10 Fixes For Volume Mixer Won’t Open on Windows

The Volume Mixer is the small window that appears on the bottom-right corner of your screen when you right-click on the speaker icon in the notification area and choose the Open Volume Mixer option from the context menu. In this window, you will be able to adjust the volume for all windows that are open on your computer. Let’s get to the Volume Mixer won’t open issue.

Volume Mixer won't open

This tool is quite useful when you wish to cut out sound from one window and focus on the sound from another. If you wish to reduce the volume of a certain application without having to lower the entire system’s volume control, this is where you have to go. Not only can you adjust the volume levels but you will also be able to mute an application out without having to open it with its respective allotted vertical volume slider.

There have been a few queries and complaints on a lot of forums about this tool not launching on the computer when prompted and we decided that it needed looking into. We did our research on the topic and came up with a number of reasons and solutions to put to use when a Windows user experiences the Volume Mixer Won’t Open issue on their computer. 

Why does the Volume Mixer not open on my system?

Your Windows system may not be able to run the Volume Mixer if there are factors like these preventing it from doing so – 

Outdated or Corrupt Audio Drivers 

Audio drivers are very important for the system to produce audio output through a set of speakers or a pair of headphones. When these driver software becomes corrupt or out-of-date, there are chances for symptoms like lack of audio and other issues to show up. This means that this could also be responsible for the Volume mixer to not show up when opened. 

System Bugs

System bugs and glitches are very annoying and can be responsible for the volume mixer won’t open issue. If the bug is minor, you can always get rid of it by restarting your system. However, if it is an app-crashing bug, it has to be fixed by resetting the Operating System (OS) or by downloading the next patch update for Windows

Misconfigured Sound Settings

The configurations in the Sound Properties play a role in the functioning of the volume mixer. This means that when the volume mixer is attempted to be opened, the wrong settings may not allow the tool to launch. Changing the settings appropriately or back to default will help you fix the issue, in this case. 

Interferences from other processes

Other system processes. both unrelated and system audio-related can get in the way of the volume mixer when being launched. This could generally happen because of a fully occupied RAM memory. 

Moreover, this is not a very serious issue and can be easily fixed with a few workarounds.

Solutions for the Volume Mixer won’t open issue on Windows 10

  1. Troubleshoot the Playing Audio Device
  2. Check the Status of the Windows Audio service
  3. Reconfigure the Speaker Properties
  4. Get rid of Audio-related third-party applications
  5. Kill and Restart the Windows File Explorer Process
  6. Stop the SndVol.exe process
  7. Update the Windows OS to the latest version
  8. Get the latest Audio Driver version
  9. Perform a System File Check (SFC) scan
  10. Make changes in the Registry Editor

Fix the Volume Mixer won’t open issue 

Troubleshoot the Playing Audio Device

  • Open the Settings window (Windows + I) on your system.
  • Go to the Update & Security settings tile.
  • Select the Troubleshoot tab on the left panel.
  • Click on the Additional Troubleshooters link, if you do not already see the Playing Audio option. 
Playing Audio troubleshooter in the Additional troubleshooters page
  • In this page, expand the Playing Audio section and click on Run the Troubleshooter.

Wait for the process to complete, you will be asked to choose the device which you think is faulty. Run the troubleshooter for all the available audio devices and apply the fixes if there are any. As an alternate option, you can also use the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter in the Windows Control Panel.

Check the Status of the Windows Audio service

  • Open the Run box by pressing the Windows and R keys together on your keyboard.
  • Type in services.msc in the text slot and hit the OK button in the window. 
  • Once the Services window is up, locate the Windows Audio service.
  • Check the status column, parallel to this service and make sure that it says “Running”.
Windows Audio service
  • If it doesn’t, double-click on the service to open the service’s properties window. Now, make sure that the Startup type is set to Automatic and click on the Start button in the Service status section.

You can also try restarting the service by clicking on the Stop button, first, restarting your system and then, finally, selecting Start for this service again. 

Reconfigure the Speaker Properties

  • Open the Windows Settings and follow this path:

System > Sound > Sound Control Panel

Sound Control Panel link in the Sound settings
  • Now, go into the Properties for the active audio device. This option is available in the context menu of the device. 
Properties option for the Audio device
  • Move to the Advanced tab in this window. 
Advanced tab in the Device properties settingss
  • Under the Exclusive Mode section, click on the Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device checkbox. 
  • Select the Apply and OK options to apply these new changes to your computer audio settings. 

Third party applications like sound enhancement tools, synthesizers and audio driver interfaces can get in the way of launching the volume mixer. This is mainly because these tools replace the functionality of the volume mixer in most cases. These tools could have conflicts with the volume mixer and the only way to remove this is to uninstall these applications. 

  • Search for add or remove programs through the taskbar search menu (Windows + S).
  • Open the best match and you will be taken to the Apps & Features page in the System settings. 
  • Locate the application that you want to get rid of and then, click on it. 
Uninstall option for application
  • Now, choose Uninstall from the respective section. This should launch the official uninstallation wizard for the application. Here, you have to use the options available for removing the applications properly.

Once all the unwanted audio applications have been uninstalled successfully, restart the system and try opening the Volume mixer.

Kill and Restart the Windows File Explorer Process

  • Open the Windows Task Manager. To do this easily, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys on your keyboard. You can also use the Task termination window (Ctrl + Alt + Del) to access this tool.
  • Click on the Windows Explorer process in the Processes tab and then, choose the End Task button.
Windows Explorer process in the Task Manager
  • Now, open the Filemenu and choose the Run new task option. 
  • Type in Windows Explorer or explorer.exe and hit the Enter key.

The process will be back on your system. You should be able to see it in the Task Manager. 

Stop the SndVol.exe process

  • Launch the Task Manager on your system, by right-clicking on the taskbar and choosing the Task Manager option. 
  • Go to the Details tab and find the SndVol.exe process.
  • Now, select the process and click on the End Task button. 

The SndVol.exe is the executable file for the Windows Volume mixer. Once the process is killed by force on your system, you can just use the Open Volume mixer option in the volume icon context menu. 

Update the Windows OS to the latest version

  • Open Windows Settings and select Update & Settings from the main menu.
  • Locate the Windows Update area on the page.
  • Select the Check for Updates option from the page. The system will look for system and driver updates that are available.
Windows Update option in the Settings page
  • Click the Download and Install option on your PC if there are any pending updates.
  • When the download is finished, use the Update and Restart option in the Power Options to restart your computer and install the downloaded updates.

Once the reboot is complete, launch the Volume mixer again to see if it runs without any issues. 

Get the latest Audio Driver version

  • Bring up the Device Manager window on your system. You can use the devmgmt.msc command in the Run utility to open this window. 
  • In this window, click on the Sound, video and game controllers section to expand it.
  • Now, right-click on the audio device and choose the Update driver option in the context menu. 
Update driver option in the Driver context menu
  • When the Update wizard appears, select the Search automatically for drivers option. 

Once a driver update has been detected, it will be downloaded automatically. You just have to restart the computer once it has been downloaded, in order to install it. Alternatively, the users can also use third-party driver updating tools to find and download the audio driver updates. 

It is also a valid option to uninstall the drivers and then, install them again to see if they fix the issue

Perform a System File Check (SFC) scan

If this is because of corrupt system files, especially driver files, you can run the SFC scan to check for such files are replace them with more functional ones. The SFC scan requires the users to run the DISM before actually executing this command.

Once the Administrator: Command Prompt or the Adminsitrator: Windows PowerShell window is up on your system, execute the commands. one at a time, in the given order – 

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
sfc /scannow

Once these commands have been executed, reboot your system for saving these changes. 

Make changes in the Registry Editor

  • Open the Registry Editor window (regedit) window as the system administrator. Only when the admin privileges are provided will you be able to make changes in the system. 
  • Go to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE> Microsoft > Windows NT directory.
  • Now, right-click on the Current Version page and choose the New key option. Name this key as MTCUVC.
  • Right-click the MTCUVC key and choose New, from where you have to choose DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  • Rename the DWORD subkey as EnableMtcUvc.
  • Chnge the Base value to Hexadecimal and assign a value of 0 to the Value data section.

It is recommended that the users make a system restore point before beginning this procedure to jump back to. If there are mistakes made in the Registry Editor, it can be fatal to the OS and you will need a safe point to reset the system back to. 

These are the steps that will help you bring your Volume Mixer back to life on a Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC. If not, you will have to contact the Windows support team or reinstall the OS. Happy Volume Mixing!


Why Is My Volume Mixer Not Opening?

The Volume Mixer does not open because of system bugs or glitches, corrupt audio drivers, old audio software, misconfigured sound settings, and disturbances because of other running applications. Addressing these causes should be able to help you with this issue. 

How Do You Manually Open A Volume Mixer?

To open a Volume mixer on a Windows 10 computer, you can use the steps below-
– Right-click on the volume icon in the notification area on your taskbar.
– From the context menu that pops up from the bottom of the screen, choose the Open Volume Mixer option.

How Do I Open My Volume Mixer?

For opening the volume mixer, right-click on the sound icon, which is located on the bottom right corner of your screen, and choose the Open Volume Mixer option in the context menu. Once this window is up, you will be able to adjust the volume levels of each application running on your PC.

How Do I Reset My Volume Mixer?

Resetting the volume mixer is a very simple process with these steps – 
– Open the Sound settings through the volume icon context menu. 
– Go into the Sound Control Panel.
– Right-click on the active audio device.
​- Choose the Disable option.
– Once the device is off, open the context pop-up again and choose Enable.