Volume control automatically reduces and slides down to zero

A suggested fix for this annoying problem!

We had a problem with one of our Windows 7 laptops this week where the volume control slider insisted on automatically sliding down to zero (i.e. no sound). Dragging it back up didn’t help, as it automatically slid straight back down to zero again!

After much searching around, followed up updating multiple drivers to no effect, we discovered how to fix it. The problem is caused by a mouse with a wheel, where the wheel can be used to reduce sound volume but, in this case, gets carried away and does it all the time. The fix is simple – unplug your mouse, reboot the laptop, then when the laptop has re-booted fully, plug your mouse back in again. Hey presto, the volume control no longer slides down!

Hope this helps someone with the same problem – if you happen to come across this post via  a search engine and this helps you, it would be great if you were to take a second to leave a comment.  It’s always interesting to see who drops by and where they are from!

27 COMMENTS

  1. Fred_in_Raleigh,NC,USA
    May 16, 2012 22:43 Reply

    Good post. We started having this problem two days ago with our Windows 7 laptop. We have a USB wireless mouse with a wheel that can adjust the volume. We’ll try your solution by turning the mouse off and rebooting, then powering up the mouse and see how it goes. But your post is helpful because at least it pinpoints the likely problem.

  2. Neil
    November 15, 2013 14:19 Reply

    thanks for the post it works succesfully

  3. David Patterson
    January 19, 2014 02:21 Reply

    This worked for me, but only after I tried a different mouse. It was clear the wireless mouse was the problem because the sound behaved fine once the receiver was unplugged. Other web sites suggested driver problems, but this one is simple to check. Thanks.

    • Anna Hurley
      July 16, 2014 13:06 Reply

      I tried your suggestion and it didn’t work. I am wondering if I have a faulty mouse.

  4. Larry
    February 04, 2015 16:27 Reply

    Thanks for the suggestion. I just unplugged wireless mouse transmitter and used touch pad to solve the problem quickly without reboot.

  5. Srikanth
    April 16, 2015 15:37 Reply

    Thank You very much.. From India

  6. Duhhh!!!!
    May 19, 2015 21:30 Reply

    Same was happening to me -didn’t realize a book was leaning on the wireless mouse. I feel so dumb.

  7. September 07, 2015 14:13 Reply

    I didn’t have a plug in to take out but I did change the battery in my wireless mouse and that solved the problem of the possessed volume controller. Thank you =D

    Have a great day!!!

  8. Lorraine
    September 17, 2015 03:02 Reply

    I’ve tried unplugging my wireless mouse and the sound still keeps going down to zero. It doesn’t do it all the time, so when it does I can usually turn my computer off and back on to fix it. However, this is inconvenient at times.

  9. Zainab
    December 09, 2015 02:27 Reply

    I just encountered the same issue. Did as what u mention and presto its back to normal.
    Your posting have saved the day for me !! Thank u .

  10. jimbo
    December 15, 2015 18:00 Reply

    Same problem for me but my problem was my audio minus key on my netbook keyboard was stuck in the down position. Felt quite silly when I discovered what it was 🙂

  11. KF
    December 19, 2015 02:44 Reply

    Swapped out mobos sound still mysteriously sliding down to zero. Removed reltek Driver’s, even reinstalled. Is this a stupid ransomware that doesn’t tell to to pay up?

  12. John
    April 03, 2016 17:16 Reply

    Thanks a lot. it worked perfectly

  13. Becky
    April 13, 2016 19:34 Reply

    Was excited to see your post. Sadly no, it didn’t solve the problem by removing the scrolling mouse. After a Windows 10 upgrade I have no sound. It’s exactly as you describe, plus I have a black volume box in the top left corner that won’t go away.

    • Robert
      May 08, 2016 19:44 Reply

      did you find the solution?

    • Krystal
      August 14, 2016 17:18 Reply

      This is exactly what is happening to me 🙁

    • Ron Smith
      November 13, 2016 04:05 Reply

      Thanks, it seemed to be the mute, V+ and V- keys near the escape key on netbook. I didn’t think of them

    • Ron Smith
      November 13, 2016 04:34 Reply

      It seems to be a hardware condition. Try tapping on your volume up volume down and mute keys.This worked on my win 10 notebook. You might need to push “Function” to make them operate, depending on your pc.. You can temporarily make the black volume box disappear by disabling the sound drivers in control panel,,device manager., sound video and game controls

  14. Richard Bryce
    May 22, 2016 18:02 Reply

    Same problem on an Acer laptop. Isolated the problem to Bluetooth conflict. Turned off Bluetooth and the annoying pop-up disappeared and stays away.

  15. Lorenzo
    June 03, 2016 19:37 Reply

    Praise the lord!!

  16. Cynically Crazy
    June 15, 2016 23:42 Reply

    What worked for me. I have my center wheel on my mouse control the volume. It’s gone nutty. Unplugged the mouse, restarted the computer and plugged the mouse back in. Works fine now. Before that I had replaced drivers, virus scan, malware scan etc.

  17. lol
    July 01, 2016 00:16 Reply

    lol i had two mouse and the under one was acidental pressed on books.
    Thanks bro

  18. Guru
    August 01, 2016 09:34 Reply

    Yes it solved my problem too.

  19. Prashant
    September 13, 2016 16:50 Reply

    its not working

  20. Marissa Vasquez
    September 21, 2016 00:59 Reply

    Thanks for the help! It was definitely the mouse. I didn’t have time to reboot so I just removed the USB receiver and turned off the mouse and viola!

  21. Øyvind Liberg
    October 16, 2016 17:36 Reply

    A loud cheer coming all the way from Oslo, Norway! This worked! First thing I noticed regarding this problem was that it kept changing my selected printer to Microsoft XPS Document Writer. Then I noticed that Windows Explorer scrolled right down to the bottom. And then on youtube I also noticed that the sound was gone. Tried with a different cordless mouse, and it was fine! Tried with the “defective” mouse on a Windows 10 laptop, and it worked fine. Connected the mouse back to the problem PC ( a desktop), and presto! It worked like a charm, as it always have. So nothing wrong with the mouse, really. So what might the problem have caused the problem? Obviously something related to the mouse driver. Changing over to the other cordless mouse initiated an automatic driver installation, which took surprisingly long time, about 5 minutes. So this process must have corrected the registry setting that caused the trouble.
    Actually, I have come across something related many times before, in the sense that Windows is out-of-step with itself. It reports one particular setting, but does something else. The simple fix has always been to change one of the settings in the appropriate window, click OK and then change back to whatever it should be, and then click OK again. In this way Windows manages to correct whatever erroneous setting that might have been in the registry setting.

  22. cherry blue
    November 14, 2016 22:18 Reply

    I had this problem on my dell xps 12 laptop so I couldn’t even try the mouse solution as I have a touchpad. After much frustration and the volume constantly going to zero ( even holding the + volume rocker button didn’t work as the – button was working against me constantly resetting to zero and same for the onscreen icon) and freezing my laptop making it virtually unusable.

    This is what worked for me – I used the touchscreen to open the control panel – hardware and sound – adjust system volume – change systems sounds – from there choose the playback tab and select your speakers/headphones from the list – click properties – choose the general tab then click properties on your realtek controller and select the driver tab – now uninstall the driver and restart laptop.

    I suppose an easier way is to choose the realtek controller from device manager and just uninstall the driver from there, but at the time I wasn’t sure how to solve the problem and I was almost sure it was a hardware issue and I was thinking my volume rocker was broken or stuck so I was just messing around in settings when this happened to work for me.

    Once restarted my volume worked perfectly again.

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