How to disable or adjust my computer's sound

Updated: 04/01/2018 by Computer Hope

An image of a speaker.There are a number of options for disabling or adjusting your sound, depending on what you want to accomplish. You may want to disable sounds from a program, the internal speaker, a modem, sound from the speakers/headphones, or disable an onboard sound card. For more information on these options, see below documents if they apply to what you're trying to disable.

Disable sound from speakers or headphones

To disable the sound from the speakers or headphones, you can mute them or turn the volume all the way down.

How to mute

Mute in Windows

Windows muteIn Windows, click the sound icon in the Windows Notification Area of the Taskbar that looks like a speaker. In the small window that appears, check the Mute box or click the sound icon (shown to the right) below the volume to mute the sound. To un-mute it later, you can follow the same procedure.

Mute in the software program

If you only want to mute a movie, sound file, or other audio in the programs, most programs include a configuration option to mute the audio through the program or player you are using. Look for a sound icon and click the icon to either open the sound properties or to mute the sound.

Mute on speakers

You can also look for a Mute or power off button on your computer or the speakers as another alternative.

Mute on headphones

Some headphones and headsets have a button on the cord that connects in-between the headphones and the computer. Pressing this button may mute the sound.

Mute on laptop

Some laptops have buttons that control the audio. If your laptop has buttons similar to the buttons shown in the picture below, pressing the button with the speaker that is crossed out will mute the laptop speakers. If your laptop does not have these buttons, look for any FN key combo that can mute the speakers. The Fn key combination are specific to your laptop brand or model, so examine the keyboard or check your laptop documentation.

Laptop mute button

How to turn the volume down

Turn down the volume in Windows

In Windows, click the sound icon in the Windows Notification Area of the Taskbar that looks like a speaker. In the small window that appears, drag the volume down to turn down the sound. To turn it back up later, you can follow the same procedure and drag the slider up to the desired volume level.

Turn down the volume in the software program

If you only want to adjust a movie, sound file, or other audio programs volume, most programs include a configuration option to adjust the volume through the program or player you are using. Look for a sound icon or volume slider to adjust the audio settings. If you're in a game, you may have to go into the Audio settings of the game to adjust the volume.

Speaker volume knobsAdjust volume on speakers

All computer speakers have a volume knob that can be adjusted on the front of the speaker. Moving that knob to the left will turn down the main speaker volume.

Adjust volume on headphones

Some headphones and headsets have a volume control on the cord that connects in-between the headphones and the computer. Moving this knob in one of the available directions will turn down the sound.

Adjust volume on laptop

Some laptops have buttons that control the audio. If your laptop has buttons similar to the buttons shown in the picture below, pressing the button with the least amount of sound waves (usually on the left) will turn down the volume. If your laptop does not have these buttons, look for any FN key combo that can be used to adjust the volume of the speakers. The Fn key combination are specific to your laptop brand or model, so examine the keyboard or check your laptop documentation.

Laptop volume buttons

How to disable an on-board sound card

If you want to install a new sound card and need to disable the on-board sound card in your computer, follow the steps below.

Disable through Microsoft Windows

  1. Access the Device Manager in Windows.
  2. Click the + or > symbol next to the Sound, video and game controllers option in the list.
  3. Right-click on the on-board sound card.
  4. In the pop-up menu that opens, select the Disable device option.

After disabling the on-board sound card, you can shut down the computer and install a new sound card.

Disable through BIOS

Note: Before performing the BIOS steps below, it is recommended that you install a new sound card to use in place of the on-board sound card.

  1. Access the computer's BIOS setup.
  2. In the BIOS, look for an option like Integrated Peripherals, Integrated Devices, or something similar. Depending on the type of BIOS, you may need to look in a section named Advanced or Configuration. Access that option to view the next screen of options.
  3. Look for an entry like Audio Device, Onboard Sound, or something similar. To the right of that entry, you should see an option currently set to Enable or Enabled. Change the option to Disable or Disabled.
  4. Look at the bottom of the BIOS screen to see which key or key combination to press to save the BIOS settings change. F10 or F12 are common keys to save BIOS settings changes. Press the appropriate key to save the changes.
  5. After saving the changes, exit the BIOS. The key to exit the BIOS is shown at the bottom of the BIOS screen.

After exiting the BIOS, the computer will restart. Because the on-board sound card is disabled, you will need to connect the speaker's mini plug connector to the new sound card.

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