In many cases, the special functions on a laptop's keyboard are printed in blue. For example, ASUS computers include a utility called Super Hybrid Engine, which adjusts the speed of the processor for improved performance or better battery life. Dell computers use the QuickSet utility, which controls audio and media playback, among other functions. Other functions that may require control software include enabling and disabling the wireless adapter and toggling between internal and external displays. You can obtain the control software for your computer from the manufacturer's website.
Many notebook computers have mute buttons that you can use to silence the audio immediately without using the volume control icon in the system tray. These button are not part of the standard keyboard layout. As such, Windows doesn't know what to do when you press the button unless you have installed the control software provided by the computer's manufacturer.
Other Ways to Mute Audio
If you don't have time to install your computer's control software and need to mute the audio immediately, click the white speaker in the lower right corner of the desktop and click the blue speaker at the bottom of the menu. A red circle should now appear over the speaker to indicate that the audio is muted. You can also reach this screen by right-clicking the speaker icon and selecting "Open Volume Mixer."
If your computer's mute button is damaged, you can get similar functionality by installing a third-party program. NirCmd and AutoHotKey allow you to mute your computer's audio instantly with a keyboard shortcut, while Auto Mute automatically starts your computer with the audio muted, allowing you to enable audio only when you want to hear sounds.
Troubleshooting Sound Problems
If you're unable to adjust your computer's volume using the mute button or system tray utility, open the Device Manager section of the Control Panel and confirm that your computer's audio adapter is listed under the "Sound, Video and Game controllers" category. If the audio adapter isn't listed, you may need to download and install the device driver. If it is, right-click it and select "Update Driver Software" to search for an updated device driver automatically.
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