Google finally solves this common browser problem.

Start using it now How to save your sanity with one click with Chrome’s new Pause/Play feature.

Pause and play music using Google Chrome.Angela Lang/CNET

Raise your hand if this has happened to you. You’ve got 20 tabs open, and one of them seems to be playing music or rolling a video. You’re driving yourself crazy clicking around to find out which one it is, and now you’re starting to get mad. Fortunately, Google’s got a new button for desktop that lets you pause (and play) music and videos from the tab you’re currently in, without making you go through the nightmare of finding the culprit first.

The button is convenient for those who typically have multiple tabs open, your computer volume up and need to quickly shut the music off. The new feature is still in its experimental phase, so it may function differently once it’s officially released. Here’s how it works.

Make sure you’ve got the latest Chrome update. Angela Lang/CNET

Do this Chrome update first

Screenshot by Katie Conner/CNET

Make sure you’ve got the latest update on your desktop, Chrome 77. If you know you already have it, then scroll to the next section. 

1. In your Chrome browser, select the three stacked dots in the upper-right corner.

2. Mouse over Help and select About Google Chrome. If it says Google Chrome is up to date, you can skip this section.

3. Click Relaunch. Make sure you’ve saved anything you’re working on, because this will restart your Chrome tabs.

Now you’ve got the latest Chrome version and can move on to the next step.

Enable the Pause/Play button

1. Open a Chrome browser and search chrome://flags/ in the address bar.

2. In the Search flags box, search Global Media Controls.

3. On the dropdown box to the right, select Enabled.

4. Click Relaunch Now. Make sure you’ve saved everything since this will restart your browser.

5. You’ll now see a Play button in your toolbar. Use that to start and stop audio.

Time to test it out

Screenshot by Katie Conner/CNET

1. Open a site like YouTube or the Spotify Web Player in your browser and select a song or video to play. 

2. When you’re ready to pause it, click on the Play button in your toolbar. 

3. A box will appear showing you the current video or song playing. Click the Pause button.

4. Click the Play button to continue listening. There’s also Fast-forward and Rewind.

That’s it! Now you can easily pause and play videos from any tab.


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