OS: Windows 8.1

I'm noticing that when playing something from VLC (though it happens when playing audio from Chrome) that my sound will pseudo-randomly become quiet.

Chiefly it happens on the 'new tab' screen of google chrome, as well as google searches through windows chrome. It will occasionally happen when I open other applications - though I've not yet found any rhyme or reason to it.

Device is the built-in realtek device through my headphone jack, driver is most current according to their website.

Not really sure how to diagnose or fix this. Help appreciated.

EDIT: Logging in as a different user fixes the issue. Disabling all extra chrome extensions does not. Still looking for a solution for my regular user account.

Related: https://superuser.com/questions/760413/win8-volume-keeps-changing-when-switching-programs-or-switching-to-new-tab-in-c

List of things causing the issue:

  • Chrome
  • Launching a windows 7 virtualbox VM (not VBox manager though)
  • Mumble
  • Will update with more as found
  • NOT Foobar2000 (I had suspected the issue may be coming from applications that play sound?)
  • Installed Skype to test, during the initial 'setup' of my account (for sound/mic/video) my audio was hushed, despite that I have the 'communications activity' set to 'do nothing'.
  • Try while logged in as a different user. Make any difference? When the volume changes, is the change reflected in the audio mixer? Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 16:19
  • It works properly as a different user. So I guess it's a user setting or a chrome setting? Change isn't reflected in the mixer.
    – Mitch
    Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 16:54
  • Nope - I tried both of those before posting the question.
    – Mitch
    Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 18:15
  • @Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 if you're curious, I've found the solution and posted it as an answer
    – Mitch
    Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 15:43

1 Answer 1


Following the answer here

I unchecked "Allow application to take exclusive control of this device". Not the best way to go about it, but it works and since I rarely use the built-in mic I doubt I'll have an issue.

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