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? Jul 15, 2009 at 15:51
  • 1
    are you referring to trying to avoid the windows shutdown sounds?
    – kpoehls
    Jul 15, 2009 at 15:52
  • 2
    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. Jul 15, 2009 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, 2009 at 18:54

6 Answers 6


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, 2011 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, 2009 at 16:17
  • @dlamblin Not sure. There might be something in the registry somewhere though that stores this value.
    – lc.
    Jul 30, 2009 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, 2009 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." Aug 26, 2009 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, 2009 at 18:52

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