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How to access Control panel sound settings on Windows 10 1903

A major feature update for Windows 10 means users will have to guess why certain settings are missing, and where they’ve gone.

On Windows 10 1903, the context menu that appears when you right-click the speaker icon is missing the Sounds option. It allowed users to access the Control Panel sound settings but it is now gone. The sound settings that you can access from the system tray take you to the Settings app where you have basic settings.

Control panel sound settings on Windows 10 1903

It’s the same story; Microsoft is moving settings from the Control Panel to the Settings app and it starts by changing or removing the easiest way to access them. The Control Panel sound settings are still there but you can’t access them from the system tray anymore. Here’s what you can do instead.

Control Panel sound settings

There are four ways to do this.

The Settings app

You can still open the Sound tab in the Settings app from the System Tray. The Sound tab has an option called Sound Control Panel. Click it, and it will open the Control panel sound settings.

Control Panel

The control panel is still there. If you open the app and go to Hardware and Sounds, and click Sounds, you will see the old Sound window complete with the Recording, Playback, Sounds, and Communications tab.

File Explorer

You can jump straight to the Hardware and Sound category from the File Explorer by pasting the following in the location bar in File Explorer.

Control Panel\Hardware and Sound

You will still have to click Sound to open the window.

Desktop Shortcut

Of course the easiest method that involves the fewest clicks is to just create a shortcut to the Sound settings. To do this, open Control Panel, and go to Hardware and sound. Right-click Sound and select Create Shortcut.

This will create a shortcut on the desktop. You can use this shortcut to open the Sound window. You won’t go through the Control Panel with the shortcut however, it has shortcomings.

This shortcut can’t be pinned to the Start Menu which, if it’s your preferred way of opening apps and files, will be a problem. You can only run it from the desktop and there isn’t much you can change about it that you can for a normal shortcut.

While the Sound options in the Settings app cover the basic settings you need to change, if you want to change how communication devices work, redirect sound, or change system sounds, you need to access this window.


  1. Suddenly, sound (music) does not come from my external speaker when plugged into headphone jack. Going to all the different controls for sound does not change this. Trying two different speakers produces same results. Sound now only comes from B & O speaker, and changing values on the mixer does not change sound. Speakers worked until today, 1/25/21. Speakers do produce the “bell tone” when changing volume control, but no music.

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