How-To

How to Manage Audio Devices in Windows 10

soundlock-maximum volume-cap

Audio plays a critical role in our experiences when using Windows. Here’s a look at how to manage audio settings in Windows 10 which includes new settings.

Audio plays a critical role in our experiences when using Windows. Whether it is listening to music, movies or communicating with family and friends over Skype. Depending on the type of computer you own, your choice of audio output might be different. Laptops and some desktops will have onboard audio while both can accommodate external speakers to enhance sound quality.

Adjust Volume and Audio Settings in Windows 10

Basic audio settings can be accessed from the Speakers notification on the taskbar. You can use the slider to increase or lower the volume.

volume control

Audio can mute audio by clicking the speaker icon on the new volume menu.

volume control 2

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update now makes it easier to switch between different audio devices. To do so, click the audio icon in the Notification Area.

audio au 1

Click the audio out put device you would like to use. This is especially handy if you want to switch between built in audio or your headphones.

audio au 2

Additional audio options can be accessed from a right-click menu.

volume settings

The Volume Mixer provides options for managing volume per desktop application. Not all applications support this feature, though. If they do, you’ll see them in the Mixer and can adjust the volume levels. For example, you might want to mute specific applications such as system sounds when watching a movie.

per app volume

A handy function of the Windows sound settings is the ability to modify audio behavior when multi-tasking. If you use a smartphone, you might be aware of an option which lowers the audio of the active application when you receive a notification. If you use an application such as Skype to send and receive video calls, Windows can be set to adjust the volume automatically when communication activity is detected.

adjust sound communication

Connected external audio devices such as speakers or headphones can be modified from the Sound Settings playback options. Enhancements such as bass, loudness, and surround sound quality can be applied.

modify audio settings

Troubleshooting Audio In Windows 10

If you’re unable to hear audio, there are some things you can try. First, check if the volume is turned down or muted.

muted volume

If you have recently upgraded to Windows 10, your previous audio driver might not be compatible. Uninstalling and reinstalling your audio device might resolve the issue. Press Windows Key + X and click Device Manager. Then expand Sound > video and game controller. Select your audio device, right-click it and Uninstall. Restart your computer and let Windows redetect it. You can also check Windows Update for the latest drivers for your sound card.

Update Driver

If the problem persists, try running the Troubleshooting audio playback fix it.

audio fix it

Check out our other articles about managing audio:


5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. mur_phy  

    If one does not want to simply use the basics of W 10 audio settings and the two major reasons for not doing so comes from the desire to play music in programs such as Paltalk or other VOIP programs. The problem that can occur is that the computer is not equipped with a sound card that has Stereo Mix or What You Hear or the user may be using a USB mic/headset. A super alternative is to use a program called Voicemeeter. For those using Paltalk, I have created a .rtf file of information on exactly how to setup VM to allow either type of user to use VM in order to play music and use the fine program as the default sound mixer in Windows 10.

  2. for_yxe  

    Hello. My 1 left click on “sound” function has gone and i don’t know what to do. I can access volume settings only via right click “open volume mixer” and this is taking much longer and it’s annoying. Please help.

    • Murray White  

      First — reboot the computer and see if anything changes.
      Two — if nothing, is sound working ok other than the icon in the notification tray not responding to L click?
      Three — have you tried a double click?
      Four — are you only trying to increase or decrease the sound volume and not do other settings?
      Five — is there any override on your headset that might be not allowing for the L mouse to function — not likely but I always like to eliminate any possibilities. Also if you can adjust the volume via the headset, that might provide as simple an alternative as there is. If using external speakers, there usually is a volume adjustment on them too.
      Six — if the computer is a laptop, perhaps a setting via FN has been adjusted causing the L mouse not to function. I don’t use lappy with sound so not sure and another reader may have more info.

      I tried a quick search on the internet and did not find this specific problem and have not experienced it myself so let the group know if you find a solution, from where and what the solution is please.

  3. for_yxe  

    Hello again.
    A day after it just started to work “most likely after a PC reboot”. Everything works fine now. I had a problem because of new “Windows 10 creators update”, after it sound stuff started not to work. Everything is okay now. Thanks.

  4. Marko  

    When I playback a video that has been recorded on my smart phone Nokia the recorded sound is very low, although the volume is set to maximum 30. What shall I do to imptove it?

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