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The internet just became a much less stressful place for Chrome users.
Google released Chrome 66 for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS today, and it will automatically mute autoplay videos by default. To upgrade your browser, press on the three vertical dots in the top right corner of your display and look for a green, orange, or red update icon. If it’s there, press “Update Google Chrome” and restart your browser. Once you’ve gone through those steps, you can stop worrying about having to quickly hit the mute button every time you open a tab with an autoplay video.
We first heard about the autoplay video muting tool in April last year. It was originally slated to appear in the January Chrome version 64 update but was replaced by a site-wide muting tool enabled by right-clicking on a specific tab.
The autoplay blocking feature is the latest attempt from Google to make the internet a more enjoyable place to navigate. It recently launched a built-in ad blocker for Chrome designed to filter intrusive ads like pop-up ads, countdown ads that appear before a page loads, and large sticky ads. Autoplay videos with sound were also listed in the types of ads it intended to block, but it appears Google has chosen to pause those ads instead of banning them entirely.
VentureBeat tested the new tool and discovered autoplay videos that are muted still automatically play, while autoplay videos with sound are paused by default. That even means YouTube videos shouldn’t immediately play when loaded in a new tab, though this wasn’t always the case in our testing.
“Users watch and listen to a lot of media, and autoplay can make it faster and easier to consume on the web. However, one of the most frequent user concerns is unexpected media playback, which can use data, consume power, and make unwanted noise while browsing,” Google software engineer Mounir Lamouri wrote in a post last year.
If you don’t see the Chrome 66 update just yet, don’t panic. Google will release the new version over the next few weeks.
Phillip Tracy is a former technology staff writer at the Daily Dot. He's an expert on smartphones, social media trends, and gadgets. He previously reported on IoT and telecom for RCR Wireless News and contributed to NewBay Media magazine. He now writes for Laptop magazine.