FIX: Windows 10/11 volume is too low [Full Guide]

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
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  • If the Windows 10 volume is too low, it might be an issue with the volume controls.
  • You can run the dedicated troubleshooter if the Windows 10 sound becomes too low.
  • A solution for this issue is to use third-party sound software.
  • Gently cleaning your speakers can also lead to a sound volume increase.
Fix Windows 10 low volume

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Low PC volume isn’t an entirely uncommon scenario in Windows 10. In most cases, there are relatively straightforward fixes for software sound that doesn’t match up with the Windows volume bar level.

If you experience a low laptop or desktop volume, 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 the maximum. Note that some laptops also include a rotary volume control on the side or front.

Most media player software tools include their own volume sliders.

If the third-party software volume control is turned down much more than the Windows volume slider, their video and music playback sound will 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.

2. Try using a third-party equalizer

In case this first solution does not work, we recommend you adjust the volume by using third-party equalizer software. You’ve probably heard about the software recommended below.

This award-winning pro audio enhancement app will easily let you change your volume by manipulating the frequencies from its equalizer.

This tool is known to capture every detail, in all its clarity. Even more, you can also add special effects in order to enhance the sound and choose what type of headphones you are using.

The app comes at a great price on the official website, but it also has a free trial that will help you see if it’s a perfect fit or not.

Get Boom 3D

3. Run the Playing Audio troubleshooter

  1. Click the Cortana button to open Windows 10’s search box.
  2. Enter the keyword troubleshooter in the search box.
  3. Click Troubleshoot to open the Settings window as shown directly below.
  4. Select the listed Playing Audio troubleshooter and press the Run the troubleshooter button to open the window shown below.
  5. 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.

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 described above.

The Windows search box is missing? Get it back with some simple steps from this nifty guide.

Also, if you’re having trouble opening the Setting app, take a look at this quick article to solve the issue.

4. 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.

Now you will hopefully hear the sound through the desired output like it was supposed to.

5. Hoover your speakers

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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.

Gently wipe over the speaker cones with a cotton swab to finish. Do not apply too much pressure because the speaker membrane is very sensitive and you may damage it.

6. Select the Loudness Equalization Setting

  1. Right-click the speaker system tray icon and select Playback devices.
  2. Then right-click your default speakers and select Properties to open the window below.
  3. Select the Enhancements tab shown directly below.
  4. Select the Loudness Equalization option.
  5. Click the Apply and OK buttons to close the window.

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 a more consistent volume across all programs, which will increase the average audio level. This is how you can select Loudness Equalization.

If your Windows 10 sound is increasing automatically, you may want to check out this detailed guide to quickly solve the issue.

7. Update the Audio Driver

7.1 Update the driver manually

  1. Open Device Manager once again.
  2. Double-click Sound, video, and game controllers to expand its pertinent devices.
  3. Right-click the listed sound card and select Update driver.
  4. Click Search automatically for updated driver software to automatically update the audio driver.
  5. Reboot your laptop or desktop if Windows updates the 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. Use the steps above to update an audio driver in Windows 10.

7.2 Get the newest driver from the manufacturer’s website

  1. Even if Windows doesn’t update the driver, you might still find a more updated driver on the sound card manufacturer’s website.
  2. Right-click the sound card listed in Device Manager and select Properties to open the window below.
  1. Open the website of the manufacturer listed on the General tab shown directly above.
  2. Click a Download hyperlink on the site or enter your sound card in a driver search box to find a compatible audio driver.
  3. Select to download an update audio driver that’s compatible with your 32 or 64-bit Windows platform.
  4. Add the update audio driver to Windows by opening the folder you saved it to and launching its setup wizard.
  5. Restart Windows after updating the driver.

7.3 Update the driver automatically

Manually updating the sound driver is OK, but it can take a little bit of time and skill and at the end, you might still not get the very last driver issued by the manufacturer.

Another quicker and easier solution is to use third-party, dedicated software that will update and even repair problematic drivers in just a few seconds automatically.

The recommended solution below is very light, easy to use and it does all that with just a few clicks.

Most of the time, the generic drivers for your PC’s hardware and peripherals are not properly updated by the system. There are key differences between a generic driver and a manufacturer’s driver.

Searching for the right driver version for each of your hardware components can become tedious. That’s why an automated assistant can help you find and update your system with the correct drivers every time.

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Did you know that the majority of Windows 10 users have outdated drivers? Be a step ahead using this detailed guide.

8. Update Windows

  1. Open the Cortana app’s search box.
  2. Enter the keyword updates in Cortana’s search box.
  3. Select Check for updates to open the window shown directly below.
  4. Select the Check for updates option to see if there are any available updates.
  5. Available updates will then be listed. Click the Install now button to add new updates to Windows.
  6. Click the Restart now button if a reboot is required.

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.

9. Restart the Sound Controller

  1. Restarting the sound controller might help resolve volume that’s too low in Windows.
  2. You can restart the sound controller (or card) by pressing the Win key + X hotkey to open the Win + X menu.
  3. Select Device Manager.
  4. Double-click Sound, video, and game controllers to expand the list of audio devices.
  5. Right-click your active sound controller and select Disable device.
  6. Press the Yes button on the dialog box window to confirm the selected option.
  7. Wait a few minutes, and right-click the disabled sound controller, and select Enable.
  8. Then restart the Windows OS.

So, there are numerous resolutions that might fix the Windows 10 low volume problem. 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, you should better verify 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.

As a reminder, the above solutions are useful when dealing with any of these issues:

  • Windows 10 headphones too quiet – Making the headphones louder isn’t a new wish coming from Windows 10 users worldwide. Assuming you’re one of them, find out more about the Loudness Equalization setting from the lines above.
  • HP laptop volume too low in Windows 10 – If that’s your issue as well, go through the list above and decide which of the suggestions you’d like to try first.
  • Realtek low volume in Windows 10 – When your volume is too low immediately after upgrading your PC, chances are the issue is related to the Realtek HD Audio built into many PCs these days. The Windows Audio Troubleshooter may help you out this time.
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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Dust clogging your desktop’s speakers and hardware issues are often causing this problem. An audio enhancement software such as Boom 3D will easily correct that.

  • Checking every volume control for programs is probably the first thing that you should do. If this makes no difference, apply the steps detailed in this guide to fix Windows 10 low volume issues.

  • If that’s your wish as well, the nifty tricks you may apply include adding Sound Booster or VLC Media Player to Windows, as described in this article dedicated to increasing laptop volume.

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