Restore the Classic Volume Mixer in Windows 11

Microsoft removed the classic volume mixer in its Windows 11 operating system and replaced it with a page in the operating system’s Settings application. The open source tool Classic Volume Mixer restores the functionality of the volume mixer of previous versions of Windows such as Windows 10.

Windows 11 displays a volume icon in the System Tray area by default, just like previous versions of windows. A left-click displays a volume slider, which can be used to change the volume immediately. A right-click displays options, including an option to open the volume mixer.

It displays volumes for different items, including the entire system but also for individual applications. You may use it to increase or decrease the volume of specific applications without affecting the overall system volume.

Tip: you can also use Start11 to move the taskbar position to the top.

On Windows 11, the Volume mixer looks like this.

windows 11 volume mixer

Compare this to the Windows 10 volume mixer, and you will notice two disadvantages:

  1. The Volume mixer is no longer opened near the System Tray area but as a page in the Settings application.
  2. The page of the Settings application needs to be opened, and it may cause a delay before the volume can be changed.

Classic Volume Mixer adds an icon to the System Tray area on Windows 11 devices that loads the classic volume mixer when users left-click on the icon.

The following screenshot shows the default Windows 11 volume mixer and the classic volume mixer.

classic volume mixer

All the program does is add an icon to the System Tray area and load the classic volume mixer executable, which is still available on Windows 11.

Note that you need to start the Classic Volume Mixer application before it becomes available. If you plan on using it regularly, you may want to add it to the system start folder so that it is loaded automatically on each start of the device.

The easiest way to do that is the following one:

  1. Open File Explorer and locate ClassicVolumeMixer.exe, the file that you downloaded from the project’s GitHub repository.
  2. Right-click on it and select Copy.
  3. Use Windows-R to open a run box.
  4. Type shell:startup and hit the Enter-key.
  5. Right-click in the new File Explorer window and select Paste to place the executable file inside.

Windows 11 will load the Classic Volume Mixer application from that moment on every system start.

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