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Your guide to muting browser tabs

Learn how to locate and mute the audio playing in one of your tabs in Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera and Safari.


With more and more websites using autoplay video -- present company included -- now is a good time to review how to mute the audio playing in one of your many open browser tabs. I'll cover the different ways you can mute tabs in Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera and Safari. The big news in browser tab muting is that with Windows 10 Spring 2018 Update, Microsoft's Edge browser finally lets you mute tabs with a single click -- among other Edge improvements. Meanwhile, there is good news on the web-browsing horizon because password-free web security is coming to Chrome, Firefox and Edge.


Google's browser displays a little speaker icon on any tab that is currently playing audio. To mute the audio for a tab, right-click the tab and choose Mute site. You can perform this maneuver without leaving your current tab.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET


Microsoft's browser finally has joined the tab-muting party. With the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, Edge now lets you click the speaker icon of a noisy tab to mute it. You can do this on your current tab and also on background tabs without leaving your current tab. You can also right-click the tab and choose Mute Tab.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET'


Firefox displays a speaker icon on the tab making noise, and you can click it to mute the audio of that tab without switching to it. You can also right-click the tab and choose Mute Tab.


Opera offers the best way to mute browser tabs, particularly if you have more than one background tab that has started playing audio. Just right-click your current tab and click Mute other tabs. You can also click the speaker icon to mute background tabs or right-click a tab and choose Mute tab. Opera displays a small, audio-levels icon for tabs that are playing audio, and then it switches to a speaker icon when you mouse over a tab.


Safari offers the same two tab muting options as Firefox and Edge; you can just click the speaker icon to mute a tab or right-click and choose Mute This Tab. In addition, Safari offers a blue speaker icon in its URL bar, which you can click to mercifully mute all tabs when you have rogue tabs playing audio in the background.

Editors' note: This story was originally published on Jan. 12, 2017, and has been updated to include new information about Microsoft Edge and Windows 10 Spring 2018 Update.  

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