I use a Macbook that has dedicated sound volume buttons (F11 and F12).

In Mac OS 10.6 I was able to adjust the sound volume in smaller increments (1/4th of a square) by pressing Shift + Option + Volume Up/Down.

This stopped working after the update to 10.7. Any ideas?

closed as too localized by slhck Feb 12 '13 at 22:03

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    Given that this feature was added in 10.7.4, it'd probably be useful to accept this answer instead of the current one? – slhck Feb 12 '13 at 22:06

I see what you are referring to: Use fine-grain volume control in 10.5

Looks like the issue is common. And someone here confirmed this feature is gone with Lion:

Jul 21, 2011 9:09 PM (in response to azoolkool)
The option is gone with Lion, sorry.

Here is a list of some other bugs you might want to check out.

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    Technically, that's not really an answer. The question still is how to change it. They might have only removed the feature from the front-end (and I'm pretty confident about that). – slhck Jul 25 '11 at 7:15
  • Thanks. I was hoping someone might know some sort of setting that I could change to reactivate this feature, but apparently it is gone. – Lorenz Jul 27 '11 at 7:48

This shortcut was added again in 10.7.4, so you'll get this feature back once you update your OS.


I know that this is far less convenient than before, but it is a workaround.

You can do precise volume adjustment with AppleScript, controlled on a scale of 0 thru 100.

set volume output volume 0 --mute
set volume output volume 100 --100%
set volume output volume 27 --27%

You can get the current volume (also 0 thru 100):

set currentVolume to output volume of (get volume settings)

So, you can write a little script to increment the volume by 2% (approximately what one quarter square used to be):

set currentVolume to output volume of (get volume settings)
set volume output volume (currentVolume + 2)

You can make one for decrementing by changing that plus sign to a minus sign.

You can save this as a script or app, and bind it to a mouse or keyboard button (if your driver lets you), give it a keyboard shortcut (as a Service or with another app), or put it in your menu bar (with an app like FastScripts).


Feature is back in Mountain Lion. Shift/Option+up or Shift/Option+down will adjust it by a fraction increments.

  • To be clear you want <kbd>Fn + Opt + Shift + F11/F12</kbd>. – Noldorin Jan 26 '14 at 17:35

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