Previously, on Vista and Windows 7, changing the Default Playback device would occur instantly.

For example, audio is coming out of my speakers, I right click the Volume Control, click Playback Devices then I select another device and click Set Default. Audio would be transferred immediately.

Unfortunately, now, with Windows 8, I need to kill whatever process that's outputting sound and restart it for the change to take effect.

Is there something that can be done about it so that changes are taken into account immediately?

  • What exactly are you switching between? Headphones will automatically switch as Buster said, so unless you are doing something different you won't require the manual switch over.
    – Sam
    Jan 5, 2013 at 10:29
  • I'm switching between two "Speakers" devices (ASTRO Gaming USB MixAmp and standard speakers), so it's not headsets that I plug in when I want to use them, both are plugged at all times
    – emartel
    Jan 5, 2013 at 19:57

4 Answers 4


I just figured this out myself. If you don't want to restart the program, simply "configure" and "test" the playback device. That is, after setting the default device, click "Configure" toward the bottom left. Click "Test" in the "Speaker Setup" window that appears. Then simply click "Next" twice and "Finish" and you're done. Whatever you're trying to do will now play audio on the desired device.


I don't know, but you may not need to do that to get back the behaviour of Vista and Windows 7. Try the drivers from RealTek, which don't seem to provide two Playback Devices - there is just "Speakers" - but the sound switches correctly when you plug and unplug headphones.


I had made scripts using NirCmd, and assigned them to buttons in Total Commander, based on this tutorial. It is written for Windows 7, but works great for Windows 8.1, too.

Switch playback device using Logitech G key

- Right click volume icon
- Playback devices
- Right click device you want to set default
- Set default on popup
  • 3
    This is not an answer to the original question. The OP tried this and said it doesn't work in his question.
    – DavidPostill
    Oct 3, 2014 at 7:08
  • I dont know why it doesnot work with him. I was try and the sound was change to device i choose. My Os is window 8.1
    – Grey Wolf
    Oct 4, 2014 at 15:13
  • @GreyWolf could be a fix in Win 8.1? The question is about Windows 8 though and your solution didn't work on that platform. I don't run Windows 8.1 so I cannot validate if your solution works, but all in all, it still wouldn't answer the initial question.
    – emartel
    Apr 28, 2015 at 20:12

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