Google Chrome starts testing one-click mute button on tabs
Chrome already allows you to mute any audio coming from a tab, by simply right-clicking on the tab and selecting the mute option. However, Google is now experimenting with a different design for this functionality that removes the requirement to open the right-click menu.
As spotted on /r/Chrome (via Chrome Story), the latest builds of Chrome Canary include a new flag called “Tab audio muting UI control.” Chrome already displayed a sound indicator when a tab was playing audio, but with this flag enabled, the icon turns into a mute button when you hover over it with your mouse. This works exactly the same as the existing mute feature, but instead of opening the right-click menu, this only takes one click of the mouse. Handy.
This functionality is identical to what Firefox has already offered for a while. Now that the tab mute button is in Chrome itself, all Chromium-based browsers that didn’t go through the trouble of implementing it themselves should receive it as long as it sticks around. The commit message (as pointed out by Leopeva64-2 on Reddit) mentions that this is an experiment to decide if the mute button should remain in the tab or go back to the global media controls.
If you want to try the new feature for yourself, download Chrome Canary, open chrome://flags, search for “Tab audio muting UI control,” and set it to Enabled. Chrome will likely ask to reboot, and after it does, you should see the mute button. The flag is available on macOS, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS — Android (even Android on tablets) is left out, at least for now.
Google has been testing other improvements in Chrome over the past few months, including settings search in the address bar, scrolling screenshot support on Android 12, and enhanced accent color support on Windows. Google also just announced its revised proposal for replacing third-party cookies, known as the Topics API, which will likely start being tested in the coming months.