Volume Mixer

The old Volume Control from Windows XP was replaced in Windows Vista, 7 and 8 by the Volume Mixer. The new application brings to Windows much more flexibility regarding the sound management of the different applications you have installed on your PC. In Windows XP the only feature of the Volume Control was to increase or decrease the general system sound level. In Windows Vista, 7 and windows 8, the Volume Mixer is capable of managing sound settings for each multimedia application installed on your PC.

To access the Volume Mixer you have to click on the small volume icon from your taskbar.

Volume Mixer

To access the volume mixer in Windows 10, click the small search icon (magnifying glass) in the bottom-left corner of the screen and search for “adjust system volume”.

At this point the Volume Mixer looks almost the same as in Windows XP. Here you can increase or decrease the sound level of your system. If you want to make individual application settings, click on the Mixer link.

Volume Mixer

As you can see in the below screenshot, the Volume Mixer will load a list of all the running multimedia applications.

Volume Mixer

To configure the sound settings for each application move the level up or down. To mute/unmute an application, just click on the speaker button beneath it.

Related articles:
Put the Volume Mixer icon back on your taskbar
Sound Recorder
Disable the Windows Vista Startup Sound
Disable the System Beep

52 thoughts on “Volume Mixer”

  1. How to enable line in? I can
    How to enable line in? I can see it in the recording panel, but not the playback panel in the volume mixer. Any ideas? The line in definitely is definitely working as i can record the sound, but it doesn’t play the sound “live”. Hope I’m making sense.

  2. details
    vedel, the Volume Mixer doesn’t have bass or treble controls. You can control those settings thru Winamp, Foobar or any other third party software that has support for those settings.

    W. H. Looi, in order to enable sound for the line-in connection you will have follow these steps:

    1. Open Audio Devices and Sound Themes by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, clicking Hardware and Sound, and then clicking Sound.

    2. Click the Playback tab, click Speakers, and then click Properties.

    3. Click the Levels tab, and then, under Line In, click the Mute button to enable sound for the line-in connection.

    • no line in/mic/etc on Levels tab
      George, I need your help. I followed your steps. But at the third step, I couldn’t find Line In, mic, or etc. It’s only Speaker/Headphone displayed there. How can I enable the line-in? The line-in and mic are only displayed on Recording tab, not the Playback tab (step 2). So, how can I hear the sound from line-in or mic directly, without recording it first. Thanks. Sorry about my bad English.

  3. How can I switch
    How can I switch automatically from speakers to headphones (normal non-USB ones). It used to work but now, I have either to set the one of the other as default or (doesn’t always work) simply restart the application. Any settings somewhere?
    Beside that, the volume mixer crashed around 4 times while I was trying around…

  4. Problem with Line In.
    I use a voice chat program called Ventrilo and I wanted to play music in our music channel for my friends. So I got the instructions on how to and windows vista doesn’t have a stero mix selection in Ventrilo. So I figured Line in was what I should use and I can not get my Line in, in the control panel to set to “working” and not “currently unavailble” Is there something I am missing?

  5. volume
    for some reason my volume tab has dissappeared from the tabs in the lower right corner next to the sound. how to i get to the volume mixer to adjust the sound and return the tab into the taskbar?

  6. Notification Area
    Right click on your taskbar and select Properties from the menu. Then go to the Notification Area tab and select the system icons you want to appear in the bottom right corner. There you will find the Volume icon.

  7. no sound
    I have no sound, I clicked on the volume, clicked on the mixer and all items are at max, still no sound. I have vista and just installed a web, might that be the problem and how do I fix it? I get hums and all from the speakers, so all wires are working

  8. Drivers
    You have to install the drivers for your soundcard. If you have a dedicated or onboard soundcard, you can find the drivers on the manufacturer’s website or on the CD that came with the soundcard or with the mainboard.

  9. Volume Mixer Fall Back Down To Zero
    I understand the basic of XP & Vista Volume. However the volume mixer on Vista will not let me turn up the volume on my Logitech 350 Premium USB headphones. Anyone have any ideas where Vista would not let me increase headphone volume , but whenever they are removed I can adjust the volume for my PC speakers?

  10. Line in volume control
    i have a 7.1 sound out in my motherboard….i have installed a tv card & the audio is sent through the line in jack. when i was using Xp i had the controls to control the volume of line in, rear pink in, rear blue in , rear grey in….etc…but now after i installed vista.. i cnt find these controls there… please can anyone tell me how to do this…cos now i cnt get the sound from my tv card… i think it is muted…but i cnt find a control to control the rear blue in volume…. please help

  11. Sigmatel Driver and NO Line-In Playback!!

    I used my x360 to play through my pc setup, ie, picture through my monitor and sound trhough my speakers, in xp and it worked fine. Now i am on Vista and there is no way for me to get sound through the speakers from the line in, ie there is no plackback. I have heard of some people having an extra option in the speaker properties to adjust line-in plackback volue, but these are people with realtake drivers, i have got sigmatel and there is nothing for me to check or un-check to get sound playing through my speakers from the line-in. Any ideas? I need help, need to play COD4!!


    William Day

    • Sigmatel Drivers
      Same problem here… Dell Laptop, sigmatel drivers, can’t figure out how to monitor through line-in ‘live’ as the music plays. The funny thing is it will record and I can see the meter moving… I guess the whole thing is tailored not for music or advanced sound monitoring, but for using mic during internet telephony or for speech recognition. Did you find a solution for this as I would love to know??? Cheers Nick

  12. HELP i have just switched to
    HELP i have just switched to vista and connt find how to adjust individual speakers volume. for example if i think the center speaker is too loud how can i just turn that one speaker down please help

    • Special software and drivers
      You cannot do that from the Volume Mixer. Maybe your sound card or sound system has some application from which to do that kind of configuration. But… by default you won’t find it in Windows Vista.

  13. Stereo Mixer

    I use camfrog and wanted to be a DJ in one of the chat rooms but apparently i need to do this through a stereo mixer? Vista doesn’t have this i have been told so how can i be a dj in a chat room apart from holding a mic to my speakers? If the stereo mixer still exists can anyone tell me where etc?



  14. set headphones as default sound device
    I wish to set a pair of headphones attached to the back of the computer as my default sound device. I can set them to place going through the control panel to realtek and clicking on the blue minijack sign then checking the headphone box. But every time the computer is restarted there is no sound and it has to be set again.
    How can I set the headphones to be the default speakers?

  15. volume mixer
    when i purchase my dell inspiron 1720 the volume mixer would play with all open application that was open. now it only play with the device. how can i get it to play with all open applications

  16. hi all,
    To enable the

    hi all,
    To enable the microphone playback, you need to edit registry.
    Go to ” run” in the start menu, and type “regedit”.
    then search for the following:”disablemicfromplayback” and do the following changes…

    “disablemicfromplayback” shows a 01 value. Change it to 00.
    “disablemicselect” shows a 01 value. Change it to 00.

    Once you are in regedit, use f3 and just cut and past the above lines
    to search. I think it disablemicfromplayback actually appears in the
    registry twice so be sure to hit f3 a couple of times until search is
    complete for both registry lines.

    After values are changed, reboot, and volume control for mic during
    playback will now be an option. By default, when the option appears
    and you add it as an available slider, it will be muted.

  17. VISTA 64 Volume Mixer
    I have excatly the same problem. Vista ultimate with an ASUS P5E motherboard and onboard sound device. I have installed the latest sound max drivers, however, sound in firefox does not play. It works fine in itunes, windows media player, winamp, etc… I have all the plugins for firefox i need.. It seams to be a volume mixer problem in Vista. Anyway to kill the volume mixer and set it back to the XP style?? the new volume mixer is nothing but buggy!!

  18. Treble and bass settings
    George, Thanks for the WinAmp suggestion. It worked (or should I say, it is working). I am familiar with WinAmp from previous Window applications. Since WinAmp has been reliable in the past, I had no qualms about downloading this program into my new computer system.

  19. My headphone jack not wokring
    Well this is the only related topic I could find. So, maybe someone here can help. A few days ago I noticed that Windows Update downloaded Service Pack 2. Ever since then when I plug in my headphones they work when I test the sound, but no othe sound is diverted into the head phones. The speakers on my laptop continue to play. I read on the Microsoft Support page about a different driver but I don’t see it in Device Manager. Can some one please help. It is so annoying. Because I use my headphones at night when everyone else is asleep. Thanks.

  20. do you have idea about magicjack?
    Vista is great!..however, i need to know more on how it works, especially with this new technology that arose, the Magicjack.
    I have hard time, adjusting the volume of it with this new device.
    I can’t afford to return the device since it is very great, making calls in all US and Canada for free.

    Please help if you have idea about it!..Thanks

    • yeah it kinda upsets me on
      yeah it kinda upsets me on the fact i cant get hardly any volume out of my headphones with xp i could control my line in volume i would hookup my tv to the line in and when i pressed mic it would play tv too just cranked all i had to do was check mic then check line in and my sound would come out. now i can hardly hear anything when i turn up my speaker volume all the way and not to mention my line out volume doesnt do anything when i move it up or down or mute im puzzled and shocked

  21. how do I get sound from
    how do I get sound from my guitar to play through headphones? I can record and play it back but cannot hear it before and during recording? I imagine it would be the same process as hooking up an mp3 player to play through computer to speakers without directly plugging the speakers into the player. Is there a menu in vista to enable the mic input to be heard directly like this?

  22. Vista Volume Mixer not Showing Applications
    I bought a new computer with Vista. Worked fine for a couple of weeks, but now none of my applications have any sound. The Windows sounds are still working fine, but if I open the volume mixer with applications running, it no longer shows any applications except for Windoes Sounds. It’s as if the Vista sound component cannot see any applications.

    The only thing I can think of that might have caused it is that I installed Roxio Creator 10.

    Any suggestions?

  23. no microphone audio out on my laptop
    hello, i have a problem i can’t get a microphone audio out on my laptop but the microphone audio in is ok and the microphone properties and volume is not in the volume mixer what can i do?

  24. Vista and getting some echo
    Just curious, I’d like to record with some reverb. Is there a free software download somewhere of a mixer for that use that I can use with Vista. Feel free to email. Thanks!

  25. please help me i disabled a
    please help me i disabled a volume device and i cant enable it back and i unplugged and restarted the computer many times and i stil hav no volume so please email me [email protected] to help me…
    there is no mute, device is plugged in, the light comes on therefore i know it is on, and when it says jack is plugged in, i restart and the volume should be on but it isnt and i check everything and it still says that that one device i disabled isnt anywhere in the computer.i am corry that i dont have more information but if any1 knows how to enable a disabled device please tell me so at [email protected]

    • Hidden Recording Devices Quick Fix
      Open Control Panel. If it’s in Classic View, double-click the Sound icon. If not, click the Hardware and Sound icon then click Manage audio devices under Sound. Click the Recording tab then right-click somewhere in the list of recording devices. You’ll see a couple options to show hidden devices. Use Set Default to select your choice as default device for recording.

  26. windows sounds volume control keeps adjusting itself
    When I try to use the volume mixer in windows vista, I am able to set the sound level for those windows sounds at an appropriate level, however, after some time, the volume level of the windows sounds seems to re-adjust itself (to a level I find too loud), and I have to go back in and adjust the sound level over and over again. Does anyone know how to lock in the sound level for once and all?

  27. i need help with my sound components
    ok i can hear music and ppl in my chat rooms and even on media palyer but…… when i try to play music in my rooms they can not hear it and when i try to use my mic they can not hear it.

    i have windows vista home basic now ppl keep telling me to click on what you hear or stereo mix i have neither of them what i do have is:
    playback tab: headphones/ speakers
    recording tab: microphone rear mic and line in
    when i click show disabled stuff i have nothing there so how do i fix this problem.
    i am buying this computer monthly payments its a dell dimesion c521 help me please im getting very fusterated here

  28. volume
    How can I increase the headphone volume in vista, the speaker volume is explosive but not the headphones. I can’t enjoy youtube because it sucks. Is there an alternative like 3rd party or external speakers with headphones. Would it be best to just get new headphones.

      • Not there, I only see
        Not there, I only see speaker and Windows sound or if I open WMP or something on the web. Outlook was there, I did a quick adjust because mail notification was really low. then I upgraded the sound driver and now it is gone. I even did a system restore to before the driver upgrade.

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