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How to Fix Volume Control Missing

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About “Volume Control Missing”

Has your volume control icon disappeared from the system tray? The small speaker or tuner icon that most users click to adjust audio volume levels has been known to become “missing” in certain circumstances. For many users, the volume icon is among only a few in the system tray that are used often. When this convenient tool disappears, it can cause quite a bit of trouble when you have no other readily available way to turn down or turn up the volume. In many cases, the cause of this problem is due to a misconfiguration of the audio device or a corruption of those settings due to a faulty driver. In nearly all scenarios, replacing the driver corrects the problem.

Before we get into what causes the volume control to disappear, we should first discuss audio devices and how Windows manages audio devices. Understanding how Windows communicates with and cooperates with audio devices will perhaps provide a better platform for understanding how and why volume controls go “missing”.

The Audio Device: How it Works

Sound cards (audio controllers, audio chips, audio cards) are either integrated into a computer motherboard or they are attached to it separately as a stand-alone component. Sound cards alone are different from other hardware devices because the chip that is a part of the card is engineered to interpret all manners of audio signals and communicate them to other hardware devices and the operating system.

However, none of this functionality is possible without the assistance of a small piece of software called a driver. A driver provides all the instructions that a physical hardware device requires in order to be functional. The audio device driver allows the audio device to communicate with other hardware devices and the operating system. Thus, enabling it to receive music files stored on a computer and output them to speakers.

The driver also allows the user to set preferences for the audio device. The preferences are actually stored within the Windows operating system but it is the driver that finds these stored preferences and communicates them to the device.

The Audio Device: Integration with Windows

Windows recognizes a single audio device as the default. The “default” status means that the configured device will be responsible for all audio input and output. Although Windows does allow the user to specify different devices for particular audio functions, the default device is responsible for all audio tasks if no other device is present or specified otherwise.

These settings are easily adjusted from the Control Panel but many users may find it difficult to navigate to the appropriate window in order to make the changes they desire. The settings are then stored in the Windows registry where the audio device driver will look for them when the information is called for.

The Windows registry is a complex, hierarchical index of all the settings, configurations and files that make up a Windows computer. The registry makes things easier for Windows but it tends to overly complicate things for the average user. In addition to it's complexity, the Windows registry is not particularly known for staying error free. Corruption often results in damaged settings and is often the cause of the “Volume Control Missing”.

Common Causes of “Volume Control Missing”

If the volume control is missing from the system tray, it could likely lead to several different problem areas but most commonly, a missing volume control is simply because of a minor, user misconfiguration of audio settings. Below is a list of the most common causes of this problem.

Most Common Causes

  • The icon is configured to “Hide” in the system tray.
  • The icon is turned off in the Control Panel.
  • The registry value containing the setting is missing or corrupted.
  • The default audio device is not set or not set correctly.
  • The audio driver is out-of-date.
  • The audio device driver is missing, corrupt or not installed.
  • The audio device is disabled.
  • The audio recent driver upgrade or installation failed.
  • The wrong driver was installed for the default audio device.

It's not uncommon for audio settings and configurations to become altered incorrectly and cause the volume control to disappear. New and updated drivers for the audio device are in constant development are released frequently. The upgraded drivers improve the hardware performance and provide a greater level of stability, preserving device settings and configurations better.

To learn how to manually correct the “Volume Control Missing” problem, you can read our self-help troubleshooting guide. The guide will take you through the troubleshooting process step-by-step and help you to re-enable the volume icon in the system tray. To read the Windows XP guide, click here. To read the Windows Vista/7 guide, click here.

For a seamless and troubleshooting free solution, continue reading below to learn more about the automated method.

How to Easily FIX “Volume Control Missing”

The root cause of "Volume Control Missing" issues are almost always related to driver conflicts. There are literally millions of possible driver configurations in today's PC's. Finding the correct driver combination without crashing your computer or causing devices to stop functioning properly can be extremely difficult and time-consuming. Even the most skilled PC Technicians use automated tools to quickly repair "Volume Control Missing" problems.

The easiest and safest way to fix "Volume Control Missing" issues is to use an automated tool that takes the guesswork - and the legwork - out of it. An automated tool saves you the time of searching various sources for your sound problems, and ensures that you have the right drivers for your specific PC.

DriverUpdate automatically detects any driver problems on your computer and determines the correct, most up-to-date drivers for your system. This guarantees your computer won't encounter errors from incorrect or out-of-date drivers and makes problems with "Volume Control Missing" a thing of the past. To ensure you get the right drivers that repair your sound issues for good, use the Highly Recommended tool that makes it easy, use DriverUpdate.

The hours spent manually researching, and the inherent risks associated with installing drivers on your computer make using DriverUpdate the best solution. ( Click Here To Download DriverUpdate )


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