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Where are the Vista/Win7 Volume Mixer settings stored?

Windows 7's volume mixer is normally saving the volume levels for individual programs, as long as the exe file doesn't change.

However, for some reason, this functionality stopped working on my computer. Every program is opened at full volume, which is quite unpleasant with my current speaker configuration. If I set this volume and close the program, the next time I open it (no matter of reboot), it will be again at full volume, not remembering my setting.

Is there a setting or a registry key to adjust, to make this functionality work again? Or is the problem related to the place where these settings are saved (wherever that might be)?

(There are other questions around this topic on SU, but none is really about this particular problem, nor seems to give a hint about the issue)

marked as duplicate by Synetech, Windos, 3498DB, Hennes, ChrisF Nov 8 '12 at 22:54

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Extra details, I haven't used any shady program like a weird registry cleaner, or anything. It just stopped from one day to the other. – Gnoupi Jan 31 '12 at 20:43
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    Not a duplicate. This question is about fixing volume levels. The other question is about where the volume levels are stored. – Keith Apr 17 '14 at 20:21
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    I agree with @Keith, this should stand as a separate question. The OP of the other question wants to find out about PIDs, not about fixing the Windows bug where it "forgets" applications' individual volume settings. Don't let the fact that the same registry key is involved fool you.... – Amos M. Carpenter Nov 15 '14 at 10:14

You need a backup to try this really.
Delete this whole PropertyStore key, and everything under it, out of the registry.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\LowRegistry\Audio\PolicyConfig\PropertyStore  

It would be good to export that section for backup first, or have a whole image backup of the system, because . . . well it doesn't make sense that it is under internet explorer?

It doesn't make any sense to me, but it holds that information, and I tested it. I tested it after confirming that the data is cleanable. On 2 forums they are indicating that this data would be good in a cleanup utility. I tested by tossing out the whole of mine, and re-booting. I tested by making adjustments and refreshing the registry to observe the change in data there from the mixer adjustments. Of course if you're using such a cleanup utility at boot, then maybe it was included in it?

This would only be a start at trying to find out why the info isn't being used.

Then provide more information. Does it work when on the same boot? Or does it occur after a re-boot? If you just closed the program that was set, then re-open it as the next step a few second later, does it work then? Did you or do you use a Registry cleaner? What is the program ID each time? There is some discussion about it using the PID for the program?

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    Wow, you are right. It makes absolutely no sense, why would they store that information in this place, since it has nothing to do with IE? But indeed, when I exported, I noticed that it was containing all paths to the exe files, with the sound levels. I deleted the key, and tried to adjust a volume, and it saved new values, and it seems to work! I would need to reboot to make sure, but I think it won't be an issue, since it works currently. – Gnoupi Jan 31 '12 at 20:41
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    Maybe there is a hard limit to the number of keys in the registry, and it reached it? I remember now that I forgot one detail, which is that while it stopped working for new programs, old ones seemed to remember their level (well, at least until I reinstalled my sound driver, but that's another unrelated topic). So it might be a problem of hard limit. Finally, I try a lot of different new programs (games, mostly), and a lot of them are being updated frequently (changes in the exe resets the setting). – Gnoupi Jan 31 '12 at 20:46
  • @Gnoupi if you ever do find out why I am very interested, I explored this question because someday I am going to have the same problem :-) – Psycogeek Jan 31 '12 at 20:52
  • I'm not really sure. The registry has limitations on the actual content of the keys, but not the number of sub-keys. Interesting fact though, I made a search in the export I made earlier, and I found games which I tried only this week, when the problem existed already for a month. Which would mean that the problem is not in storing the values, but in retrieving. Maybe when there are too many values they just truncate the result? That could explain. – Gnoupi Jan 31 '12 at 21:19
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    Nice find. Here's a guess: Maybe one of the keys ended up with unreadable/invalid information somehow that made the mixer routine crash (silently/gracefully) and default to max volume each time it attempted it. – mtone Jan 31 '12 at 21:39

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