FIX: Taskbar volume icon not working on Windows 10

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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Sound problems are common in almost every version of Windows, including Windows 10. But this time, we have something a little different.

Some users reported online that they’re unable to open Sound Control bar from the taskbar in Windows 10, so we prepared a couple of solutions for this issue, in order to help everyone who’s facing this problem.

Sometimes issues with sound and the taskbar volume icon can occur. Speaking of issues, these are some of the problems that we’ll address in this article:

  • Taskbar volume icon won’t open – One common problem that you can experience is the inability to open the controls. This is a common problem, but you should be able to fix it with one of our solutions.
  • Windows 10 volume slider not working – Several users reported that they are unable to adjust their volume. According to them, their volume slider isn’t working at all.
  • Volume mixer won’t open Windows 10 – Another common problem that can appear on Windows 10. This is an annoying problem since you won’t be able to adjust your audio volume at all.
  • Volume icon not working Windows 10 – Many Windows 10 users reported that their volume icon isn’t working at all. Due to this problem, you’ll have to use your speaker knob to change the volume.
  • Keyboard volume control not working Windows 10 – Many keyboards allow you to control your volume by using a dedicated volume buttons. However, users reported that volume control buttons aren’t working for them.
  • Volume icon is not showing in Taskbar – This is another common problem with Volume Control. Fortunately, this isn’t a serious error, and you should be able to fix it with one of our solutions.
  • The volume control program is not installed – Certain audio devices require dedicated software in order to control your volume. If the software is missing, you might get this error message.
  • Taskbar volume icon greyed out Windows 10 – Several users also reported that the Volume Control icon is grayed out. This can be an annoying problem, and in most cases, it’s caused by your audio drivers.

How can I do if the taskbar volume icon is not working

  1. Install Sound Drivers
  2. Reset Audio Service
  3. Perform an SFC scan
  4. Run Hardware and Devices troubleshooter
  5. Reinstall audio drivers
  6. Check if your Audio Manager is enabled
  7. End SndVol.exe process
  8. Change the font size
  9. Disable or uninstall your antivirus
  10. Restart Windows Explorer process

Solution 1 – Install Sound Drivers

This solution only applies if, besides dysfunctional Sound Control, you also can’t hear any sound from your computer. If that’s the case, the sound driver is probably missing or corrupted.

To check if everything is okay with your sound driver, do the following:

  1. Right click on the speaker icon in your taskbar, and go to Playback devices.
    Volume Control won't open playback devices
  2. Double click on your default playback device.
    Windows 10 volume slider not working speakers sound settings
  3. Under Controller information, click Properties.
    Volume mixer won't open Windows 10 default playback device properties
  4. Now, go to Change Settings, and go to the Driver tab.
    Volume icon not working Windows 10 default playback device audio driver
  5. You have a few options in the Driver tab, you can try to update your sound driver first, by clicking on Update Driver. If the sound driver is unavailable, search online for the appropriate driver for your sound card, and install it.
  6. Restart your computer.

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

Users can certainly update device drivers on their PC manually by going to each device manufacturer’s website and searching there or on the web for the right driver to match their device type and model.

However, besides being time-consuming, this process carries the risk of getting the wrong driver installed, which may lead to serious malfunctions.

The safer and easier way to update drivers on a Windows computer is by using an automatic tool such as TweakBit Driver Updater. This tool is approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus.

After several tests, our team concluded that this is the best-automatized solution. Below you can find a quick guide on how to do it.

  1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updater
  2. Once installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically. Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates. All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.driver updater diagnozingUpon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC. Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once. To update one driver at a time, click the ‘Update driver’ link next to the driver name. Or simply click the ‘Update all’ button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.
    driver updater scan finished
    Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the ‘Update’ button several times until all of its components are installed.

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However, if you can hear the sound normally, the issue is probably not driver-related. If that’s the case, check out the next solution.

Solution 2 – Reset Audio Service

Some users who experienced this issue in previous versions of Windows told us that simple restarting of the audio service does the trick, so that’s what we’re going to do here. To restart your Audio service, do the following:

  1. Go to Search, type services.msc, and go to Services.
    Keyboard volume control not working Windows 10 open Services
  2. Find Windows Audio, right click on it, and go to Properties.
    Volume Control is not showing in Taskbar windows audio service properties
  3. First, make sure that Startup type is set to Automatic.
    Volume Control program is not installed set Windows Audio Properties Startup type to Automatic
  4. Then, click on Stop, and wait for the process to stop.
    Volume Control greyed out Windows 10 stop Windows Audio service temporarily
  5. Now, click to Start again.
    Volume Control won't open start Windows Audio service
  6. Restart your computer, and check if the issue is resolved.

Solution 3 – Perform an SFC scan

If the taskbar volume icon is not working, you might be able to fix it by performing an SFC scan. Sometimes your files might get corrupted and that can prevent the volume icon from working properly.

However, you can fix this problem by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu. Select Command Prompt (Admin) from the list. If the Command Prompt isn’t available, you can also use PowerShell (Admin).
  2. When Command Prompt opens, enter sfc /scannow and press Enter to run it.
  3. SFC scan will now start. The scan can take 10-15 minutes, so don’t interrupt it.

After the SFC scan is finished, your files will be repaired and the taskbar volume icon should start working again.

If you’re having trouble accessing Command Prompt as an admin, then you better take a closer look on this guide.

FAQ: Learn more about the taskbar volume icon

  • How do I get the volume icon on my taskbar?

Follow these steps to  add the volume icon to your taskbar:

  1. Launch Control Panel
  2. Go to Sound and Audio Devices
  3. Located Device Volume
  4. Check the Place volume icon in the taskbar checkbox and hit Apply.
  • Why is my volume icon not working?

These are the most common reasons why your volume icon is not working: the Windows audio settings are not set to automatic startup, some audio files are corrupted, your user account got corrupted or your external audio hardware is not compatible with your device.

  • How do I restore my taskbar icons?

If you want to restore your taskbar icons, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Click on Personalization
  3. Select Taskbar
  4. Go to the Notification Area
  5. Click on the option Turn system icons on and off
  6. Turn the switch on next to the icons you want to restore

Editor’s Note: This article continues on the next page with additional solutions to fix this taskbar volume icon issue. You may also be interested in reading more on the best software solutions to install on your PC and take your audio experience to the next level.

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Editor's Note: This article was originally published in October 2017 and was revamped and updated in May 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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  • Had the same issue, in my case i had to download the audio drivers and manually install them:

    – Downloaded VIA Vinyl HD Audio Driver 11, it was a zip file, extracted it into a custom folder.
    – Went to Device Managers > Sound, video and game controllers > High Definition Audio Device > Right click and selected “Properties”
    – In Controllers > Update Controllers i choose “Browse my computer for driver software”, then browse to VIA Vinyl HD folder an selected Next.

    After that it installed the audio driver and everything worked immediately.
    Hope this helps someone else.

  • Thanks Ivan. I had to go through all of your ten methods before the last one worked. Wish you had placed the last method first in your article 🙂 Just kidding. Thanks again.

  • Huge thanks! Just got hit with “upgrade” disabling speaker/volume control. Other sites recommended only what’s basically your Solution 8, which did nothing for us. Found your site, and some combination of your Solutions 2 and 4 fixed the problem in a jiffy. Thanks again!

  • My computer did a Windows 10 update some time last week, and now my Realtek audio is stuck. I have a permanent blue volume bar on the screen at all times, and the volume will auto-reset to 100% if I adjust. I’ve tried removing and re-installing the Realtek speakers, but to no avail. I’m a loss, and this is getting frustrating. Any suggestions for me?

    • Ok, I’m using your post here to investigate my speakers, and I just saw something crazy related to my 100% volume problem. I can work on the balance, and adjust one speaker, either left or right, down to whatever I want. But as soon as I adjust the other speaker, the first one goes back to 100%. What’s up with that?