Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am trying to mute my computer's speakers by pressing a shortcut key. My keyboard doesn't have a button for 'Mute' or any other extra multimedia buttons.

With my keyboard, I mute my computer by creating a shortcut to NirCmd with the mutesysvolume 2 argument (toggle mute on/off). I then assigned this shortcut, a shortcut key of Ctrl + Alt + M by right clicking the shortcut > Properties > Shortcut > Shortcut key.

However, this only works if I create the shortcut file in the desktop or a subfolder in the desktop.

I initially tried creating the shortcut in the NirCmd directory in the Program Files folder, but no luck - the shortcut key doesn't work (but the shortcut does). I also tried creating the shortcut in a subdirectory one level under C:\, still to no avail. I then tried creating the shortcut at one directory level under C:\Users\username but the shortcut key still doesn't work. The shortcut keys won't work even if I move the shortcut file (.lnk) to the desktop.

I tried moving nircmd.exe to the Windows directory so I could call it without specifying the directory, but I still get the same issues above.

Anyone know the reason why the shortcut key does not work if I put the shortcut file in the directories I mentioned?

I am using Windows 7, 64-bit with the 64-bit version of NirCmd.

share|improve this question
There's still a bug in my Windows7-64b SP1. I have set shortcut "keys" in several shortcut "Properties" which are located on the Desktop AND the Start menu's Programs folder tree. They have stopped working. The CTRL+ALT+C I set up for Windows calculator (on Desktop) works every time. Still looking for a fix. (Dec 2012) – user179580 Dec 11 '12 at 18:33
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I guess the problem comes from the fact that Windows will only scan certain directories for links and their keyboard shortcuts. The folders you have mentioned, and where the keyboard command does not work, will most likely be not "scanned" by Windows.

I have found this KB entry for Windows XP where it says that this type of keyboard shortcuts only work for links on the Desktop and inside the Start menu. For Windows 7, I found this entry but it does not specify in which folder the link needs to be.

However, I can confirm that the keyboard shortcut will work when the entry is inside Programs of the start menu.

Therefore, I would suggest that you simply drag and drop the link to the Programs menu, then assign the shortcut again to make sure Windows knows about it and it should work as expected.

share|improve this answer
Last paragraph is important - key must be set after shortcut is moved to start menu – Steven Penny May 31 '15 at 15:54

Must be in Start Menu folders or Desktop

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.