Is it possible to change the volume in Windows XP via the command line?

  • 1
    AutoHotkey can do this, which you could compile and call from the command line Sep 16, 2009 at 11:47
  • Needing a third party tool to set volume. I'm totally affraid.
    – m3nda
    Jul 16, 2019 at 12:41

6 Answers 6


NirCmd is an application that does that and more.

Example of use:

  • Increase the system volume by 2000 units (out of 65535)
    nircmd.exe changesysvolume 2000
  • Decrease the system volume by 5000 units (out of 65535)
    nircmd.exe changesysvolume -5000
  • Set the volume to the highest value
    nircmd.exe setsysvolume 65535
  • Mute
    nircmd.exe mutesysvolume 1
  • Unmute
    nircmd.exe mutesysvolume 0
  • 3
    Was hoping there was a standard Windows method, but this looks very handy. Will accept this if no-one supplies one in the next day or two. Thanks, Harry.
    – underskor
    Sep 16, 2009 at 12:02
  • NirCmd looks very cool and very handy. Thanks for the tip.
    – pave
    Sep 16, 2009 at 13:08
  • NirCmd is also great for getting a laptop to mute on every logon - this way it won't accidentally keep making the "ding" sound on the train (which I don't notice because of the headphones until an embarrassing moment when someone gets annoyed enough to point it out.....)
    – RomanSt
    Jan 10, 2010 at 15:08
  • 2
    This apparently also works on Windows 7, as a few now deleted non-answers pointed out earlier.
    – Daniel Beck
    Dec 17, 2010 at 14:35
  • There's user-friendly interactive script I made for simplification that depends on nircmd.
    – user373230
    Jun 27, 2015 at 15:40

Having read these posts and having looked for alternatives I decided to write my own command line utility, called SetVol, to set the volume. It works a little more simply than what is described in some of the other posts on this page, here are some examples that you would enter at the command prompt:

setvol 75
setvol -10
setvol +12
setvol mute
setvol unmute

There are other options too. I've released it as freeware, and you are welcome to visit www.rlatour.com/setvol for more information and to download a copy.


  • This is brilliant. Thanks very much for this tool !
    – cssyphus
    Oct 23, 2018 at 16:12
  • Thanks!! However, I REALLY need this for setting the mic volume. (I'm using Java but I don't expect JavaSound to do this.) Can it be added? Nov 30, 2018 at 16:46
  • Awesome, thank you! Feature Request for future: ability to return current volume level as an errorlevel (so I can save current setting to later restore it)
    – ashleedawg
    Dec 13, 2018 at 17:48
  • 1
    Sure, I can do that - and in fact, just did! The program has been updated to version 1.2 on the website, you may need to refresh your browser to see the changes. There is now a new parm 'report' that should give you what you want. Help on the website and in the app explains it use. Merry Christmas!
    – Rob
    Dec 18, 2018 at 14:43
  • (that it say return the current volume level as per ashleedawg's suggestion)
    – Rob
    Dec 18, 2018 at 14:51

Make the JavaScript files:

echo var oShell = new ActiveXObject("WScript.Shell"); >> volup.js<BR>
echo oShell.SendKeys(String.fromCharCode(0xAF)); >> volup.js

echo var oShell = new ActiveXObject("WScript.Shell"); >> voldown.js<BR>
echo oShell.SendKeys(String.fromCharCode(0xAE)); >> voldown.js

echo var oShell = new ActiveXObject("WScript.Shell"); >> togglemute.js<BR>
echo oShell.SendKeys(String.fromCharCode(0xAD)); >> togglemute.js

Show the volume control, so you can see what you're doing:

(or maybe sndvol32)

Change the volume:

cscript voldown.js

Note: I've had this approach work reliably on machines that I've attempted to use it on. Helen's answer to Sibo Lin's StackOverflow question about this indicates muting isn't reliable, but volume-changing may not be quite as reliable. I suspect that the level of reliability may be different on different machines. This approach is using the technology of mimicking a keystroke, and specifically a volume control key on an enhanced media keyboard. At the time that Windows started supporting this, such a keyboard was basically a little-used frivolous feature that offered functionality that was previously available only with custom drivers. It wouldn't surprise me if this code was less polished, and less likely to work on some of the various (perhaps older) hardware that's out there. All that said, I haven't had troubles with it myself.


One caveat: This question has been tagged with Windows XP. I just tried this in Windows 10. I know I've used this in Windows 7 (at least enough to test it out). As I first started to see Microsoft's built-in support for these enhanced keyboards around the time of Windows ME, I would think this is likely to work well win WinXP too. I don't recall if I actually tested this with that operating system. Still, if this approach doesn't work well, I don't expect it to cause problematic side effects.

  • Thanks for sharing those keycodes! Since my computer already has python installed, I was able to use this on the command line: pip install SendKeys (pure Python package for emulating keystrokes), followed by python -c "from SendKeys import playkeys; playkeys([(0xAE, True), (0xAE, False)])", which emulates a single press and release of the volume key. To emulate 100 distinct presses (for example), you can insert * 100 after the closing ] and before the final ). Mar 1, 2017 at 15:04
  • The volup.js scrip never worked on my Windows 10. I suspect String.fromCharCode() does something weird about Unicode translation, and String.fromCodePoint() is not available in Windows Script host. It worked nicely when I wrote the same thing in VBScript instead of JScript
    – Toughy
    Jan 4, 2021 at 18:11

Here's an awesome powershell script found here: (Tested on Windows 10 and 8.1 x64)

Add-Type -TypeDefinition @'
using System.Runtime.InteropServices;
[Guid("5CDF2C82-841E-4546-9722-0CF74078229A"), InterfaceType(ComInterfaceType.InterfaceIsIUnknown)]
interface IAudioEndpointVolume
   // f(), g(), ... are unused COM method slots. Define these if you care
   int f(); int g(); int h(); int i();
   int SetMasterVolumeLevelScalar(float fLevel, System.Guid pguidEventContext);
   int j();
   int GetMasterVolumeLevelScalar(out float pfLevel);
   int k(); int l(); int m(); int n();
   int SetMute([MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.Bool)] bool bMute, System.Guid pguidEventContext);
   int GetMute(out bool pbMute);
[Guid("D666063F-1587-4E43-81F1-B948E807363F"), InterfaceType(ComInterfaceType.InterfaceIsIUnknown)]
interface IMMDevice
   int Activate(ref System.Guid id, int clsCtx, int activationParams, out IAudioEndpointVolume aev);
[Guid("A95664D2-9614-4F35-A746-DE8DB63617E6"), InterfaceType(ComInterfaceType.InterfaceIsIUnknown)]
interface IMMDeviceEnumerator
   int f(); // Unused
   int GetDefaultAudioEndpoint(int dataFlow, int role, out IMMDevice endpoint);
[ComImport, Guid("BCDE0395-E52F-467C-8E3D-C4579291692E")] class MMDeviceEnumeratorComObject { }
public class Audio
   static IAudioEndpointVolume Vol()
       var enumerator = new MMDeviceEnumeratorComObject() as IMMDeviceEnumerator;
       IMMDevice dev = null;
       Marshal.ThrowExceptionForHR(enumerator.GetDefaultAudioEndpoint(/*eRender*/ 0, /*eMultimedia*/ 1, out dev));
       IAudioEndpointVolume epv = null;
       var epvid = typeof(IAudioEndpointVolume).GUID;
       Marshal.ThrowExceptionForHR(dev.Activate(ref epvid, /*CLSCTX_ALL*/ 23, 0, out epv));
       return epv;
   public static float Volume
       get { float v = -1; Marshal.ThrowExceptionForHR(Vol().GetMasterVolumeLevelScalar(out v)); return v; }
       set { Marshal.ThrowExceptionForHR(Vol().SetMasterVolumeLevelScalar(value, System.Guid.Empty)); }
   public static bool Mute
       get { bool mute; Marshal.ThrowExceptionForHR(Vol().GetMute(out mute)); return mute; }
       set { Marshal.ThrowExceptionForHR(Vol().SetMute(value, System.Guid.Empty)); }

Now to set volume:

[audio]::Volume = 0.4  # 40%
[audio]::Volume = 0.78 # 78%

And to (un)mute:

[audio]::Mute = $true  # Mute
[audio]::Mute = $false # Unmute

Owing and further simplifying Nircmd

@echo off
rem 65536 is 100%
rem device where zero is the default device
rem left and right
rem supports whole numbers only therefore throws "missing operator" error when specifying 655.36
set /a volume=%1 * 655
nircmd setvolume 0 %volume% %volume%

save it as a .bat file and execute by passing a parameter

eg: sound 60 will set the the sound volume 60%

make sure you put the bat file either next to the nircmd or in %windir% (or define its folder in %path%)


NirCmd has commands for a specific running app, like:

NirCmd.EXE SetAppVolume  EPyrus.EXE .25 & Rem Set    EPyrus volume to 25 percent
NirCmd.EXE MuteAppVolume EPyrus.EXE  2  & Rem Toggle EPyrus "mute" state

See the author's blogpost

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