Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Every time I run some of my games, if the media player is open and playing, Windows 7 lowers the volume of both applications (the game and the player). All other applications are not affected. I tried foobar and Winamp, combined with several games, and it happened every time, which makes me think it’s a Windows 7 thing.

The volume goes down to inaudible levels (usually 3 or 4), and I’m forced to alt+tab, open the volume mixer, and increase both volumes manually every time.

This also doesn’t look like a bug, but some kind of feature. When it happens, the little bar in the volume mixer that shows each application’s volume level gets a little transparent (but stays in it’s regular position), while a new one appears and tells the new volume.

Anyone know what’s causing this?

(The games ran from steam, in case it matters)

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 54 down vote accepted

It's not a bug, it's a feature!

Windows 7 automatically lowers speaker volume when it detects communication activity (A microphone-enabled game for example). You can turn this off though.

  • Navigate to:

Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound -> Sound -> Audio properties -> Communications tab

  • Select Do Nothing from the dropdown box. Apply & OK.

Communications tab of Sound dialog in Windows 7

share|improve this answer
1  
Damn, I was uploading to TinyPic when I saw you answered. Always beating me to the punch. lol –  Marcin Nov 23 '09 at 4:47
    
Thanks, that's been driving me nuts. This stupid microphone doesn't even work right and it's still giving me headaches. –  Bruce Connor Nov 23 '09 at 4:47
7  
i47.tinypic.com/erleyq.jpg ;) –  John T Nov 23 '09 at 4:47
    
LOL... nice "bug". –  Marcin Nov 23 '09 at 4:52
1  
@Win7ftw Its a bug until people realize its a feature. –  wizlog Jun 28 '12 at 15:07

If this happens to you in Winamp when you play a MIDI back, you need to change the midi output device to DirectMusic

share|improve this answer

protected by Journeyman Geek Apr 27 '13 at 4:26

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

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