Chrome 100: tab audio muting is back
Google released the first three-digit version of Chrome Stable yesterday. The official release announcement was not all that spectacular, as no major features were highlighted by Google.
Chrome users who dig a bit deeper may have noticed that tab audio muting is available again in the browser. First introduced in 2014 by Google as a way to mute audio of specific tabs in the browser and then turned into a site-wide muting option in 2017, audio muting has since then become a feature of most modern web browsers in one form or another.
Chrome users who preferred tab muting over site muting had to install browser extensions such as Tab Muter or Smart Mute to bring back the functionality. Google added an experimental flag to the Canary version of the Chrome browser in early 2022 that restored the browser's tab muting capabilities.
The release of Chrome 100 to the Stable channel brings that experimental function to it as well. While it is still necessary to enable the feature on chrome://flags, doing so restores the ability to toggle audio with a click or tap on the audio icon of individual tabs.
Here is how you restore the functionality in Chrome 100 or newer:
- Load chrome://flags/#enable-tab-audio-muting in the browser's address bar.
- Set the flag to Enabled using its menu.
- Restart the Google Chrome web browser.
All audio icons become switches that allow you to toggle audio on or off for that particular tab after the restart. Unlike the original tab muting feature, Chrome 100's will mute audio playback of the site and not just the tab. If you have two Twitch or YouTube videos open with audio playing in both, hitting the audio icon will mute both and not just the active one.
Experimental flags may be removed at some point, but it would be strange if Google would remove this particular flag again after restoring it a few months earlier. Still, there is the possibility that the flag is removed and that tab audio muting is not enabled by default in Chrome.
You can check out our full guide on audio muting in Chrome, as it is updated regularly.
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