How can you automatically mute the audio in Windows every time you shut down?

  • Not sure I understand? If it's shut down, it's not going to make any noise anyway? – Rowland Shaw Jul 15 '09 at 15:51
  • 1
    are you referring to trying to avoid the windows shutdown sounds? – kpoehls Jul 15 '09 at 15:52
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    I assume it is the problem I have had. I listen to music on my laptop at home. Bring it into the office and it starts playing. Windows brings the music player up long before the audio controls. Result: Battery removal. – Tom Hawtin - tackline Jul 15 '09 at 15:55
  • To clarify, this is not about shut down sounds. This is about muting the sound on shut down. Tom Hawtin has it exactly right. – GavinR Jul 16 '09 at 18:54

AutoMute - a little portable program designed specifically for this. Automatically mutes on logoff, shutdown, so the next start up is quiet. Also enables a keyboard shortcut for quick quieting down.

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  • Changing to this as the accepted answer because it's a simpler (albeit it 3rd party) solution. – GavinR Mar 3 '11 at 19:37

This is a bit of a hack, but here goes:

You can use NirCmd to do some useful things from the command line. One of these is muting the system audio. The command you'll need is:

nircmd.exe mutesysvolume 1

Put this line in a batch script, then set it up as a shutdown script, so it will run every time you shut down.

  • NirCmd isn't built-in, isn't there something that is? – dlamblin Jul 29 '09 at 16:17
  • @dlamblin Not sure. There might be something in the registry somewhere though that stores this value. – lc. Jul 30 '09 at 1:39
  • The windows API is built in, but nothing inbuilt lets you change it progmaticly - nirCMD would be lighter than my idea of a quick python script :) – Phoshi Sep 23 '09 at 23:00

To complement lc's answer, I suggest that you create a WSH script, like the one below. Write the following code in Notepad, then save it as a mute.vbs file:

Set WshShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
For i=1 To 100

(based on an article found with Google at nilpo.com)

The script turns the volume down to minimum (an alternative would be to mute the sound, with the &hAD code; that however would toggle the "muted" state, so unless you know how to check the "muted" state from the script, you couldn't be sure if the sound is off or on afterwards).

You should be able to register this script for Windows shutdown with the methods linked to by lc in his answer. (Note however, that on Vista Home Premium those are apparently unavailable).


Not sure what you mean but you can turn off the shutdown noise in the "Sounds" Control Panel application

See here for how to do this http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/accessibility/soundscheme.mspx

  • Haha. Note, "automatically." – stalepretzel Aug 26 '09 at 3:45

This has been answered, and I'm sure the solution works. Still, I'm posting because this possible solution which does not require any third party application. It is a bit drastic in that it shuts down the audio subsystem (driver) completely, not just muting the mixer.

Run a command prompt as administrator, and type the following:

net stop "Audiosrv"

to start the audio subsystem again, type the following:

net start "Audiosrv"

If you log off or sleep, this will work. A full shutdown/restart resets the audio back on.

The possible downside is some programs might display an error message when trying to play audio while the audio subsystem is disabled. (Winamp shows an annoying message box, while iTunes simply pauses peacefully.)


You could just go into the control panel and remove the startup and shutdown sounds. The exact procedure will vary somewhat by windows version, but on XP look for the "Sounds" tab in the "Sounds and Audio Devices" control panel icon.

  • I still want to have sound (so I can unmute it after boot-up if I'm in a 'Safe' location) - I just it to be muted on shut down. – GavinR Jul 16 '09 at 18:52

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