Shut your mouth! How to turn off unwanted sound from a webpage

Are you tired of opening a new webpage and being greeted by loud, obnoxious advertising? I am on. The pop-up and pop-under ads were bad enough, but now it looks like I can hardly get to a site without having a splash video with a screaming voice bawling about a good diet, a good case, etc. I’m looking at you, Facebook.

Windows 7 2017 web browsers

It’s easy to block unwanted audio if you’re using Chrome, Firefox, Opera, or Vivaldi. This is almost impossible if you are using Edge, Internet Explorer, or Safari. (Image: sjvn)

Enough already!

I can live with ads. I make a living from websites with advertisements. Even ad blocking software, like the great open-source Adblock Plus, To allow Acceptable ads that don’t make their way in my face. But, this new wave of yakety-yak ads is driving me crazy.

Fortunately, Chrome, its relatives, and Firefox let you turn off the noise. Here’s how to do it.

Google Chrome:

The Chrome extension Mute tab gives you control over audio in all tabs of your browser. Although Chrome includes the built-in ability to control the sound of your tabs, it can still be difficult to determine which tab is noisy. MuteTab makes it easy to see which tabs are talking and lets you turn off all or just background tabs. You can also set the extension to disable all tabs, background tabs, or private browsing tabs by default. I really like this extension.

Mute tab

MuteTab makes it easy to control audio on Chrome, Opera, and Vivaldi.

You can also block certain autoplay and autoplay videos in Chrome using its built-in settings. For that, proceed as following :

1) Enter “chrome: // chrome / settings / content” in the URL bar.

2) Scroll down to the Flash header and set it to “Let me choose when to run plug-in content”.

3) Scroll down to Unsandboxed Plugin Access and set it to: “Prompt when a site wants to use a plug-in to access your computer.” “

These settings won’t stop everything, as many sites now use HTML5 instead of Flash for video and audio. Support for HTML5 is built into Chrome. If you want more than MuteTab, use Disable HTML5 autoplay

Disabling HTML5 Autoplay is convenient, but it’s more complex than MuteTab. You can use the extension to disable all HTML5 audio and video auto-plays. It works by removing the HTML autoplay tag from webpages before. You can adjust how he manages the domains by adjusting the program.

The two extensions above should also work with the Opera and Vivaldi Internet browsers. It works because both are built on top of Chrome’s core programs: Chromium and Blink.


Firefox blocks autoplay

Firefox makes it easy to block autoplay content.

Firefox makes it easy to block autoplaying audio and video.

1) Enter “about: config” in the URL bar.

2) If you receive a warning message stating “This could void your warranty! ” Continue.

3) Now type “autoplay” in the search box.

4) This will bring up a preference named “media.autoplay.enabled”. Double click on it to change the preference to False.

Internet Explorer:

Internet Explorer (IE) makes it easy to block unwanted audio and video files. All you had to do was launch Tools / Security from the menu bar and enable ActiveX filtering. No fuss, no fuss. Unfortunately, almost all autoplay screens now use HTML5, and IE 11 doesn’t need ActiveX to run them.

This means if you are using IE 11 or Edge or Apple Safari, you are out of luck.

There exists a radical method that works. Go to a noisy site, then use the IE 11 menu bar and go to Tools / Internet Options / Security. Once there, navigate to the Restricted Site entry, then press the Sites radio button. From there, add the website to the restricted list. The next time you visit it, you will find that there is no more autoplay content. You will also be missing some other content, but for most sites, the main images and text will still show.

Internet Explorer 11 Block autoplay

It’s not pretty, but it’s the only way to currently block autoplay content with Internet Explorer. (Image: sjvn)

Ideal? No, but it works.

Hopefully, web browser developers will find themselves on the same page soon and make it easier to turn off all auto-playing audio and video content. Advertisers may love it, but the rest of us hate it.

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