Smart Mute is a popular Chrome Extension that automatically mutes every other tab if the active tab starts to play audio. But turns out, Chrome natively supports this feature via Chrome flags. This comes in handy when you are browsing multiple tabs and can’t figure out which one is playing audio. Let’s see how it works.
Smart Mute on Google Chrome
To enable the chrome flag, open Google Chrome and type “chrome://flags” in the Omnibox and hit Enter.
For this to work, we need to enable 2 flags. The first flag “Audio Focus Enforcement” enables chrome to focus on the current tab which is running the media. But, it just blocks the audio from the other tab and doesn’t pause it. For Chrome to pause the media, we would need to enable the other flag “Media Session Service”.
Now, search for “audio-focus-enforcement” and “media-session-service” on the search bar. Enable the flags and relaunch Google Chrome. Alternatively, you can also reach the flags by clicking on the Audio Focus Enforcement and Media Session Service link.
These flags would also work on other Chromium browsers like Brave, Vivaldi, Edge Chromium, etc.
Although it has few drawbacks, the native flag works quite well as compared to the chrome extension Smart Mute. Below are its advantages and drawbacks.
- It doesn’t have the option to blacklist the website that auto-play video with sound.
- It doesn’t read your browsing history, unlike Smart Mute.
- SmartMute does not pause any media, it only blocks the audio output.
Apart from Smart Mute, there are other extensions like AutoMute which functions similarly by blocking audio output. Let me know in the comments below which one you would use. For more issues or queries, come hang out with me on Twitter.
Also Read: Best Google Chrome Upcoming Features