Low PC volume isn’t an entirely uncommon scenario in Windows. In most cases, there are relatively straightforward fixes for software sound that doesn’t match up with the Windows volume bar level.
If your laptop‘s or desktop’s audio is lower than what you would usually expect, these are a few resolutions that will probably restore the volume level in Windows.
How can I solve PC sound volume issues on Windows 10 PCs?
1. Check all the Volume Controls
First, check every volume control for programs. There are usually other volume controls that will override the Windows 10 speaker bar shown in the snapshot below.
In fact, there might be three volume controls that have an impact on one program’s sound.
Aside from clicking on the system tray speaker icon, check the volume controls on your speakers. Make sure that the speaker volume control is closer to maximum.
Note that some laptops also include a rotary volume control on the side or front.
Most media player software include their own volume sliders. If third-party software volume control is turned down much more than the Windows volume slider, their video and music playback sound will be also be lower than the platform’s audio level.
As such, look out for volume bars in multimedia software.
The Windows Volume Mixer also includes a volume control bar for third-party software. If that volume bar is dragged down, a program’s sound might be lower than the audio configuration for your PC’s default speakers.
Right-click the speaker icon on the system tray and select Open Volume Mixer to open the window directly below. Then you can raise the audio slider for third-party software open on the taskbar if the volume is too low.
Run the Windows Audio Troubleshooter
If you’ve increased all the volume controls and the sound is still too low, open the Playing Audio troubleshooter. Windows 10 includes the Playing Audio troubleshooter that can resolve numerous volume issues.
You can open that troubleshooter as follows:
- Click the Cortana button to open Windows 10’s search box.
- Enter the keyword ‘troubleshooter’ in the search box.
- Click Troubleshoot to open the Settings window as shown directly below.
- Select the listed Playing Audio troubleshooter, and press the Run the troubleshooter button to open the window shown below.
- Then the troubleshooter might detect and fix the audio issue. If the troubleshooter fixes something, you might also need to restart Windows for the changes to take effect.
2. Check the Selected Playback Device
If you have multiple playback devices, check the one you need sound on is the default device. You can do that by right-clicking the speaker icon on the system tray and selecting Playback devices.
That will open the window directly below that lists playback devices. Right-click the one that needs to be the default playback device and select Set as Default Device.
3. Hoover Your Speakers
Dust might be clogging your desktop’s speakers and reducing their audio level. As such, cleaning speakers is another potential resolution for PC volume too low.
If you can, hoover your speakers with a hoover pipe to give them a more thorough cleaning. Hand vacuum cleaners are the best for cleaning speakers as they have lighter suction. Wipe over the speaker cones with a cotton swab to finish.
4. Select the Loudness Equalization Setting
If the volume level is inconsistent in Windows, some software sound will be somewhat lower than what it could be. The Loudness Equalization setting can make a difference.
This option ensures more consistent volume across all programs, which will increase the average audio level. This is how you can select Loudness Equalization.
- Right-click the speaker system tray icon and select Playback devices.
- Then right-click your default speakers and select Properties to open the window below.
- Select the Enhancements tab shown directly below.
- Select the Loudness Equalization option.
- Click the Apply and OK buttons to close the window.
If your Windows 10 sound is increasing automatically, you may want to check out this guide to quickly solve the issue.
In case this solution does not work, we recommend you to adjust the volume by using Boom 3D Equalizer. This is a sound tool that will easily let you change your volume by manipulating the frequencies from its equalizer.
You can also add special effects in order to enhance the sound and choose what type of headphones you are using.
This tool comes at a great price on the official website, but it also has a free version that works perfectly fine on Windows 10 PCs. We recommend you to try it, and let us know in the comments if you managed to fix this issue by using Boom 3D.
5. Update Windows
The low volume could be due to sound card incompatibility with Windows 10, especially if you’ve recently upgraded to that platform. Updating Windows can resolve sound card compatibility issues.
If you want to know more about sound card issues and how can you solve them, check out this in-depth guide.
You can manually check for Windows 10 updates as follows:
- Open the Cortana app’s search box.
- Enter the keyword ‘updates’ in Cortana’s search box.
- Select Check for updates to open the window shown directly below.
- Select the Check for updates option to see if there are any available updates.
- Available updates will then be listed. Click the Install now button to add new updates to Windows.
- Click the Restart now button if a reboot is required.
6. Restart the Sound Controller
- Restarting the sound controller might help resolve volume that’s too low in Windows. You can restart the sound controller (or card) by pressing the Win key + X hotkey to open the Win + X menu.
- Select Device Manager on the Win + X menu.
- Double-click Sound, video and game controllers to expand the list of audio devices.
- Right-click your active sound controller and select Disable device.
- Press the Yes button on the dialog box window to confirm the selected option.
- Wait a few minutes, and right-click the disabled sound controller and select Enable.
- Then restart the Windows OS.
7. Update the Audio Driver
It might be the case that your sound card‘s driver needs updating. Updating an antiquated sound card driver can resolve numerous audio issues. This is how you can update an audio driver in Windows 10.
- Open the Win + X menu with the Win + X hotkey.
- Click Device Manager to open the Device Manager window.
- Double-click Sound, video and game controllers to expand its pertinent devices.
- Right-click the listed sound card and select Update driver.
- Click Search automatically for updated driver software to automatically update the audio driver.
- Reboot your laptop or desktop if Windows updates the driver.
- Even if Windows doesn’t update the driver, you might still find a more update driver on the sound card manufacturer’s website. Right-click the sound card listed in Device Manager and select Properties to open the window below.
- Open the website of the manufacturer listed on the General tab shown directly above.
- Click a Download hyperlink on the site or enter your sound card in a driver search box to find a compatible audio driver.
- Select to download an update audio driver that’s compatible with your 32 or 64-bit Windows platform.
- Add the update audio driver to Windows by opening the folder you saved it to and launching its setup wizard.
- Restart Windows after updating the driver.
So there are numerous resolutions that might fix volume that’s too low in Windows. You can also try fixing the issue with some of these repair toolkits.
However, you might need replacement desktop speakers if none of the above fixes work. So check if the speakers work with other devices.
If you have any other suggestions or questions, drop them in the comments section below and we’ll be sure to check them out.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2017 and has been since revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.