Internet users, at least on desktop PCs, could use browser extensions such as Muter for Firefox or MuteTab for Chrome before to integrate the functionality in the browser but native integration made the whole process more comfortable as it unlocked the feature for all users.
Google Chrome displays audio indicators whenever audio starts playing in one of the tabs. If you enable muting on top of that, you may mute that sound for the session or for as long as you want.
While the implementation is useful in its current form, there is still room for improvement, and it comes this time in the form of the Chrome extension Mute Tab Shortcuts.
Apart from letting you mute audio of the active tab with a shortcut, it provides you with a global shortcut to mute all tabs in Chrome so that no sound comes out of the browser for as long as you don't hit the "unmute all sounds in tabs" shortcut.
Here is how it works
The first thing you need to do is install the Mute Tab Shortcuts.The extension requires no special permissions and does not add an icon to Chrome's main toolbar; refreshing.
You will notice that the shortcuts won't work after installation. The reason for this is that you need to enable audio muting controls on Chrome's experimental flags page first before they become available.
The easiest way to do that is to load chrome://flags/#enable-tab-audio-muting in Chrome's address bar (called Tab audio muting UI control), hit the enable link and then the restart button that appears once you have done that.
The shortcuts are enabled right after the restart to enable the functionality.
Mute Tab Shortcuts adds two new features to Chrome's audio muting functionality. The first allows you to mute all tabs with a single shortcut which is more comfortable than using the operating system's mixer for that or muting tabs that play audio by clicking on the audio icon of tabs in the browser.
The second feature adds new shortcuts to control Google Chrome's handling of muted tabs which is especially useful to users who prefer to use keyboard shortcuts instead of the mouse.
A toggle shortcut to mute or unmute all tabs, instead of two different shortcuts, would improve the extension further in my opinion.
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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.