Fix Volume Control Problem

7/26/2013 2:09:30 PM

Wrest back control of your PC's volume with these nine, fast fixes

Most of your music collection probably resides on your desktop computer or laptop these days. Ensure you enjoy it to the full by ironing out playback issues and customizing the volume levels for when you're using headphones or making a Skype call. We also explain how to stop system sounds ruining your musical pleasure.

Unmute sound

A red 'no entry' sign next to the speaker icon in Windows' Notification Area indicates the sound is muted. Toggle it back on by pressing the mute/unmute button on your keyboard (ifit has one) or click the icon itself.

Unmute sound

Enable your speakers

If the speaker icon has a cross there's something wrong. Click the icon to launch Windows' audio troubleshooter. If this shows that no speakers, headset or headphones are detected, plugging some in should fix the problem. If it doesn't, your speakers or headphones may not be enabled. Click Mixer to open the volume slider, then click Speaker, 'Device usage', 'Use this device (enable)', Apply.

Make homemade CDs autoplay in Windows

Windows Media Player and iTunes should automatically play CDs you've bought when they're inserted. To make home-recorded CDs autoplay too, go to Start, Control Panel and click 'Hardware and Sound'. Click Autoplay and scroll down to 'Audio files'. Choose 'Play using Windows Media Player' or your chosen music player.

Make homemade CDs autoplay in Windows

Fix iTunes playback errors

If a CD you've inserted doesn't play, the recording may have errors. In iTunes, launch the player, click Edit, Preferences, General, 'Import settings' and deselect 'Use error correction when reading Audio CDs'. If it still won't play, try re-importing the CD with error correction switched on.

Balance iTunes volume levels

Most music software automatically detects differences in volume levels across tracks. However, a CD you've compiled yourself may feature tracks recorded at different volumes. To equalize volume levels in iTunes 10 or 11, click the settings dropdown menu from the top-left corner, choose Preferences, Playback and tick Sound Check.

Balance iTunes volume levels

Equalize tracks in Windows Media Player

Launch Windows Media Player and click the grid icon at the bottom right to switch to Now Playing mode. Right- click anywhere within the mini-player box and choose Enhancements. Select 'Crossfading and auto volume leveling', then click 'Turn on auto volume leveling'.

Even out volume within a song

Windows Media Player needs to play a Track before it can analyze its content and balance out the volume. If you see the message 'Volume leveling unavailable for current media', instead use the Quiet Mode settings under Enhancements. Click 'Turn on' and choose 'Little difference'.

Use the Quiet Mode settings under Enhancements

Override laptop volume limits

Laptop audio is often limited to help prolong the battery. To override this, go to Control Panel, 'Hardware and Sound', then click 'Choose a power plan'. Next, click the arrow to the right of 'Show additional plans' and select 'High performance'. Click the Speaker icon and tick Loudness Equalization to further boost the volume.

Prevent system sounds playing

In Windows 8's Sounds menu you can disable system sounds. Right-click the speaker icon in the Taskbar, click Sounds and choose 'No sounds' under Sound Scheme. In Windows 7, click the Speaker and drag System Sounds volume to zero. To mute sounds automatically during VoIP calls, click the Communications tab and choose 'Mute all other sounds'.

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