Control the volume with the mouse scroll wheel when the cursor is over the taskbar

Sep 1, 2020
Updated • Sep 29, 2020
Software, Windows software

There are three common ways that most users use to adjust the volume level on a Windows machine. The most popular option is by using the volume slider that's available on the system tray.

Control the volume with the mouse scroll wheel when the cursor is over the taskbar

If you have a keyboard with multimedia keys, you can use the volume up or volume down keys. The third way is to use the volume wheel or keys on your external speakers.

Not everyone has a keyboard or speaker with dedicated volume control options. Besides, if you're using a multi-monitor setup, you may be aware that Windows does not display the system tray on all screens. So sliding the mouse all the way across to the volume slider can quickly become tiring.

TbVolScroll is a portable software that allows you to control the volume directly from the Windows taskbar. Run the program's executable and an icon appears on the system tray. Ignore it for now. Instead, mouse over the taskbar. Move the scroll wheel up or down, and a volume bar pops-up at the cursor location. It indicates the current audio level in percentage.

Since this is a taskbar program, naturally it will not work in full-screen mode (for e.g. games, video players, etc). The length of TbVolScroll's bar varies depending on the current volume level. If you have the sound maxed out at 100%, the bar will be long. The length reduces as you lower the volume. The color of the bar will change as the volume reaches certain thresholds.

TbVolScroll color changed

The application modifies the system volume by 5% per scroll. For e.g. If the sound is at 50% and you scroll up once, it will be set to 55%. If you want better control over this, hold the alt key while adjusting the sound. This makes TbVolScroll shift the volume by 1% instead.

TbVolScroll system tray context menu

Right-click on the TbVolScroll tray icon to access the program's options. Use the Reset Volume option to mute the audio (sets it to 0). The Restart sub-menu has two options, restart will close and reopen the program while the 2nd option restarts it with administrator privileges. The application does not require administrator privileges to run, but using the option may help fix any issues that can prevent it from working. I didn't face a problem with using it normally.

TbVolScroll set volume step

The "Set volume scroll step" option allows you to edit the scroll behavior of TbVolScroll. As I mentioned earlier, it is set to 5% by default, but you can set it to something higher or lower. Customize the toolbar's visuals with the "Set volume bar appearance" option. This opens a new window where you can configure the width and height of the bar. In addition to this, you may choose a different color for the bar from the color palette. Prefer a transparent volume bar? Drag the slider at the bottom of the window to modify the volume bar's opacity. Don't forget to hit the save button after you have edited the settings.

TbVolScroll set volume bar appearance

TbVolScroll will automatically switch to the precise volume control (reduces volume by 1% per scroll), when the volume level is lower than 10%. If you would rather have it all the time, use the "Set precise scroll threshold" to 100 and you don't have to use the Alt key while adjusting the volume step, or pick a custom level.

TbVolScroll set precise threshold

Exit the program from the tray menu when you don't need it.

I almost gave up on the program because it wasn't responding. But then I noticed that the project's page mentioned that the application does not recognize the scrolling behavior when the Windows Task Manager is in focus. I had the window opened (in the background), and though it was not in focus it was causing the issue. TbVolScroll began to work normally when I closed the Task Manager.

TbVolScroll is an open source program. Until Microsoft decides to implement the system tray to be accessed from all monitors, I don't think we aren't going to find a better on-screen option to control the volume.

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  1. Parviz Rzayev said on November 19, 2021 at 4:15 am

    This is the case when the comments are more useful and informative than the article. Thank you guys for your comments.

  2. dvingerh said on October 5, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    Thanks for review!

    This tool has only one goal which is to simplify volume adjustment on the desktop without any other bells and whistles. If more customization is needed then yes there are way better solutions available and I strongly recommend you use those instead.

    TbVolScroll does not intend to serve as a better alternative to those other programs, it’s a personal tool of which the source code just so happens to be publicly available.

  3. KeZa said on September 5, 2020 at 8:41 pm

    Yeah 7+ Taskbar Tweaker much better bc Taskman starts up automatic bc I need it to see in a eye what is going on with CPU load. Thnx for this tip!

  4. Then said on September 3, 2020 at 4:19 pm

    Linux Mints volume icon in the bottom right corner lets you slide the mouse down & scroll the voume without looking or clicking. its so damn quick and convenient.

  5. Joe said on September 3, 2020 at 4:45 am

    The editorial decision to never mention similar software in Ashwin’s reviews makes them seem clueles. It would be nice to read explicit details about why this one is different. It might be worth reviewing something and then still saying that another, more well-known piece of software is better, but this one looks promising.

    Pretending other options don’t exist, and relying 100% on commenters to link to the better software seems both lazy and dishonest.

  6. Bren said on September 2, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    As a suggestion, you should review Onequick (On the windows store). It can change volume by scrolling the mouse in any corner, I have other corners set up to switch apps/virtual dekstops, page up/page down, home/end, sleep. Lots of options

  7. Kenneth Friis Knudsen said on September 2, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    3RVX works in full screen, it’s a wonderful little utility

  8. Kane said on September 2, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    No thanks. In this case the ‘click the speaker icon on the taskbar and move the slider or roll the wheel’ is currently fine with me.

    1. namo said on February 15, 2022 at 6:29 pm

      I would like to see you have to do this every five minutes.

  9. Bisola said on September 2, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    I love the pictorial guide, it makes this a lot easier to try out.

  10. Avi said on September 2, 2020 at 8:43 am

    That’s basically all you need. All programs I tried are either ugly or buggy or both. AutoHotkey FTW.

    1. ugly buggy said on September 2, 2020 at 12:20 pm

      Are you talking to me? Because that’s not basically all I need.

  11. James said on September 2, 2020 at 7:45 am

    > I don’t think we aren’t going to find a better on-screen option to control the volume.

    Well, then you haven’t looked very far! ;)

    This one is much better. It’s much more flexible and powerful, and even works in full screen mode:

    It’s from a reputable freeware author, but unfortunately is not currently open source.

    1. Anonymous said on September 3, 2020 at 12:05 pm

      That is a double negative which means that:
      “I don’t think we aren’t going to find a better on-screen option to control the volume.”
      is the same as:
      “I do think we are going to find a better on-screen option to control the volume.”

    2. snowman said on September 2, 2020 at 11:57 am

      Volumouse lacks some support for Windows 10, but overall I think it clearly offers way more options than TbVolScroll and does the same.

      As for Ashwin’s silly claim, I find it rather funny how he often uses “we”, as if he speaks for us and/or has the support of some unknown group, ha. Yet surely “we” know better than him, ha.

    3. Anonymous said on September 2, 2020 at 10:39 am

      Exactly, NirSoft has amazing tools. And the Volumemouse is really powerful (with OSD support!) yet super lightweight.

    4. happysurf said on September 2, 2020 at 9:59 am

      I agree, unfortunately seems abandoned from the Nirsoft author (I don’t understand why) but in any case still works fine also on W10.

  12. 4n0nym said on September 2, 2020 at 7:00 am

    Volume2 is a great portable app, including the feture to control volume by scrolling the mouse-wheel on the scrollbar, or any other screen edge (configurable), works also with full-screen applications, has beautiful skins for the on-screen display.

    1. Avi said on September 2, 2020 at 8:39 am

      #If MouseIsOver(“ahk_class Shell_TrayWnd”)
      WheelUp::Send {Volume_Up}
      WheelDown::Send {Volume_Down}

      { MouseGetPos,,, Win
      Return WinExist(WinTitle . ” ahk_id ” . Win)

  13. Dave said on September 2, 2020 at 5:54 am

    I turn the 2″ physical knob on the control pod of my Logitech Z-5500 sound system. ;)

  14. Ski said on September 2, 2020 at 1:50 am

    I’ve been using 7+ Taskbar Tweaker for years now, mainly for the ‘close window in taskbar with middle click’ feature. It does the volume control thing also among other things, might want to give it a look also:

  15. chesscanoe said on September 1, 2020 at 9:43 pm

    I am fortunate to have an Asus laptop, so fn – (F9, F10, or F11) toggles mute, volume down, or volume up). It works in full screen mode, or not….

    1. lemonec said on September 2, 2020 at 12:19 am

      And what’s convenient about it? The mouse wheel above the taskbar is faster than you take your hand off the mouse/touchpad and put your hands on the keyboard. Besides, the old Thinkpads had special keys for this, they didn’t need any combinations with Fn. One button to turn off the speaker, one to turn off the microphones, double for volume control.

      1. namo said on February 15, 2022 at 6:17 pm

        using keyboard is really inconvenient if you all you you are using is just your mouse. One hand, one mouse. I do not have to search for my keyboard. search for the buttons, look for at the buttons. Also, I don’t have illumination so I simply cannot see the butttons at night. A mouse is x10 better! Just scroll the wheel. duh…

  16. Croatoan said on September 1, 2020 at 9:35 pm

    7+ Taskbar Tweaker has this option and many more.

    1. matthiew said on September 3, 2020 at 3:09 am

      I’ve been using 7tt for over a decade and never noticed it breaking after a Windows Update. Well, I’m not counting the two or three Windows feature updates that broke everything on my computer because those were cause by Windows 10 updates, not by 7tt.

    2. Tom Hawack said on September 2, 2020 at 1:07 pm

      Same here, ‘7+ Taskbar Tweaker’ at [] running flawlessly, only tested on Win7, ni idea about Win10 even if latest updates seem to focus on latest Win10 releases.

    3. matthiew said on September 2, 2020 at 4:02 am

      And it uses the native Windows GUI which is much better looking than that flourescent green bar.

      1. Avi said on September 2, 2020 at 8:38 am

        And it breaks semiannually after major Windows updates.

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