Sound volume lowers when running applications in Windows 8

When I was using steam I started to listen to some music using the music app from the windows 8 store. As soon as I used the <Win> + D shortcut to return to the desktop I noticed that my volume was 20% of what it was before. But luckily there is a simple solution to this problem.

  • Press <win> + x and select Control Panel from the list
  • Select “Hardware and Sound” from the menu
  • Select “Sound” and select your primary audio device
  • Select “properties” and go to the “advanced” tab
  • Deselect the checkbox “Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device”


  • Restart steam

Windows 8 gives programs the ability to complete control of your sounds, therefore auto mixing them for you. For example: Lowering your music while you are playing a game etc.

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