Windows 7 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Controlling sound device volume settings


Windows 7 Essential Training

with David Rivers

Video: Controlling sound device volume settings

In Windows 7, you have full control over the sounds that you hear coming from your computer or the sounds going into your computer. That's what we're going to explore in this lesson. Notice here, in Control panel, we have a whole category dedicated to Hardware and Sound. So if we click this category, we'll find the Sound subcategory for adjusting our system volume, changing system sounds, the actual sounds that we hear when things happen on our screen. Even audio devices like microphones and speakers can be adjusted from here.
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  1. 16m 28s
    1. Welcome
      1m 54s
    2. Windows basics for first-time users
      13m 47s
    3. Using the exercise files
  2. 29m 18s
    1. Assessing your hardware and Windows 7 versions
      6m 57s
    2. Upgrading from other Windows versions
      2m 56s
    3. Transferring old files with Windows Easy Transfer
      7m 2s
    4. Dealing with device drivers
      6m 42s
    5. Running a Windows XP program in Windows 7
      5m 41s
  3. 33m 12s
    1. Getting familiar with the desktop
      8m 55s
    2. Handling tasks with the improved task bar
      8m 50s
    3. Accessing your favorites quickly with jump lists
      3m 59s
    4. Finding files and programs with Windows Search
      2m 18s
    5. Using the Action Center
      3m 48s
    6. Keeping information at your fingertips with desktop gadgets
      5m 22s
  4. 34m 24s
    1. Navigating folders and their contents
      6m 59s
    2. Staying organized with your own folders
      4m 44s
    3. Choosing how your folders and user interface behave
      7m 30s
    4. Sharing and protecting folders and files
      5m 27s
    5. Simplifying organization with libraries
      3m 48s
    6. Backing up by burning to CD or DVD
      5m 56s
  5. 24m 44s
    1. Windows Media Center
      7m 22s
    2. Playing media files with Windows Media Player
      3m 59s
    3. Organizing and sharing photos in Windows Explorer
      7m 22s
    4. Taking screenshots with the Snipping tool
      6m 1s
  6. 24m 35s
    1. Taking notes with sticky notes, Notepad, and WordPad
      11m 33s
    2. Creating graphics with Paint
      4m 58s
    3. Performing simple and advanced calculations with the calculator
      5m 20s
    4. Playing Windows games
      2m 44s
  7. 33m 5s
    1. Getting under your computer's hood with the Control Panel
      5m 28s
    2. Controlling system settings
      6m 38s
    3. Controlling sound device volume settings
      6m 38s
    4. Uninstalling programs that are no longer used
      2m 42s
    5. Setting default programs
      5m 10s
    6. Exploring accessibility options
      6m 29s
  8. 21m 1s
    1. Connecting hardware with Device Stage
      2m 56s
    2. Create a home network using HomeGroup
      4m 49s
    3. Controlling what is shared on a network
      3m 26s
    4. Troubleshooting a network and HomeGroup
      3m 58s
    5. Reconnecting quickly with jump lists
      2m 18s
    6. Boosting your computer's memory with ReadyBoost
      3m 34s
  9. 31m 53s
    1. Keeping your PC secure with Windows Update
      3m 44s
    2. Battling spyware with Windows Defender
      7m 41s
    3. Controlling access with user accounts
      4m 32s
    4. Streamlining passwords in Credential Manager
      4m 38s
    5. Using parental controls to block unwanted content
      4m 49s
    6. Securing drives with BitLocker Drive Encryption
      6m 29s
  10. 15m 11s
    1. Printing files directly from Windows
      2m 48s
    2. Troubleshooting printer problems
      5m 15s
    3. Printing power tips
      3m 56s
    4. Printing to and viewing the XPS file format
      3m 12s
  11. 25m 4s
    1. Finding issues in the Troubleshooting control panel
      3m 53s
    2. Sharing issues with the Problem Steps Recorder
      3m 56s
    3. Backing up folders and drives
      6m 36s
    4. Restoring files and drives
      4m 39s
    5. Handling an entire system crash
      6m 0s
  12. 28m 23s
    1. Exploring changes to the UI
      4m 46s
    2. Access sites quickly using Favorites and History
      5m 17s
    3. Connecting to RSS feeds and web slices
      6m 1s
    4. Displaying similar sites with Suggested Sites
      2m 16s
    5. Browsing without navigating using accelerators
      6m 36s
    6. Keeping your browsing private using InPrivate Browsing and filtering
      3m 27s
  13. 1h 14m
    1. Setting up your Windows Live profile
      4m 37s
    2. Downloading Windows Live Essentials
      2m 23s
    3. Tracking dates and events with the Windows Live calendar
      7m 22s
    4. Free email with Windows Live Mail
      6m 14s
    5. Texting live with Windows Live Messenger
      7m 13s
    6. Organizing and sharing photos in Photo Gallery
      9m 46s
    7. Synchronizing photos on two computers with Live Sync
      4m 0s
    8. Controlling content and communications with Family Safety
      6m 26s
    9. Keeping a blog with Windows Live Writer
      6m 50s
    10. Accessing free online storage with SkyDrive
      4m 44s
    11. Creating a movie with Windows Live Movie Maker
      14m 46s
  14. 18s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Windows 7 Essential Training
6h 31m Beginner Oct 22, 2009

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In Windows 7 Essential Training, David Rivers helps users of any level feel comfortable with the improvements and enhancements found in Microsoft's operating system. From simple navigation through the updated graphic user interface, David shows how to install or upgrade and get the most out of Windows 7. He covers using the new Internet Explorer 8 and boosting a computer's memory with the ReadyBoost tool. He also highlights hardware configuration options and explores the advances made connecting a home or work system with Windows Live, the cloud-computing environment made available for Windows 7 users. Exercise files accompany this course.

Topics include:
  • Running Windows XP programs within a Windows 7 installation Accessing favorites quickly through jump lists Establishing user settings through Windows Explorer Setting up a home network with Homegroup Displaying similar sites with suggestions in Internet Explorer 8 Syncing photos on two computers with Live Sync
Business Education + Elearning
David Rivers

Controlling sound device volume settings

In Windows 7, you have full control over the sounds that you hear coming from your computer or the sounds going into your computer. That's what we're going to explore in this lesson. Notice here, in Control panel, we have a whole category dedicated to Hardware and Sound. So if we click this category, we'll find the Sound subcategory for adjusting our system volume, changing system sounds, the actual sounds that we hear when things happen on our screen. Even audio devices like microphones and speakers can be adjusted from here.

But we don't need the Control panel to get to all of these settings. We can close this up and down on the bottom right-hand corner on the taskbar you probably noticed that little speaker icon. As you hover over it with your mouse, you'll notice the current setting for me, it's 100%. To change that, click the speaker icon and you will see the slider for adjusting your master volume. So as we drag it down you can hear that little beep, getting fainter and fainter. That's one of the system sounds, as we move it all the way up to the top, to 100, you hear that beep nice and loud.

We can also mute all sounds, choose Mute Speakers by clicking the speaker icon. It's a toggle button, the No sign now appears on the button itself, as well as on your taskbar, just to remind you that everything is muted. If you're wondering while you're playing a movie at and you can't hear it, you might have your speakers muted. So we can unmute by clicking the same button and we can have further control by accessing the Mixer. So let's click the Mixer. Now depending on what applications you have opened, you may see different things from me.

Right on the left-hand side is our master volume. That's what we saw by clicking the speaker icon on the taskbar and we can adjust it from here. Notice it'll affect anything else that's running over on the right-hand side, nothing can be louder than the master volume. But individual items can be adjusted, if you don't like hearing that ding, you can move this a little further down so it's faint, move it up to make it louder. Now as you open up other applications, they will appear here as well. Let's go down to our Exercise Files, if you have got them and in the 06_03, sub-folder of Chapter 06, you'll find one called FinalSong.

Now this is going to open by default using the Windows Media Player, we can click Play or just double-click it and as it opens up, it starts to play. Let's just click Pause, so you can hear what I'm saying and we will switch back to our Mixer. Notice it now appears on the list Windows Media Player. We can adjust it as well. We can also choose to play our music and mute out other things like System Sounds. That's the beauty of using the Mixer. Now the System Sounds themselves can be altered as well.

So when you hear that Windows ding, when you click something that you can't click, for example, or when you start up Windows and you hear that music, all of those things can be controlled as well. So let's go to the Close button and close up the Mixer and go back down to the speaker. Again, we can access this from Control panel, but a shortcut, right-click the speaker and you're going to see there is the Volume Mixer again, but we also have three items grouped together: Playback devices, Recording devices and Sounds.

And all three of these appear in the same place. So it doesn't matter what you choose here. But if you want to go directly to your System Sounds, click Sounds. So this opens up the Sound window and you can see those different tabs: Playback, Recording, Sounds and a new one to Window 7 called Communications. Let's just start with our Sounds though. You can see the scheme being used by default is the Windows Default scheme and down below, you'll see each of the sounds that are being used for each of those items. For example, let's say you got a new fax.

Click New Fax Notification and down below you'll see it's the Windows Notify sound that plays. And if you want to hear that, click the Test button. Your Mail Notification uses the exact same sound. So if you wanted to change that, so you knew the difference, click this button and choose something else. Now, you can choose from some of the window sounds that have actual information, next to them as to what event is taking place or you can scroll up, you will find things like chimes, for example.

You can test that, a little bit different than the fax notification. Notice the speaker turned yellow, indicating this has been modified. Also, the word modified appears, next, to our Windows Default scheme. I have made a change and if I want to save this as my own scheme, I could use the Save As button. The other thing you can do is browse for your own wav files. In this case, you'll need an actual wav sound. So a sound that ends with .wav and you can use your own sounds for any of the things that are happening here in Windows 7.

For example, the Default Beep is a Windows ding. You could browse to your own and make it your own. Now let's go up to Playback. Here, you'll see Speakers, mine are high definition audio speakers, also Headphones and a Digital Audio device all selected here. All can be configured, if for example, I want to go to my Speakers, I can adjust the Properties of those speakers, Change the Icon. Notice the Jack Information. We can get very technical with our sound devices.

Let's click Cancel and go up to Recording. And here you can see I am using the Line In. It has the checkmark and as I'm speaking, you can actually see the sound level that is appearing on the right-hand side. Now here is the new one, Communications. A lot of people these days are using their computers to place telephone calls or receive telephone calls. So when that happens, you can set up default occurrences. For example, I want everything muted when I receive a call. So if I am playing music, it automatically gets muted, the system sounds they get muted, anything that's opened, muted by default.

If you prefer just to reduce the volume, you can choose Reduce the volume of other sounds by 80% or do absolutely nothing. So lots of options here, when you receive a phone call or place a telephone call using your computer. I am going to choose Mute all other sounds and click Apply. So I'll have silence when I am using my computer as a telephone. Click OK and that closes it up. I'll just close up our other Windows here, including the Windows Media Player to return to the desktop.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Windows 7 Essential Training .

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Q: Is there a way to share files and printers between computers on network running Windows XP and Windows 7 without using the HomeGroup share method of Windows 7, since XP does not have this feature?
A: While Windows XP does not support the new HomeGroup found in Windows 7, there is another way to share files and printers between the two operating systems.  There are a number of steps to follow, but they are all listed here:
Q: Is it possible for a computer running Windows XP to join a Windows 7 HomeGroup?
A: Unfortunately, only Windows 7 supports HomeGroup.  If the Windows XP computer must connect with the Windows 7 computer, there are have two options:

1.  Upgrade the XP machine to Windows 7 and joining will be no problem.
2.  Change the Windows 7 HomeGroup to a regular Workgroup and the XP machine will be able to connect to it.  

Here are the steps to changing a HomeGroup to a Workgroup:
  1. On the Windows 7 computer, click the Start button at the bottom left of the screen.
  2. Go to the Control Panel and choose Network and Sharing Center.
  3. Click the link for "View your active networks.” 
  4. In the next window choose "Work network." That will switch the group from a HomeGroup to a Workgroup so the two computers can talk to each other. However, the same workgroup name and share folders in Explorer must be assigned to both computers before they can be networked.
For ease of use, if there is already an existing HomeGroup on the Windows 7 computer, upgrading the XP machine to Windows 7 would be the recommended course of action. There is a course in the Online Training Library, Migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7, that explains the steps for transitioning to Windows 7.
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