Windows 7 / Getting Started

Adjusting the volume or muting your computer

You can adjust the volume or mute all sounds from your computer, not just Windows system sounds. For example, you can adjust the speakers, headphones, music, videos, or any other application or device that is currently providing sound on your computer.

To adjust or mute the volume of devices and programs, follow these steps:

  1. In the notification area at the bottom right of your screen, right-click the speaker icon, and then click Open Volume Mixer.
    The Volume Mixer provides controls for the volume and muting of the audio devices and programs currently in use.
    If the icon is not displayed in your taskbar, you can also click the Start menu and enter Adjust Volume in the Start menu's search box.
    When the Volume Mixer opens, it displays at least one audio device that produces actual sounds such as speakers or headphones, as well as currently running programs that provide sounds such as System Sounds, Windows Media Player, or Windows Media Center.
  2. You can adjust or mute the volume of any or all items. Each item can be changed individually, except Device. If you move the slider for the Device volume, all other sliders move with it. If you mute Device, all other items are muted:
    • To adjust the volume of an item, move its slider up or down.
    • To mute an item, click the speaker icon at the bottom.
    • To adjust the volume of all items at once, move the Device slider up or down.
    • To mute everything, click the speaker icon under the device. All items are muted because the Device slider for Speakers is muted.
      Device is a master control for the volume and muting of all the other mixer controls.

Note If you have a laptop computer, this has probably happened to you. You start up your laptop, and before you know it, Windows has announced itself to the world with the "Ta-da!" sound. Here's an easy, low-tech, cheap trick you can use without even turning on your laptop. Plug the sound leak with a dead headphone plug. The next time you throw away a pair of headphones, cut the plug off the end of the cord. Or, get a headphone Y-splitter jack that allows two sets of headphones to share one jack. Insert the plug into your laptop's headphone jack before you start your computer. Your computer thinks you are using headphones or external speakers, and it won't use your laptop's built-in speakers.

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