I recently upgraded to Windows 8 from Win 7 64 bit and have started to encounter a strange issue. When I have any program running which plays sound, such as a game or spotify, after a random interval (usually around 5-10 minutes) the program sound will set itself really low.

If I Alt-Tab to the desktop and check the Mixer I can see that the Application volume has automatically set itself really low - the other volume levels (i.e. the Device speakers) stay the same. I'm able to just set the application volume back to a reasonable level and it stays that way for another 5 - 10 minutes then goes quiet again.

My sound is Realtek High Definition Audio and my machine is an Acer Aspire 5738G if that helps in any way.

Any help much appreciated!

2 Answers 2


This is often caused by Windows thinking (often incorrectly) you are running an application that uses a microphone/telephony, and lowers other sounds for you.

Try the following to disable this behavior:

  • In the Start menu, search in the Settings category (Win+W)for "Change Sound Card Settings".

  • In the Communications tab, change "When Windows detects communications activity" to Do nothing.

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  • Thanks for that, I'll give it a try now and mark the answer if it works :)
    – peacemaker
    Nov 11, 2012 at 3:08
  • 2
    Right there with you FailBoy, this was bothering me ever since I installed Win8 a few weeks ago. The intention of this function might be good, but it's implemented very poorly. I connected my wireless mouse dongle and it lowered the volume. The same when I disconnected my external HDD. Thanks mtone!
    – gligoran
    Jul 31, 2013 at 21:57
  • 1
    This was driving me nuts, I'd be watching a Youtube video and the sound would suddenly cut out. Thought it was a bug in the Drivers and tried updating, reinstalling. but it kept happening. Can't believe it was so simple, yet buried into oblivion. Yet another terrible design decision by Microsoft. Makes me want to switch back to Linux, despite needing Windows for work.
    – japzone
    Oct 7, 2013 at 3:42
  • 1
    I set this option but it didn't helped. In the end, it was caused by a very similar Lenovo feature called "Optimize sound effects for voice communications" which can be turned off in the settings app. Don't know why they cross implemented a Windows feature, though.
    – danijar
    Dec 26, 2013 at 13:13
  • 2
    Thank you so much for this. I wonder why this setting got enabled in the first place... Jan 13, 2014 at 0:53

Similar to mtone and danijar, I had this issue with a something that was modifying the volume in an attempt to keep it constant. It was a program called "Dolby Digital Plus" which has an option called "Volume Leveler". I opted to turn the whole program off tho - problem solved!

I did notice lots of my music had very different volumes, but I go through them and change their volume as I come across them.

  • Ugh, I've noticed my volume being leveled again, and I still have Dolby off. I don't know what this new garbage is, but its been a while since I've had this problem.
    – B T
    Nov 6, 2015 at 0:08
  • It seems my original problem is an issue with Razer blade's specifically (or possibly machines with Dolby Digitla Plus specifically): forum.notebookreview.com/threads/…
    – B T
    Nov 6, 2015 at 0:12

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