How to Change Audio Output on Windows With a Hotkey

How to Change Audio Output on Windows With a Hotkey

Windows 11 offers several features for managing and controlling audio devices. However, switching audio outputs on Windows 11 can sometimes be a hassle, especially when moving between headphones, speakers, or external monitors. Wouldn’t it be convenient to change audio outputs on Windows with a hotkey?

How to Change Audio Output on Windows With a Hotkey

In this article, we will demonstrate how to change the audio output on Windows using a hotkey. We will explore two methods to achieve this: utilizing a built-in Windows shortcut and using third-party software. Let’s begin.

Method 1: Switch Sound Outputs in Windows 11

To change your audio output device in Windows, left-click the speaker icon in the system tray and then click Sound Settings. This displays the connected devices for easy switching.

How to Change Audio Output on Windows With a Hotkey

Microsoft has added a keyboard shortcut to make things easier in the newer versions of Windows 11. Press ‘Ctrl + Win + V’ on your keyboard to directly open the Sound Output panel. From there, manually select your desired audio output.

How to Change Audio Output on Windows With a Hotkey

This feature might not work if you’re using another command with the same shortcut, for instance, PowerToys. It’s recommended to ensure that no other command is mapped to this keyboard shortcut.

Method 2: Change Audio Output on Windows Using SoundSwitch

While it’s a neat way to open the Sound Settings panel, the above method still requires manual switching between audio output devices. It’s also only available on newer versions of Windows 11. If you need more flexibility and customization options, you can use third-party software like SoundSwitch. SoundSwitch is a lightweight application that lets you change your default audio playback device using user-defined hotkeys. Here’s how to use it:

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Step 1: Download and install SoundSwitch on your Windows PC.

Step 2: At the end of the installation page, check the box for ‘Launch SoundSwitch’. Alternatively, you can launch it manually from the Start Menu as well.

How to Change Audio Output on Windows With a Hotkey

Step 3: When SoundSwitch launches, configure the Playback devices. Select the devices you wish to toggle between.

How to Change Audio Output on Windows With a Hotkey

Step 4: Assign a custom hotkey and enable it. You can use the default hotkey of ‘Alt + Control + F11’ or choose your own.

How to Change Audio Output on Windows With a Hotkey

Step 5: Click Close to exit.

How to Change Audio Output on Windows With a Hotkey

Step 6: Press the ‘Alt + Control + F11’ keys together to switch to the audio output device quickly.

A notification will appear in the top-left corner of your screen.

How to Change Audio Output on Windows With a Hotkey

Do More With SoundSwitch

Besides quickly switching audio output devices, SoundSwitch offers other features. Right-click on the SoundSwitch icon in the system tray and select Settings. Now switch to the Recording tab. Set up a custom hotkey for switching audio input devices. Additionally, set up a custom hotkey for muting the microphone.

Additionally, SoundSwitch allows you to switch output and input devices when launching an app. To do this, go to the Profiles tab and click on Add. Then, select the Playback and Communication device. Define how to trigger the profile using an Application path and name the profile. Save it, and your audio output will automatically change for specific programs. Lastly, make sure SoundSwitch launches automatically when your Windows PC starts up by going to the Settings tab and enabling the ‘Start automatically with Windows’ checkbox.

How to Change Audio Output on Windows With a Hotkey

Switch the Audio Output Seamlessly

Changing audio outputs on Windows 11 doesn’t have to be complicated. With the shortcut Ctrl + Win + V, you have a quick solution. However, for a customizable experience, SoundSwitch offers advanced options. Following these steps, you can enhance your audio experience and streamline your workflow on Windows 11.

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