How to Prevent Windows from Automatically Reducing System Volume
If you are running Windows 7 or later, then you may have run into an odd behavior in your Windows experience. If you’re running a program that uses sound, you may have noticed the volume of your sound is automatically reduced when you run certain programs, such as Skype or games with audio chat channels.
This can be very frustrating and many users have been really upset at this seemingly random volume reduction problem. As it happens, it’s not random and it’s easy to fix. In this article, I will show you why this happens, and how to stop it from happening again.
What’s Up, Redmond?
Longtime Microsoft watchers know that what you really have to watch out for isn’t malevolent intention on the part of the Redmond-based software giant. If Microsoft tries to be evil, they usually just mess it up and don’t really do anything. No, it’s when Microsoft tries to HELP that you have to look out, and this volume glitch is a sterling example of this phenomenon.
Here’s what’s happening. As the voice over IP (VoIP) services became more and more common here in the 21st century, Microsoft wanted to make the process of placing and receiving phone calls on the Windows desktop to be more seamless (you’ve surely noticed how you make and receive all your phone calls on your Windows machine now, right?)
To facilitate this, Microsoft added a feature starting in Windows 7 and present all the way through Windows 10 that attempts to detect when a user is making or receiving a VoIP call. When the operating system thinks a call is being made, it automatically lowers the volume of other apps (or even mutes them) while the call is in progress. You know the way you didn’t even ask it to do.
Unfortunately, although this feature in and of itself is not an intrinsically stupid idea, it turns out that Windows is really, really bad at detecting whether something is a VoIP call or not. Multiplayer games that contain a voice channel, for example, often trigger the “feature”, as do outright VoIP apps like Skype or Google Hangouts.
The real difficulty is that people using Skype or Hangouts or games usually have their relative volumes configured the way they want them configured when they start doing a chat. Microsoft is doing the equivalent of rearranging your desk for you “because I’m sure you want things to be organized”, right after you’ve just gotten everything the way you like it.
Thankfully, this immensely annoying feature can be easily disabled.
All you need to do is launch your Control Panel or your Settings (depending on your Windows version) and head to the Sound configuration dialog.
In the Sound configuration window, click on the “Communications” tab. This is the location where this automatic reduction feature is configured.
Click ‘OK’ to finish. It may be wise to restart your computer once changing this setting.
By default, the option to “Reduce the volume of other sounds by 80%” is selected. Change this to “Do nothing” to effectively kill the feature. If, however, you actually find this feature useful, you can further refine it by having Windows only reduce the volume of other apps by 50%, or by having the operating system mute all other sounds entirely.
If this hasn’t helped your volume woes there are a few other things to think about before giving up. Let’s talk about some troubleshooting tips to help you if you’re still having the problem.
- Are your keyboard volume buttons clean? – We spend hours on our computers meaning debris, dust, and even food particles can become lodged in the keys. Use an approved duster or clean cloth to remove any contaminants from your keyboard.
- Check for any new system updates – Patches can fix a plethora of wonky computer issues. Install any updates and restart your computer to see if the volume problems cease.
- Update your audio drivers – Head over to the task manager and navigate to the “Audio inputs and outputs section. Right-click to update the drivers.
- Uninstall updates – Many users have reported audio issues after updates. Windows users can uninstall updates by visiting the “Updates & Security” tab, then clicking on “View Update History.”
My setting keeps going back to 80%, what can I do?
You can either turn it back to u0022Do Nothingu0022 every time you open an app, or you can select the option to reduce the volume by 50% to lessen the impact. Either way, several users have reported that the volume settings revert whenever restarting an app.
Does this affect external speakers too?
Yes, many users who have external speakers experience volume fluctuations. Try using another port or alternate speaker for sound issues.
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30 thoughts on “How to Prevent Windows from Automatically Reducing System Volume”
What fixed it for me was unchecking “Enable audio enhancements”.
It is found under Signal Enhancements in “Advanced” in Speakers Properties.
Having this problem in 2018 too and was gone for some months after doing a windows update and now it is back again. Have windows 10 laptop with dolby atmos.
is there an actual fix for this issue? why hasn’t Microsoft addressed the issue, if its been ongoing for several years?
Volume stayed in place.
You have to disable all devices at “Recording tab”
I went to Playback devices -> Speakers ( or whatever is your main device) Properties – > Advanced + Set the format to 24bit 44100Hz. I have unchecked both in the Exclusive mode
Than go to Recording Devices ( you can do this from the speaker section on the right bottom of your screen -> On Microphone right click and properties -> Go to Advanced and set Default format to 2 Channel, 16bit, 44100Hz (On recording device i left checked both in Exclusive mode)
***THAN RESTART PC***
After that you shoudve been fine ! Hope it works. Cheers!
Okay so When im recording virtual instruments in a music program its really loud but clear . so now when i export music track and play in windows media player the song sounds low or kind of distorted …
I also did all the other settings mentioned. Unchecking Allow apps to take exclusive control and Do nothing in the Communications Tab
I hope this works for other people.
When I went to try this to fix it, I knew it was probably the problem when it was set to decrease by 80% because when the volume decreased, it was go almost silent but I could barely hear it still.
Thank you for the help, I think the probably I’ve had for over a year is finally solved!!
1-first open playback devices
2.go to the “Properties” of the laptop speakers (Mine is ConexantSmart Studio HD)
3. On the “General” tab go to “Controller Information” and click Properties again
4. Go to the “Controller” tab and Click “Update Controller” and just search automatically for the update.
5. Then it’ll start downloading and updating the drivers for the laptop speakers. You will need to restart the computer when its finished.
When it restarted it showed that the audio the whole time was lowered by 50%, and even though this bull*** keeps automatically lowering whatever device I plug into, now it doesn’t affect me much since I’m now able to dramatically increase the volume. Hope it works for you, hmu if you’re able to fix the autolowering thing.
Opening the Volume Mixer Panel in the Windows Sound Options made me realise, that i put firefox to 10% Volume and everything else was at 40%. After i put the firefox-sound to 40% as well, the problem was fixed and i had no problem with the sound getting lower randomly anymore.
Also, it might help if you do this while during a skype call, so you can notice right away if it works or not:
1. Go to Sound Settings (you can do this from your volume control icon on the taskbar)
2. Look for “Sound Control Panel”
3. in the “Playback” tab, look for your default speaker (Mine is Realtek High Definition Speakers) and click “Properties”.
4. Go to the “Dolby Audio” tab if available and click “turn on”.
you should notice changes immediately. at least i did. hope this helps.
Probably will work only if you disable all mics.
Doesn’t matter what movie and doesn’t matter what media player I am using.
Please someone help me .I buy ny laptop just 5 days ago.pls pls pls help me
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