Google Is Developing A Chrome Feature For Muting Websites

Google is developing a Chrome feature for permanently muting websites on a per-domain basis, one of the company's developers revealed on Friday. While muting tabs in Google Chrome was already possible through some tinkering, the functionality that the Alphabet-owned Internet firm is currently working on is significantly more user-friendly as it comes with an accessible interface and allows you to mute a domain from the browser's Page Info pop-up window. Googler François Beaufort said that the feature is meant to provide users with a higher degree of control over specific websites which they want to allow to automatically play sounds, adding that unmuting a domain is as simple as muting it and can be done from the same Page Info bubble.

The newest Chrome Canary build already supports the native mute feature, though the functionality is disabled by default and can only be activated with the "enable-features=SoundContentSetting" switch. The service itself still seems to be in a highly experimental phase of development and while Mr. Beaufort's statement on the matter indicates that Google will eventually implement it into all stable builds of Chrome by default, there are no guarantees that the feature will be identical to the one that's currently available for testing once it hits the stable channel. After you have enabled Chrome's preemptive muting capabilities, you're able to prevent any domain from automatically playing sounds in your Internet browser by clicking the information or lock icon located to the immediate left of the URL bar, then flipping the mute switch in the window that pops up. Chrome's Page Info section is denoted by an "i" icon for websites which utilize HTTP and a lock icon for those which employ HTTPS encryption.

The feature itself is likely to improve the overall experience of browsing the World Wide Web for users who dedicate enough time to muting all domains they frequently visit but don't want to automatically hear. In the meantime, note that whenever some Chrome tab you opened starts playing sounds and you're looking to mute it, the culprit will be denoted by a small speaker icon. Google's software teams have recently been keeping busy, having just released the first stable build of Android 8.0 Oreo and working on keeping the company's vast service portfolio up to date.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]