How to Adjust the Audio Level in Windows 10 With Hotkeys

There are many things to love about the Windows 10 desktop, but there is one area of life where Windows users seemingly must gaze in envy upon their Mac brothers and sisters, and that is the use of hotkeys for controlling the volume level on the machine. But don’t despair! It’s possible to get that same functionality on a Windows 10 computer.

How to Adjust the Audio Level in Windows 10 With Hotkeys

In this article, we’ll show you three ways to add volume-control hotkeys to your Windows 10 PC, if it doesn’t have them already.

Adjusting Windows 10 Audio Level using Hotkeys

Before talking about adding audio hotkeys to Windows 10, ensure that your keyboard or laptop doesn’t already include this feature. For instance, hotkeys for volume control may be Fn + F5 for volume down and Fn + F6 for up.

There are a few ways to add audio hotkeys to Windows 10 if your device doesn’t already have them. We’ll cover them separately.

Windows 10 Audio Hotkeys using 3RVX

In addition to letting you assign whatever hotkeys you wish to control your system audio, 3RVX features an on-screen display (OSD) that you can customize. You can even fine-tune precisely how the volume responds to your commands. You can’t do that on macOS!

  1. To start, download and install the latest version of 3RVX from the developer’s website and then launch the application from the Windows Start Menu. This will pull up the 3RVX settings. 3RVX Settings
  2. Click on the Hotkeys tab to customize the hotkeys for volume adjustment. There aren’t any default hotkeys; you’ll have to add some manually. 3RVX Settings - Tabs
  3. Click on the + button to add a new hotkey, then click on the grey bar by Keys in the Hotkey Editor. 3RVX Settings - Hotkeys
  4. A dialog box will appear, asking you to type a hotkey. Try to use something that is not already assigned to another system function. I recommend using the Windows key with a Mouse Wheel action.
  5. Once you’ve selected a hotkey, assign it to an action. Click the Action menu in the Hotkey Editor and choose whether you want the hotkey you typed to increase, decrease, or mute the audio. You’ll notice you can also assign actions to increase or decrease the screen brightness, open the CD tray, and more.
  6. Try adding hotkeys for increasing, decreasing, and muting the audio, and then click the Apply button.
  7. To test it out, close the 3RVX settings. Whenever you type your hotkey, you should see an audio icon overlay appear on your screen, almost identical to the macOS. 3RVX Audio icon
  8. To run this program at startup, select the General tab, check the Run on Windows startup option, and click Save to apply the settings. 3RVX Settings - Run on Windows Startup

Adjusting Windows 10 Audio using AutoHotKey

Sometimes you don’t want to add another single-purpose application to your system, or perhaps you already use AutoHotKey for other tasks and want to expand your AHK script library to include one to give you volume control hotkeys. AutoHotKey is a tremendously powerful scripting and automation system for Windows. It’s completely free, and you can download it here.

It’s beyond the scope of this article to explain how to program in AutoHotKey, so instead, we’ll provide you with two basic scripts. The first script is the most basic of all. If you put this text in a. AHK file and then double-click on the AHK file, it will give you a simple hotkey control over the volume setting. Hitting the Alt and the left-arrow key will lower the volume by one step, while the Alt-right arrow will raise it by one. Here is the script:

+Left::SoundSet, -5
+Right::SoundSet, +5

However, the simple script above doesn’t provide where the volume level is! Fortunately, the one below contains the helpful details you need to understand the script. It was written by Joe Winograd—an awesome AutoHotKey coder and guru.

Joe’s script provides changing volume visual representation and plays a sound that demonstrates the volume level as you move it up or down with the Alt-left and Alt-right keys. Joe’s script also places a headphone icon in the tool tray so that you can control its execution.

Here’s Joe’s script:

#SingleInstance force

TrayTip:="Alt+LeftArrow or Alt+RightArrow to adjust volume" . "`nCurrent Volume=" . Volume
TrayIconFile:=A_WinDir . "\System32\DDORes.dll" ; get tray icon from DDORes.dll
TrayIconNum:="-2032" ; use headphones as tray icon (icon 2032 in DDORes)




TrayTip:="Alt+LeftArrow or Alt+RightArrow to adjust volume" . "`nCurrent Volume=" . Volume

Now you can quickly adjust the volume on Windows with your choice of hotkey! 

Windows 10 Audio Hotkeys using Shortcuts

This one comes straight from Melchizedek Qui, a moderator on the Microsoft Answers forum, and it’s a clever and straightforward approach.

  1. Right-click on an empty area of your desktop and select New > Shortcut. Windows Quick Menu - New Shortcut
  2. In the text box, type or cut and paste “C:\Windows\System32\SndVol.exe -T 76611119 0” (no quotes) and hit Next.
  3. Enter a name for the shortcut – for example, “Sound Control,” and click on Finish.
  4. Right-click on the new shortcut and select Properties. Windows Quick Menu - Properties
  5. In the Shortcut key textbox, type whatever shortcut key you want and click OK. Control Volume Properties

Now, whenever you want to adjust your volume from the keyboard, just hit your hotkey, and the volume mixer will load. You can then use the up and down arrow keys to adjust your volume control. Simple!

Windows 10 Audio Adjustment Made Easy

Although many keyboards and laptops now have built-in hotkeys for adjusting the volume, not all do. So, if you find yourself having this issue, you can quickly remedy the situation. Whichever option you choose, volume control can be made simpler in Windows 10.

7 thoughts on “How to Adjust the Audio Level in Windows 10 With Hotkeys”

Billy Blue says:
Hi! Nice article, thanks for sharing the tips. For the Shortcuts section, under step 2, it’s missing two backslashes in the path: after Windows, and after System32. It will fail without those. It should be: C:\Windows\System32\SndVol.exe -T 76611119 0
Steve Larner says:
Thanks. The article has been updated. It was probably a system glitch that removed them. The script has also been updated with the “\” character.
toriatama says:
Thank you, John Goodson! It’s simple, works and comes with the “mute/unmute” function, perfect!!!
John Goodson says:
There is a much simpler AutoHotKey solution. Use the following lines to get the same
effect as the keyboard dedicated Volume/Mute controls for W10.

;Hot keys to toggle mute and adjust audio volume
!Down::Send {Volume_Mute} ;Alt/Down Arrow to toggle mute
!Up::Send {Volume_Mute} ;Alt/Up Arrow to toggle mute
!Left::Send {Volume_Down} ;Alt/Left Arrow to reduce volume
!Right::Send {Volume_Up} ;Alt/Right Arrow to increase volume

Gabriel says:
Thanks! This works perfectly!
Victor says:
Great one!
patrick says:
Is it possible to do this without using the default audio device? I have a software audio splitter so I can watch netflix and play games at one time. In order to get games to go to my headset, I set that as default and force swap the audio to my speakers. I’m looking for a work around for that. Otherwise the program is great.
Toriatama says:
Many thanks! It works and comes with the “mute/unmute” function, perfect!
Nexnz says:
Ok now create a app where you can adjust 1 applications volume but leave the rest intact e.g. a game while leaving discord chat volume the same!
AndreiB says:
Simple go to game’s audio setting and lower the master volume. Master volume of a game affects all the other sounds equally and does not modify the specific sound settings (e.g. voice volume, announcer volume,sfx volume etc)
Vivin NL says:
Awesome app

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