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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.