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!

43 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

    • Vickie
      August 18, 2017 14:50 Reply

      Did you ever figure this out? My Acer laptop just started doing this yesterday, and also have the black volume box.

  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.

    • A. August
      January 05, 2017 22:11 Reply

      Thank you, Richard! Never would have thought of a bluetooth conflict. This issue had been bugging me for months and I think it’s finally resolved. You saved the say!!

  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.

    • Cherry blue
      January 16, 2017 22:36 Reply

      Well this happened to me again and I tried what I did before including uninstalling/deleting the Realtek audio driver and downloading and reinstalling it about a bazillion times. In the end I realised it was the Audio sound port that was faulty because when I opened the bottom of the laptop I
      Could see that the tiny sensor pad under the rocker button was broken off on the ‘down volume’ side. I changed the audio sound port which was a tiny blue circuit board connected with two cables and two screws and the volume works fine now. So I think before it was on its way out and then it finally gave up the ghost.
      Just to be clear my problem was the volume constantly going to zero as if something was pressing on the down rocker button the whole time. It would be OK when I restarted my laptop until I touched ANY key on the keyboard then the volume slider would appear on the screen and volume would go straight to zero.

  23. Sourav Paul
    January 13, 2017 20:45 Reply

    Thanks a lot

  24. Fm
    February 06, 2017 07:55 Reply

    Holy crap !!!! Thank you. Almost threw my laptop on the floor

  25. Jeff D
    February 21, 2017 08:11 Reply

    I rebooted and took the batteries out of the mouse, it didn’t work until I took the USB wireless connection out of the port. It immediately started working again!

  26. Andrea Kollars
    March 12, 2017 06:43 Reply

    Hi! Here it is 3/2017 & I have been having this problem with my desktop HP windows 7. I tried your fix &. so far, it is working.! Thank you from South Bend, In…..home of the Fighting Irish!

  27. Laura
    July 06, 2017 14:15 Reply

    Hey, I’m a language teacher and I was having this problem in the classroom yesterday. I especially need audio for listening exercises.
    Thank you for saving my class today!

  28. GT
    August 13, 2017 14:19 Reply

    Problem happened to me for the very first time ever (in almost 20 years of computer use) with a wired mouse & a desktop. Followed this simple advice & it worked, Thanks very much – it was doing my head in for the last couple of days 🙂

  29. J
    September 11, 2017 14:13 Reply

    I didn’t have a mouse and touchpad has no volume control but it gave me the idea to investigate usb devices. Appears that a memory stick was causing my problem. Just unplugged it. Seems fine now.

    • J
      September 13, 2017 21:29 Reply

      But its still doing it today… grrrrrr!

  30. Rico
    October 03, 2017 11:18 Reply

    [vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"]thank you for your quick fix![/vc_column][/vc_row]

  31. smiling
    October 08, 2017 11:17 Reply

    I could not solve the problem with unplugging, restarting, even updating the Realtek driver did not help (Dell laptop, Win 10, wireless mouse).

    What did, is opening the volume control by simply clicking the icon in the tray, controlling it randomly with the arrow buttons (just a few presses), then PRESSING ENTER. A notification sound or whatnot came, and its working fine since.

    Note that I vaguely remember encountering this problem when I adjusted the volume with keyboard (Function button + F2), then immediately pressing the left, right arrow buttons, to find my cursor in Word – where the cursor did not move (suspicion is I changed the volume with them somewhy). Not sure though.

    Thx for the topic, I hope I could help!

    • SITEADMIN
      October 09, 2017 09:01 Reply

      Thanks for your feedback. 🙂

  32. October 31, 2017 18:40 Reply

    My culprit was a volume knob on my Dell keyboard… all I had to do was turn it slightly and the problem went away. I don’t have a wireless mouse with a wheel that turns the volume down, but the suggestion led me to my keyboard knob.

  33. James M
    November 17, 2017 19:53 Reply

    Thanks a million! Can stop tearing my hair out now!

Leave a reply