Back in September, Google praised the benefit of autoplaying content on the web, pointing out that users watch and listen to a lot of media these days. At the same time, Google said one of the biggest complaints is unexpected media playback, which can not only make unwanted noise, but also consume power and use data. So, Google promised to clean things up with Chrome 64 when it arrives next month by giving users more control over audio. Don't feel like waiting? You can take control (partially) right now by downloading the Chrome 64 beta.
One of the features that is included in the Chrome 64 beta is the ability to mute an entire website. This is a handy feature when you encounter a site that insists on playing videos. Some sites will even autoplay content after a period of time even though you may have paused or otherwise closed out the video when you first arrived. It can be annoying, and even jarring, depending on how loud you have your speakers.
To thwart this, download and install the Chrome 64 beta. Doing so will give you access to the newest features before the general public, though as with any beta product, be aware that things may not always work correctly. Generally though, the Chrome beta is pretty good.
The option to mute a website is in the permissions bar. When you want to put a website into a cone of silence, click on the icon next to the URL—typically an encircled 'i' or a green padlock. Look for a Sound setting. If you don't see it right away, click on Site Settings to expand the options, then scroll down to Sound. There is a pull-down menu to the right of it that allows you to "Block" sound on whichever site you are currently visiting.
Bear in mind that this is not a global setting—you will need to do this for each that you want to block sound. That may change in the final release that is due out next month, but for now, you have to do this on all sites that you want to hush.
Beyond the new mute option, Chrome 64 beta also introduces a stronger pop-up blocker to fight back against third-party sites that are disguised as play buttons or other site controls, HDR video playback in Windows 10 when in HDR mode, and a few odds and ends for developers.