Chrome version 116 for desktop has seriously been testing my patience over the last few weeks. Out of the blue, some YouTube video or web ad decides it’s its turn to be the star of my time and attention playing audio in the background that’s both impossible to locate or shut down.
I’ve paid for YouTube Premium, so that means means no ads on videos, so it has to be the latter. I’ve even gone so far as to locate every single active tab and manually mute it, but still, every 120 seconds, it’s like my browser is haunted by the ghost of Helldivers II promos. Last week, it was some other, less relevant ad, but it’s still unwelcome nonetheless!
Because of this, my speakers have become useless. If I want to catch up on a podcast, listen to some tunes, or simply watch a video, I’m out of luck. That incessant background noise plays overlapped with what I actually want to listen to, making it a fruitless effort.
Digging a little deeper, I stumbled upon this: a thread from last year detailing a similar experience. Clearly, I’m not alone, but Google doesn’t seem to have done anything about it. The only way I could get this to stop is by shutting down Chrome completely. However, by relaunch it, even with a blank browser tab and nothing else, that audacious ad audio is back. The only way I’ve managed to find temporary solace is by restarting my entire computer.
Luckily, this hasn’t happened on my Chromebook, just my Windows 11 machine. This needs a fix, and fast. Let me know in the comments if you’ve experienced this too or if you’re listening without issue to whatever you want whenever you wish. Until then, I’ll continue to use my Nest Hub or Chromebook for videos and music.