Computer Trick: App Specific Volume

Posted on Jul 23, 2012 in News, Troubleshooting

Computer Trick: App Specific Volume

Did you know that you can set the volume level individually for different applications on your Windows computer?  Well, in Windows 7 for sure.  Most computer users are familiar with the Speaker Icon in the System Tray (the area by your clock) on your computer and most of those users are able to click on that speaker and adjust the volume higher or lower depending on their hearing or lack there of.  More advanced users might be familiar with right-clicking on the Speaker Icon to get to the properties for your sound card and for some (normally useless) audio mixing.  What was news to me was that on this audio mixer, you can adjust volume levels for open applications individually.  There is a very important word in that last sentence; that word is open.

I love to learn new tricks and tweeks for computers.  I learned this trick from my wife this past weekend.  Now, you’re thinking to yourself, “…but Dennis, you’re the Computer Guy, how can you learn something from your wife about computers?”  My answer to you is that my wife is a genius, a fact that was pounded into me once again on Sunday when she fixed an issue that I was struggling with.

My Dad was having trouble with his laptop.  Whenever he would play YouTube videos for Emma, my daughter, the sound was annoyingly low.  I had looked at the issue several times, I had checked the sound card settings, the audio mixer settings, and even Internet Explorer settings, but each time I found nothing.  The sound worked fine from other applications, music, games, etc., they all sounded great.

My troubleshooting steps when like this:

1. Open Internet Explorer.
2. Browse to YouTube.
3. Play Video and confirm that the sound is low.
4. Close Browser.
5. Check Settings everywhere.
6. Open Internet Explorer.
7. Browse to YouTube.
8. Play Video and confirm that the sound is low.
9. Bang head on table.
10. Repeat.

Do you see my mistake?  I was closing the browser.  With the browser closed I was unable to see that the individual settings in the audio mixer for Internet Explorer were configured to be much lower than everything else.

My wife took a shot at fixing the issue this weekend and while I watched, arrogantly waiting for the head banging to start, she fixed the issue.  She Googled the problem, which is not cheating, and found the solution.  It took her about 5 minutes.  I took my lumps with gritted teeth behind a smile and I learned something new.

Are there other little tricks out there like this that I should know?  Please comment below and show me what you’ve got.

Dennis Edmondson Jr
Computing Concepts LLC

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