Chrome extension that mutes new tabs until you un-mute them or click an in-page volume control
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README.md

Mute New Tabs

Chrome allows websites to make noise with your explicit approval. Mute New Tabs is a Chrome extension that fixes this peculiar design mistake. It uses Chrome's tab muting API to automatically mute new tabs. If needed, you can un-mute a tab by clicking the mute/un-mute icon on the tab itself.

Note: you must enable "Tab audio muting UI control" in chrome://flags to be able to click the mute/un-mute icon on the tab.

Note: to restore the "Unmute tab" and "Mute tab" context menu actions in Chrome 64+, disable "Sound content setting" in chrome://flags.

Besides muting new tabs, the extension also:

  1. Mutes tabs on startup, because Chrome doesn't remember which tabs were muted.

  2. Mutes the tab when you navigate to a different origin.

  3. Injects a content script on {youtube, vimeo, soundcloud, twitter}.com (and more) to unmute the tab when you click on an in-page volume control. Clicking a volume control shows a clear intent to change the volume, so the tab mute shouldn't get in the way.

All four features can be toggled in the extension's popup window:

Screenshot of menu showing 'Mute new tabs',
'Mute on origin change', 'Mute all tabs on startup', and
'Unmute when clicking a volume control on a page'

Install from the Chrome Web Store

This extension is available in the Chrome Web Store. Requires Chrome 55+.

If the extension works for you, please leave a review in the store.

How Mute New Tabs uses the permissions it requests.

Install from source

Note that if you install an extension from outside the Chrome Web Store, you'll see a "developer mode extensions" nag popup every time you start Chrome, unless you're using Chrome on Linux (lucky you!). On other platforms, if you're crazy enough, you might be able to hexedit your Chrome binary to get rid of it (I have not tested this).

  1. git clone https://github.com/ludios/mute-new-tabs

  2. Open chrome://flags in Chrome.

  3. Find Tab audio muting UI control, click "Enable", then restart Chrome. (Make sure to actually restart it, not just close one window.)

  4. Open chrome://extensions in Chrome.

  5. Check "Developer mode" at the top-right.

  6. Click "Load unpacked extension...", then select the cloned mute-new-tabs directory.

  7. Check "Allow in incognito" if you also want incognito tabs to be muted by default.

Thanks

Thanks to rones for the keep-quiet sign that I've used for the extension icon.

Thanks to @matthiasgoergens for doing the initial setup on the Chrome Web Store and paying the fee.

The epidemic of autoplaying videos