Default Playback volume is too LOUD

Hi all,
I want to LOWER the default volume for general Playback and edit mode Playback.

On start up Audacity 2.05, or Audacity Portable 1.2.6 have maximum Volume as a default setting.
When playing a track - volume is at maximum.
When a playing back a track edit - the volume is at maximum.

So every time Audacity is used I have to leave the Application, go to Windows/ Speakers/ Volume Control > select and decrease volume.
Then when finished, or if I wish to take a break and listen to some music, I have to reverse this.

I want Audacity to behave like EVERY other media player, and remember MY playback volume setting.
Because then I wont:

  • have to remember Audacity BITES
  • have my ears bleed when I forget and just press play
  • have people throw things at me when I forget and just press play
  • have to do a volume control dance every time I enter and leave Audacity

[Now someone will point out that during editing it’s at full volume because that IS the True playback volume.
I will point out that I have neighbours and house mates because this is not a recording studio sound desk, and We don’t wish to just “Live with it”].

Hope there is a solution.


Audacity does not make Audacity Portable and we will not answer questions about it. Please visit Audacity Portable Support .

If your sound card is working correctly then the Audacity playback slider will control the “Device” (master) volume slider of that card. If you exit Audacity showing 0.5 playback volume and don’t turn up the device volume (or make that happen by turning up music players too high), then the slider should be on 0.5 when you restart Audacity.

If Audacity restarts on volume 1.0 regardless, I recommend you update your sound card drivers. If you need help please tell us your version of Windows and the make and model number of your computer.

Audacity remembers and operates on the device (master) volume setting. Audacity does not scale the current device level up and down without affecting the device master slider. Some users think this makes Audacity playback sound “better”. It could make quiet playback sound better.

Assuming you are on Vista or later then what you can do is play a song in Audacity, then left-click the speaker icon by the Windows system clock, then click “Mixer”. Then turn the Audacity volume slider down there (that slider is provided by Windows). Then you can keep your device volume up high, and keep your media player sliders and the Audacity mixer slider low. However you may get better quality by turning the device slider down and turning the media player sliders and Audacity’s Windows Mixer slider up.


Hi, I know this is late but I’ve had this RPBLEM FOREVER with Audacity in Windows 7, 8 and 10.

The volume ALWAYS GOES TO 100% NO MATTER WHAT!! This really should be easy to change!! It really prevents me from using Audacity unless I absolutely have to.

Example: I just opened Audacity, changed the volume to a reasonable level played a song and then closed it.

I re-opened it and BOOM, 100%. Changed it back and closed it.

This time I went to volume mixer and put the “master” volume the one on the far left at 0.

Open Audacity, BOOM, 100% again. Changed the slider to around 20 and closed the program again. This time I open the playback devices panel in windows and changed the sound card “levels” to 50.


As Gale implied in his reply, Audacity does not tell the sound system to change the playback volume unless you adjust the playback volume slider.
On launching Audacity, Audacity searches the sound system to see what devices are available. What should happen is that the sound system should tell Audacity what the playback volume is currently set to, then Audacity will set the playback volume slider appropriately. If the sound system does not tell Audacity what the playback volume is, then Audacity will default to 100%. If the sound system fails to tell Audacity what the playback volume is, then that is a bug in the sound card device driver.

Here’s the link again about updating the sound card drivers:

Ver 2.4.2

It is now 2022 and this problem STILL persists. It happens on windows and on Linux.
This evening started up audacity and the volume was at full blast again.
It ALWAYS starts full blast on Linux and Windows.

It has been catching me on and off for years now. 8 years and counting.

Cant you at least have respect for users ?
How much damage must our ears take because you refuse to just have a presettable startup volume in the config files. My ears are still ringing.

Please have some compassion for your users and add a default volume setting in the config file for startup.

NONE of my other programs has this kind of max volume default.

Works fine for me on W10 (and Mac) with 3.2.1 and earlier Audacity versions.

The levels I has set in the sliders (now in the Meter toolbars, formerly in the are remembered and restored on relaunch:
Levels rembered correctly.png