It’s been a couple of decades now since the end of the browser war between Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. While Microsoft did come out on top, it feels like Google Chrome has dominated the internet for eternity.

Released in 2008, Chrome was rapidly adopted by the majority of internet users and became the most popular browser in 2012. To date, it has managed to retain its position with more than 2.65 billion users worldwide.


The developers at Google constantly work on improving the browser by introducing new features and modifying existing ones.

That being said, a few years ago Google had introduced a feature that let users mute tabs by clicking on the speaker icon.

Click/tap to enlarge image

However, Google Chrome removed the option to mute tabs by (left) clicking on the speaker icon, and instead, one has to right-click the icon and select “Mute site” from the list of menu items which is inconvenient for some.

A Chromium developer named Peter Kasting had reportedly explained on Reddit in 2018 why the button was removed. Here is what they said.

The official reason is a combination of a large number of factors, but primarily that this is a symptom band-aid that doesn’t address the underlying problems that lead to people wanting to mute tabs, and we should be spending our time addressing those problems. Contributing factors include potential dataloss risk, code complexity, behavioral complexity, and confusing interactions with mute-whole-site capabilities that the general userbase finds more compelling.

But fast forward to 2022, it looks like the ability to mute tabs by clicking the speaker icon button might make a comeback since Google has already restored it in Chrome Canary using the Global media controls mute button.

If you are running Chrome Canary, you can try it out by enabling the ‘Tab audio muting UI control’ flag. However, it looks like Google removed the hover and double click behavior and turned it into a simple toggle.

Click/tap to enlarge image (Source)

But it is still unclear if the mute tab button will be available in the stable version of Google Chrome.

If we take a look at the commit, the owner said that Google will run an experiment that will be available to 1% of people running the stable version of Chrome.

Our plan is to run an experiment to compare the usage of tab muting with the usage of the global media control to help determine whether users would actually use this feature and if so, if we should put the control in the tab strip or in the global media control. After multiple rounds of discussion we finally got approval from monicagv@ to run an experiment for tab muting at 1% of Stable!

It looks like based on the feedback of the experiment, Chrome developers will decide if it’s worth adding the speaker button to the tab strip.

Having said that, if you are a part of the experiment and want Google to add the mute tab button to the Chrome tab strip permanently, make sure to use it extensively so the feedback reaches Google, otherwise, they might discard it altogether.

Note: We have more such stories in our dedicated Web Browser Section so be sure to follow them as well.

PiunikaWeb started as purely an investigative tech journalism website with main focus on ‘breaking’ or ‘exclusive’ news. In no time, our stories got picked up by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, Macrumors, and many others. Want to know more about us? Head here.

Anurag Chawake
1373 Posts

My fascination with technology and computers goes back to the days of Windows XP. Since then, I have been tinkering with OS, mobile phones, and other things. When I am not working on anything, you will find me enjoying video games on some Discord server.

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