Converting cassettes and sound levels

I am using a two-head cassette deck without volume controls and a Toshiba laptop.
Sound must be recorded through the mic but the levels are way too high, causing distortion. I am unable to lower the levels in the computer mixer and in audacity.
Will a volume control for headphones solve this problem?
Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

If you haven’t noticed yet, the capture audio is not only distorted, but it’s left sound only. The right sound from the tape isn’t recorded.

Some laptops give you the option of switching one connection between Stereo Line-In (suitable for what you’re doing) and Mono Mic-In. Consult your instructions. If nothing works, you’re facing buying an audio adapter like a USB sound card.

Fortunately, we did a review forum.

Or you could make friends with someone that has a Mac. Most Macs will just plug straight in with perfect stereo sound levels.