How to Fix Volume Control Icon Not Working in Windows 10

Are you unable to control volume using Windows Volume Control icon in the notification area? The problem with volume control icon can also appear all of a sudden without any seemingly visible reason. This post will discuss the most common reason why the volume control icon may be malfunctoning.

Reason 1 for Volume Control Icon Not Working: Pending Updates for Windows 10

The number 1 reason for Window’s volume control icon to malfunction is due to pending Windows updates which are waiting to be installed. Microsoft frequently updates Windows 10 for various reasons including fixing security issues. When the update is major and affects various components of the device, some of the features of Windows may stop working. This includes the volume control icon. In order to fix this problem, restart your computer by selecting Update and Restart option from Windows Power button which can be accessed by clicking the Windows icon at the bottom left corner (also known as the Start button).

Please ensure that the device is not turned off while it is being updated. Once the device restarts, try using the volume icon from the notification tray and it should be working again.

Reason 2 for Volume Icon Not Working: Windows Audio Service

Windows Audio service may hang or need to be restarted for the volume control icon to work again. Here are the steps to restarting Windows Audio Service.

  1. Click on Windows Search icon and type in Services. Locates Services Desktop App and click on it.
    windows services
  2. Once the Services App opens, scroll down and locate Windows Audio. Single click on Windows Audio and you will be presented with an option to Stop and Restart the service under the Services (Local) column.
    windows audio service stop start
  3. Click on Stop the service. The service will stop. Then click on Restart the service.
  4. Try to use the volume control icon to ensure that the problem has been solved.

Other Ways to Control Volume When the Volume Control Slider is Not Working

Here are some other ways to control the volume directly from your device when the volume control icon is not working.

Pro Tip from a Visitor [Added on February 8, 2020]

In the comments section, one of our visitors named James Smith mentioned a fix which seems to be working for a lot of people. So, I am adding his tip in this article.

Step 1: Press Alt+CTRL+Del keys.

Step 2: Click on Start Task Manager.

Step 3: Ensure you are in the Processes tab.

processes tab in task manager

Step 4: Scroll down and locate Windows Explorer. Right click on Windows Explorer and click Restart. This should cause the volume key to function again.

restart windows explorer to fix volume key

Using the Volume Mixer

  1. Right click on the Volume Control icon in the notification area and select Open Volume Mixer.
    windows volume mixer
  2. Use the slider to control the volume from the Volume Mixer. You can control sound from Speakers, system and other other applicatons using the Mixer.
    volume control icon

Creating a Shortcut to the Volume Mixer

As per a support post on Microsoft, you can also assign a shortcut key on your keyboard to pull up the volume control slider. To do this, right click on your Desktop and select New > Shortcut. In the field to type the location, copy and paste the following code:%windir%\System32\SndVol.exe -f 49825268

Click Next and assign a name for this shortcut. You can call it Volume Control. Click Finish. Once the shortcut has been created on the Desktop, right click on the shortcut and select Properties. Locate the shortcut key field and simply press the key on the keyboard (for example, F8 or F9) that you wish to assign as a shortcut for pulling out the volume control slider. Press Ok. From now on, pressing the assigned shortcut key will bring up the volume control.

44 thoughts on “How to Fix Volume Control Icon Not Working in Windows 10”

  1. What worked for me after hours of searching is this. Go to “Task Manager” search for “Windows Explorer”, right click the icon and select “Restart”.

      1. Hi McBroom,

        For the search bar to reappear, please do the following: Right click on taskbar > Search > Show search box. For the volume icon to reappear, please try restarting your computer. Hope this helps.

    1. Wow, my sound icon disappeared and even after re-adding the icon it would not work. Thanks for the easy fix!

    2. Thank you, Thank you. I’ve had this happen before & not found a fix for it so I do nothing then in 2 weeks, 1 month, or longer, it fixes itself. Thanks to you, I don’t need to do that anymore.
      Do you know what causes this? Thanks again…

  2. I’ve “been around the block” but never would have considered the tip from James Smith. Totally non-intuitive! But that’s the only fixed which worked! Hat tip – THANKS!

  3. well, after some weeks using keyboard shortcut keys to control volume, I finally fixed the problem. the task manager >processes>file manager> restart was my first try and it worked magic, thank you.

  4. After trying so many solutions without success, I found yours. Don’t know how you worked it out, or why it works, but it does! Thank you so much.

  5. Thank you for solving my problem for me. You saved the day for me. It’s nice when I am able to find problem solvers that actually work. Thanks.

  6. gregory anderson

    I felt quite the Luddite looking at all the examples for how to address my volume icon not working. Then I saw your fix posted, minimized the browser and followed your Task Manager-WinExplore-Reset fix. It worked immediately.

    I’m thinking I ended up granting control over my volume to Zoom or Lifesize; I’ve been using the former and trying the latter.

    Again, thank you so much. I join the crowd in celebrating your post.

  7. Yes, the Windows Explorer restart works – TEMPORARILY. I have owned my laptop since early 2011. So for more than 9 years this has never happened. All of a sudden, the volume control slider issue began right after a windows update from October/November timeframe. Microsoft did something in their upgrades that buggered up the volume slider. Microsoft needs to figure out what that is and give us a permanent solution.

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