Mute a web­site in Chrome, for­ever

Au­to­play­ing videos might still ap­pear, but Chrome 64 en­sures that you won’t have to lis­ten to them. MARK HACHMAN shows how

Tech Advisor - - Contents -

If you’re the type of per­son who de­tests au­to­play­ing video ads with sound, Google’s Chrome pro­vides some help. The beta of Google Chrome 64 al­lows you to mute a site per­ma­nently, so even if a video pops up – and Chrome can block some of those, too – it won’t blow you out of your seat. The fea­ture is ex­pected to roll out to the gen­eral pub­lic some­time in Jan­uary.

Google’s Chrome 64 beta ships with a stronger popup ad blocker, which au­to­mat­i­cally pre­vents some

dodgy ads from ei­ther ap­pear­ing or re-rout­ing you to other sites on the web. But it also ap­plies some site-bysite con­trols, so that when you visit a web­site, you have bet­ter con­trol of what me­dia to al­low and dis­al­low.

All of the per-site con­trols re­side within the pad­lock (‘Se­cure’) icon to the very left of the URL bar. Some­what iron­i­cally, Chrome has ac­tu­ally been par­ing down the gran­u­lar­ity of per-site con­trols from Chrome 62 to the cur­rent Chrome 63, and on to the beta of Chrome 64: You used to be able to spec­ify whether a site could use your mi­cro­phone or play MIDI mu­sic, for ex­am­ple. Chrome 63 re­duced the avail­able op­tions to items like Flash and cookie con­trols, while Chrome 64 lists only three con­trols you can spec­ify: Flash, popup ads, and sound. For what­ever rea­son, Chrome 64 is the first time you can spec­ify per-site au­dio set­tings.

Us­ing the new set­tings, Chrome now al­lows you to spec­ify, on a per-site ba­sis, whether to al­low or block (or mute) flash and au­dio, or sim­ply de­fault to the global

set­tings you may have al­ready ap­plied. Nat­u­rally, this doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily block the video from play­ing, just au­to­mat­i­cally mutes it.

Be­cause of the var­i­ous so­lu­tions web­site op­er­a­tors to use to play video, Chrome ap­pears to block some pop-up video (video that ap­pears within an ar­ti­cle), and not oth­ers. Video on the Bloomberg site played, for ex­am­ple, though a pop-out video (video that hov­ers over an ar­ti­cle) on CNET.com was blocked.

The new Chrome will also pre­vent what Google calls “abu­sive ex­pe­ri­ence” ads from redi­rect­ing you to an­other lo­ca­tion. So-called iframes that re­di­rect users to an­other page will be blocked by Chrome 64, and the browser will no­tify you of the page’s at­tempt to re­di­rect you. In the next ver­sion of Chrome, Chrome 65, links that open the de­sired des­ti­na­tion in a new tab will also be blocked, and users will be no­ti­fied.

Set­ting your site pref­er­ences is as easy as right-click­ing the URL bar

In­ter­est­ingly, the Chrome 64 beta blocked ads by de­fault on some ma­jor sites

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