How to mute all sites by default in Firefox

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 30, 2017
Updated • Apr 27, 2019
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

Mute sites by default is a new add-on for the Firefox web browser that changes the default state of all sites in Firefox to mute.

Firefox, like any other modern browser, plays audio by default if a site chooses to play it. Some sites play videos with muted audio, or audio only when you interact with elements on the site, but others may play audio when the site loads advertisement, videos, or music.

Note that recent versions of Firefox (and other browsers) try to suppress autplaying sound on sites.  Firefox users find the option to enable or disable the feature under Permissions on the about:preferences#privacy page.

We talked about options to mute sites permanently in Firefox before. This is useful if you visit sites regularly that play audio that you don't require, or that you want muted by default.

Mute all sites by default in Firefox

firefox mute all sites

The new Firefox extension Mute sites by default blocks audio on all sites by default in the browser. Any site you visit is blocked from playing audio, or more precisely, the audio that sites play is not audible as it is muted in Firefox after you install the browser add-on

You may unmute any site by clicking on the speaker icon in Firefox's tab bar, right-clicking on the tab and selecting the mute tab / unmute tab option, or by using the shortcut Ctrl-M.

The extension comes with a whitelist that you may add domains to that are allowed to play audio by default in Firefox. If you visit Dailymotion regularly, or watch videos on Facebook, you may want to consider adding those domains to the whitelist to make things easier.

Note that muting or unmuting a site will update the whitelist accordingly. While that is convenient at times, it means as well that you need to remove the whitelist entry or mute a site again if you only want to allow sound to be played temporarily on it.

Mute sites by default is a WebExtension. This means that it is compatible with Firefox 57 and newer versions of the browser.

Google tests an option in Chrome currently to silence sites permanently using built-in browser controls.

Firefox has seen its fair share of extension releases to mute audio in the past. Muter for instance adds a toggle to the browser to mute/unmute all sound in the browser. The extension is not a WebExtension, and as such unfortunately not compatible with Firefox 57 or newer.

Another interesting extension for Firefox is Smart Tab Mute which restricts audio playback to a single tab. This add-on is a WebExtension.

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Author Rating
4.5 based on 15 votes
Software Name
Mute sites by default
Software Category
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  1. CHEF-KOCH said on August 31, 2017 at 5:53 pm
  2. Robert Ab said on August 31, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    Do you know WE replacements for the following addons?
    Session Manager -> ??
    Custom Tab Width -> ??

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 31, 2017 at 1:23 pm

      You can set custom minimum and maximum tab width using userChrome.css. See:

      1. Robert Ab said on September 1, 2017 at 10:24 am

        I have also tried with addons turned off. Problem did not disappear. But when I removed userChrome.css everything was OK.

      2. Martin Brinkmann said on September 1, 2017 at 12:16 pm

        Robert that is strange. It works fine on my end in Firefox Stable.

      3. Martin Brinkmann said on September 1, 2017 at 6:53 am

        Maybe another extension is interfering?

      4. Robert Ab said on August 31, 2017 at 10:59 pm

        It does not work. I am getting problems with closing tabs (I cannot close them) and moving them around.

  3. neivan123 said on August 31, 2017 at 9:16 am

    There’s another one and I have been using it for years:

  4. Robert Ab said on August 31, 2017 at 6:37 am

    Is not better to block videos from playing instead of just muting audio?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 31, 2017 at 6:56 am

      Yes, that is better as you don’t waste bandwidth in this case.

      1. Robert Ab said on August 31, 2017 at 12:18 pm

        Martin: this what I thought.

        Thus, maybe is better to get some information about addons blocking video, since popular solutions will go away:
        * “Flashblock” is not working anymore
        * “Flashstopper” does not have WE version
        It seems that we have replacement called “Disable HTML5 Autoplay” but I did not try yet in Firefox. In Chrome similar extension is not efficient enough and I am using it together with “Flashcontrol” and “YouTubeâ„¢ No Buffer (Stop Auto-playing)”.

        There is also a lot of noise about this new Chrome future with muting audio, but this is not the problem. Problem is video playing in the background and usage of bandwidth and computer resources.

  5. Paul(us) said on August 30, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    Martin (And/or Thorky), Do one of you know or the here above mentioned Add-ons/WebExtensions (being Mute sites by default 1.8 and MuteLinks 0.2) are working harmoniously together with Add-ons/WebExtensions, like I have, who also having a possibility on board, to regulated the sound possibility from the start of play of the video, like YouTube high definition version 52.0.3?

    I am asking you this because I could not find or its possible that both add-on’s /WebExtensions can work together in harmony in the instructions, of the installation page or in your article above!
    Hopefully, you know the answer because I especially really like the suggestion of Thorky.
    But I am willing the work with Martin his suggestion when the possibility for both add-on’s/WebExtension to work togher is only available with the Add-on/webExtension: Mute sides by default.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 31, 2017 at 5:56 am

      I suspect that it works fine. The mute add-ons work on the tab only. I suggest you try it out and see for yourself, but they should work together as they serve different purposes.

  6. Thorky said on August 30, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    This one works with a whitelist, MuteLinks with a blacklist:

    Both add-ons wil work with Firefox 57. :)

    1. ala said on December 23, 2021 at 12:31 pm

      Doesn’t work with firefox 63 ! Useless !

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on August 30, 2017 at 8:42 pm

      Thorky, thanks for the link, very useful.

  7. CHEF-KOCH said on August 30, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    To play things automatically is not a Browser related ‘bug’ like people all over the place re-spell wrongly. The thing is that the page which includes ads ‘has it’s right’ to implement something to gain money, which also includes audio and video. So if you want to ‘blame’ someone for that, than simply contact them directly or not support them by using other pages.

    So people all over the place expect to fix website stuff which isn’t even browser related – moreover it’s website related. Ghacks plays no sounds or videos, so we have ‘nothing to complain here’. So instead oh whining, open an ticket, report it to the page and ask what we can do about it and maybe work with separate profiles/addons to workaround this until someone really want to ‘break’ this. At some point I understand both points, we using more and more addons and shit to bypass this but on the other site people want everything for free and aren’t willingly to disable adblock. So there aren’t much options, I saw very less apps/websites which have their own toggle to enable/disable ads – most pages simply enable it by default. I do think if more websites and apps would supporting an toggle and an explanation what ads are delivered I think they would get better feedback on this. Also more blocking only results from my experience in more even dangerous techniques to bypass our efforts to block this.

    Btw don’t say ‘IT people are stupid’ … that’s BS ^^.

    I guess we need to find a way to change the eco-system which allows us to support/not support the pages we like without much addon garbage, that’s the fundamental point here. This needs to be changed as said on both side, webmaster and users.

    1. ala said on December 23, 2021 at 12:29 pm

      Btw don’t say ‘IT people are stupid’ … that’s BS ^^.
      It’s not. They are

  8. Dean said on August 30, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    the thing is IT guys are really not smart. the issue is not muting one or all from the tab area etc. The issue is that you should code something that stops video/audio on each tab automatically and start playing when you open that tab OR when you open that tab and then click on play. for example, go on and click the middle button of your mouse for 20 news items to open new tabs and they all automatically start playing (consuming your cpu resources) and of course not to mention the audio chaos issue. so IT people being obsessed with mute issue is really fucking stupid.

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