Safari Tab Muting El Capitan

Like pinned tabs, tab muting isn’t a new idea, as it’s been implemented in other web browsers in the past. But starting with OS X 10.11, Apple has brought native tab muting to the Safari browser.

The ability to mute tabs at will brings more control to the user. It’s especially beneficial when encountering those annoying auto-playing advertisements.

In this video walkthrough, I’ll show you how to use Safari tab muting, and explain its ins and outs.

Mute or unmute all tabs at the same time

Suppose you have multiple tabs emitting sound. You can quickly silence all of those tabs by clicking the speaker icon located in the address bar. Keep in mind that this only works if you’re on a tab that isn’t playing a sound.

If you’re on a tab that is playing sound, and you click the speaker icon in the address bar, it will only mute or unmute the sound associated with that particular tab. You’ll need to select a tab that isn’t playing sound, and then click the speaker button in the address bar, to mute or unmute all sounds in one fell swoop.

Mute or unmute individual tabs

You can mute individual tabs by simply clicking on the speaker icon on the tab itself.

As noted above, you can also click the speaker button in the address bar if you’re on a tab that’s currently playing audio. This too will mute or unmute that single tab.

Mute or unmute all other tabs

If you right click on the speaker icon on an individual tab, you can mute or unmute all other tabs except the one you’re currently on. This is a good way to silence other tabs in order to keep listening to the tab you wish to hear.

You can also Option-click an individual tab’s speaker icon to mute all other tabs.

Quickly identify tabs that are emitting sound

Right click on an individual tab’s speaker icon, and look under the Tabs With Sound section. To switch to a particular tab, click on one of the tabs under this section.

As you can see, the ability to mute tabs in macOS’ Safari browser is a little bit deeper than it appears on the surface. This highly beneficial feature will surely be met with open arms once El Capitan launches later this fall.

What do you think about tab muting in Safari? Sound off in the comments with your thoughts.

  • Chris

    Personally I haven’t worried about sound in background tabs since Adblock Plus does 99.99% of the work, there are still rare cases though that I wish Chrome had this feature as even with a small icon to show you which tab is playing sound, it’s still very annoying having no way to mute that one tab.

    • Mads Teland

      Google does have it, but you have to enable it in chrome://flags.

      • Chris

        It should be enabled by default, doesn’t make sense having it disabled by default.

      • Sloth Life

        Totaly agree, but for some reason Google sometimes keeps features way to long in the Beta-phase.

        Besides: It would be nice having a mute Apps function like Windows 7 has.

  • Mahlikah

    I wish I could remove the sound off the tabs like it used to be.
    Why isn’t this an option so that i can continue using it like I’ve always done without this little “speaker” showing everywere in all my tabs AND in the URL window – annoying!

  • Palmer Harrison

    Why do I have to listen to these background ads anyway? I would like to find a way to permanently get rid of them on my Macbook Pro.

  • zewkini

    CNN’s autoplay has to be the worst offender. Wish there was a way to mute it automatically, but since it doesn’t use flash anymore it’s impossible.