Google Chrome 66 finally eases our autoplay embarrassment

Google has released Chrome 66, a long awaited browser update that automatically mutes autoplaying content on the web.

For years, red-faced web users have been frantically reaching for the volume keys when casually browsing the web, but no more.

The new release for Windows, Mac and Linux builds on Chrome 64, which enabled users to tap a “mute” tab” to permanently silence the audio on a particular web page.

Now, in Chrome 66, that muting is automatically enabled, meaning users will need to activate the sound themselves within videos.

Related: Chrome Incognito Mode explained

Meanwhile, VentureBeat reports, autoplaying videos that don’t have the sound muted just don’t play at all.

When it announced the feature, Google said it negated “one of the most frequent user concerns,” which “can use data, consume power, and make unwanted noise while browsing.”

There are exceptions

Part of Google’s strategy involves its Media Engagement Index, which determines whether the web user has played video with sound on that site previously.

So, for example, when browsing sites like YouTube, users still may see video autoplaying with sound.

Those websites able to slip past Google’s auto blocking can still be manually muted by the user.

Here’s how Google explains the feature on its developers site:

Muted autoplay is always allowed.
Autoplay with sound is allowed if:

  • User has interacted with the domain (click, tap, etc.).
  • On desktop, the user’s Media Engagement Index threshold has been crossed, meaning the user has previously play video with sound.
  • On mobile, the user has added the site to his or her home screen.

In total, Chrome 66 also fixes 62 security bugs.

Is this the version of Google Chrome you’ve been waiting for? Will it tear you away from Firefox or Safari? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.