The volume mixer is an excellent tool for managing volume on a per-app basis. It used to be easy to access on older versions of Windows but as of Windows 11, it’s been moved to the Settings app. The old volume mixer is still around and you can access it, and also pin it to the taskbar for quick access, or you can use a third-party app.
Volume mixer on Windows 11
There are two stock volume mixers on Windows 11; the old one that users could easily access from the system tray, and the one in the Settings app which can be opened from the system tray as well.
1. Open Volume mixer
To open the volume mixer,
- Tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the run box.
- In the run box, enter SndVol.exe and tap the Enter key.
- The volume mixer will open.
- To pin it to the taskbar, go to the desktop.
- Right-click an empty area on the desktop and select New>Shortcut.
- In the location field, enter SndVol.exe and click Next.
- Name the shortcut Volume Mixer.
- Right-click the shortcut and select Pin to taskbar.
- You can delete the shortcut after it has been pinned.
2. Open Volume Mixer – Settings app
If you’d like to open the volume mixer in the Settings app, follow these steps.
- Right-click the speaker icon in the system tray.
- Select Volume Mixer.
- The Settings app will open to the volume mixer panel.
3. Ear Trumpet
Ear Trumpet is a free, third-party app that adds a decent volume mixer to the system tray. With this app, you can change the volume on a per-app basis and opening it only takes one click.
- Visit the Ear Trumpet Microsoft Store page and click Get.
- Open the Microsoft Store app when prompted to by the browser.
- Click Install.
- Once the app is installed, open it.
- The app will add a speaker icon to the system tray.
- Click the icon to open the volume mixer.
Of the many things that Microsoft has removed or made inconvenient to access on Windows, the volume mixer is one of the worst offenses. The volume mixer is useful and users have to jump through hoops to access it. The mixer that has been moved to, or added to, the Settings app has the same features but it is somehow clumsy to use when compared to the mixer Windows users have had in older versions. Ear Trumpet does a better volume mixer than the Settings app. Let’s hope Microsoft doesn’t scrape the SndVol.exe executable on Windows 11.