Have you ever had music playing real loud on your speakers and then the phone rings? Then you fumble around for the speaker switch or the pause button on your music or video playing application while trying to answer the phone? Instead of messing with that, just simply create a shortcut to mute the system volume instantly with the press of a key or mouse click.
Of course this isnít much of a help if you have a multimedia keyboard with a mute button onboard, but some keyboards just donít have one, or you donít want to run the software required to make the keys work.
In order to mute the system volume, weíll use a small commandline utility called NirCmd. This one file Utility actually has many very useful shortcut features besides this one we are using.
To start with you can download the utility here from NirSoft. There is both a Windows 32bit version and 64bit version. Currently the downloads are on the bottom of the link page. The program comes with a complete help file with the list of all its features and commands. In case NerSoft is down you can also download both versions:
here 32bit and
After downloading the zip file, unpack it and place the files on your computer say the Windows\System folder.
Next right click on the desktop and choose New > Shortcut.
In the location box, youíll want to browse down to the location of where you saved nircmd.exe, and then add 'mutesysvolume 2' as arguments. The 2 tells nircmd.exe to toggle the sound off and on. Youíll probably want to put quotes around the path to the executable file. In our case we used the Windows System32 directory which has the System variable '%SystemRoot%\System32'. Your command line should look something like this:
"%SystemRoot%\System32\nircmd.exe" mutesysvolume 2
Give the shortcut a useful name such as 'Toggle Mute', and then open the properties of the shortcut. Then you can assign a shortcut key, or you can change the icon to something else.
A Speaker icon can be found in the following file, but you can choose another icon if youíd like:
Remember when using a shortcut key, youíll want to keep the shortcut on the desktop or move it to the Start menu. The shortcut keys donít seem to work when the shortcut is in the quick launch menu.
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