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How to mute entire websites in Chrome

An upcoming Chrome feature allows you to mute entire sites. Here's how Windows users can try it out today.

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Google has made it easy to mute noisy sites in Chrome -- just right-click the tab and select Mute Tab. You can also enable Tab audio muting UI control, which lets you click on the speaker-shaped audio indicator to mute a tab. (This setting is found in Chrome's experimental features by entering chrome://flags in the address bar.)

But what if there's a site that constantly plays audio when you don't want it to? A new feature coming to Chrome will let you put a stop to it once and for all. While it's not officially available in Chrome just yet, you can still try it out. Here's how.

For starters, you'll need to install Chrome Canary, the oft-updated, less-stable version of Chrome that packs all the newest features. Once installed, login to your Google account and go through the standard Chrome setup process. Then close Chrome Canary completely.

To enable the site-wide muting feature, you will need to open Chrome Canary through Command Prompt while also executing a command line switch (command lines that enable and disable experimental features).

  • Open Command Prompt by pressing the Windows key, typing cmd and pressing Enter.
  • In Command Prompt, change directory to where the Chrome Canary executable file is. Type cd followed by the path, which by default should look like this: C:\Users\[your name]\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome SxS\Application.
  • Press enter.
  • Next, type chrome.exe, space, then type or paste the switch code: --enable-features=SoundContentSetting.
  • When you press enter, Chrome Canary will open.

Alternatively, you can create a desktop shortcut for Chrome Canary paired with the command line switch. Right-click on the shortcut and click Properties. In the Target field, you'll see the path to chrome.exe in quotations. After the last quotation mark, add a space and paste the switch code. Click Apply and OK.

Now when you open Chrome Canary using the command line switch or the desktop shortcut you created, you can mute entire websites. To do this, click the information button at the far left of the address bar. (Sometimes, it may appear as a padlock icon to indicate a secure connection.) In this menu, click the dropdown menu to the right of Sound and select Always block on this site.

If you ever need to stop blocking the audio from a website, return to the site settings menu and select either Always allow on this site or Use global default (Allow).