How to mute background tabs in Chrome

It happens to the best of us. We leave a few extra tabs open each session until we've got dozens firing up when we start Chrome. Sometimes, those tabs start blaring music or video soundtracks when we'd rather listen to something (or anything) else. MuteTab is a great extension that lets users find and mute annoying tabs.

Sometimes we leave tabs open on YouTube videos, Flash games, or other sites that pipe tunes or other noises through our speakers. This can be incredibly aggravating when starting up Chrome, as many of these will start to play over each other, and over music we want to listen to.

There's an easy alternative to muting everything or hunting through every possible tab: MuteTab. This extension is a great way to zap offending tabs; here's how to use it: 

  • Install the MuteTab extension here. It may be a good idea to restart Chrome afterward. 
  • Click the music-note icon whenever you want to figure out where that sound is coming from. A sizable screen should pop up containing all possible offenders. It's easy to navigate to those tabs or just mute them pre-emptively from within the extension. The "safe" and "unsafe" options won't hurt your computer or anything else; they just refer to how likely it is that you will be able to restart the music without refreshing the tab. 
    MuteTab in action.
    MuteTab in action.
  • You can also set MuteTab to mute all tabs except the one you are currently viewing. Click the wrench icon in the top right of the Chrome window, then select "Tools," then "Extensions," then click "Options" next to MuteTab. Under "Automute preferences," you can choose to only play sounds in the current tab. (You may want to keep the second box checked if you play a lot of Flash games or watch videos that can't safely be muted). 
    MuteTab options page.
    MuteTab options page.

That's it. There's more to the extension, but for most users, that's all you need to do.

Thanks to TechieBuzz for the link!

About the author

    Rob Lightner is a tech and gaming writer based in Seattle. He has reviewed games, gadgets, and technical manuals, written copy for space travel gear, and composed horoscopes for cats.

     

    Join the discussion

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Show Comments Hide Comments