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How to mute web browser tabs in Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Edge and Internet Explorer

You are chugging along with multiple browser windows open and then you hear a pesky noise… is it a bird? is it a plane? no… it is an infernal advertisement/hellish background music/auto play video that is playing in one of your browser windows which you certainly don’t want to listen to! It is disrupting the latest Justin Bieber hit *cough cough* (it’s alright, we all have our guilty pleasures) that you are currently playing on Spotify. Of all the nerve! You may want to perform the knee jerk reaction of killing that particular browser tab with a click of your mouse… although you still want to read the contents of it. What is one to do? Another way of dealing with this is to mute the relevant browser tab. For each type of browser though, the way to do it does differ, so we have put together a step by step guide for each of the most used web browsers out there to help you banish that sound from whence it came!

Google Chrome

Google Chrome, the most popular of all web browsers, with its sleek and stylish interface it is no wonder it is considered number one by most users! For users who acquire a new Windows OS, it is all too often that they only use the pre-installed Microsoft Edge to install Google Chrome.

Comic strip from Rick and Morty - Purpose of Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer is to install Google Chrome

But we digress… when you have the Google Chrome browser tab open and music is playing, the sound icon will appear on the right hand side in the browser tab.

In Google Chrome tab, sound icon appears

Right click the relevant tab you want to silence and select ‘mute tab’.

In Google Chrome, right click tab playing music and select Mute Tab from drop down list

The sound icon will now have a line through it to indicate that the tab is now mute.

In Google Chrome, sound in tab is mute

Alternatively, you can simply right click any tab before going to a website you know auto plays sound by right clicking it and pressing ‘mute tab’ in advance.

Safari (Apple/Mac OS)

Of course, second on our list would be the Safari web browser for Mac computers. There are a couple of ways you can mute web browser tabs.

For the relevant tab, the sound icon will appear on the right hand side of it.

Safari web browser playing sound in a tab

Right click it and select ‘Mute Tab’ from the drop down menu.

Right click Safari tab playing music and select Mute Tab from drop down menu

The other easier way is to simply left click the sound icon itself.

Left click on sound icon in Safari tab to automatically mute it

The sound icon in the relevant tabs will have a line through them to indicate they are mute.

Sound in Safari tab is mute

Mozilla Firefox

Considered the 2nd most favourable web browser for Windows, it’s style is similar to Google Chrome but it has a few short cuts up its sleeve in comparison.

Mozilla Firefox web browser is playing sound in a tab

The most straight forward way is to left click exactly on the sound icon and it automatically mutes.

In Mozilla Firefox web browser tab, left click sound icon with mouse to mute

Similar to Chrome, you can again perform the muting of a tab in advance by right clicking the tab and selecting ‘mute tab’ from the drop down list before going to the relevant website.

Right click Mozilla Firefox web browser tab and select Mute Tab from drop down list

Or, you can enter in the keys Ctrl + M and that will mute the tab swiftly.

Enter in Ctrl + M in keyboard to automatically mute Mozilla Firefox web browser tab

When you have stopped the sound playing, the icon will have a line through it as shown below.

Mozilla Firefox tab shows sound icon is mute


Slightly more popular than Microsoft Edge (come on… anything is better!), Opera in fact excels at the option of muting tabs. It is like they really listen to their customer needs!

Example of Opera web browser tab playing sound

In Opera, all you have to do is right click a current tab and click ‘Mute Other tabs’.

In Opera web browser, select any tab and click Mute Other Tabs from drop down menu

Or you can left click the sound icon and it mutes that particular tab.

Opera bar tabs are now mute

Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer

And finally we come to last (and yes… the least) Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer. We do like to poke fun at these Microsoft web browsers but we are sure that some users will need to resort to either from time to time so of course let’s show you how to mute these tabs. For both browsers, the way to mute them is the same.

Example of Microsoft Edge playing sound in tab

For some reason, Microsoft prefers to make life difficult for its users as you cannot mute the tab entirely while in the browser itself!  The sound icon does display but we can’t right click and get the drop down, left click it to automatically mute or even perform some fancy key maneuvers. What a shame! Instead… you need to perform these steps.

Right click the speaker icon on the Window’s task bar.

In Windows, right click speaker icon on Window's task bar

In the drop down menu, select Open Volume Mixer.

Sound settings on Windows, select Open Volume Mixer from drop down list

In the Volume Mixer dialog box, the relevant Edge tab playing music should be listed under the subheading of Applications.

Volume Mixer dialog box

Simple click on the speaker icon.

Volume mixer dialog box select sound icon to mute it

It is now mute!

In Volume Mixer sound icon for application - Microsoft Edge - is now mute

Now you have managed to mute all those annoying browser tabs! Ah blissful silence… Bjork would approve.

Bjork singer it's so quiet song

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