropriate level. You will notice that the slider will work just fine, so that you should not have any further issues after making that small change.
Note that you may need to repeat the process at a later point in time.
Google appears to be aware of the issue and promised to release a patch soon. The workaround posted on the official Google Products forum is the same that I posted here.
Some users apparently experience the muted volume for each video they watch on YouTube, not once a session like I do.
Google recommends to clear the cache and cookies if the problem persists, which may or may not resolve the issue for affected users.
Another thing that you may want to try is switch between HTML5 and Flash playback on the site, provided that your web browser supports that.
Just load http://www.youtube.com/html5 in the browser of choice and join the HTML5 beta on the page. This changes the technology that is used to stream videos to your computer. If the "mute" issue is a Flash issue, you may be able to play videos just fine using HTML5.
Third party player
If you are desperate, you may want to consider using a third party YouTube player in the meantime. Programs like SMPlayer ship with options to play YouTube videos right on the desktop of your operating system.
You can either load individual YouTube videos using the Open > URL menu, or open the YouTube browser instead that the developers have integrated into the media player.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.