How to get rid of the Volume OSD in Windows 8 / 8.1 and 10

What are we talking about?

With Windows 8 Microsoft decided to add a small volume OSD to the system. In previous versions of Windows such a display was optional. You could either install the Microsoft Intellitype software which had a volume OSD or any 3rd party tools like Volume2 or 3RVX, which are skinnable and configurable in many ways. With Windows 10 they changed a lot of things in the UI, but the volume OSD has remained the same and – despite of many user complaints – can’t be deactivated. The only thing that is adjustable, is the time the bar is displayed on the screen before it disappears again (Settings / Ease of Access / Other options / Show notifications for).

 

Many notebook manufacturers install their own software which provides a OSD when changing volume via dedicated keys on the keyboard. These often imitate the look of the Apple OS X OSD.

What’s wrong with it?

Well I don’t want to talk about its Minecraft-inspired design, but in my opinion this has some disadvantages:

 

  • It is at a fixed position and can’t be moved
  • It can’t be skinned (if selected, the bar color is adjusted to the background)
  • There is no setting to turn it off

I had Windows 7 on my HTPC in the living room with MediaPortal running. A lot of very nice skins exist for MediaPortal and every one of them comes with its own volume OSD, that visually fits perfect to the skin.

 

Then I decided to upgrade to Windows 10. Now I have 2 volume bars when watching TV or a movie. The one from MediaPortal and the one from Microsoft:

 

With the time I got really anoyed by this.

 

When searching for a solution I found a lot of posts with complaints from people having similar problems (SuperUser, Microsoft Answers, Microsoft TechNet and Reddit), but no hint how to get rid of this bar.

 

I could have turned off the MediaPortal OSD, but the skin-provided OSD is where the skin designer wanted it and therefore fits perfect to the skin, whereas the Microsoft bar in most cases is not.

The solution

After some research with WinSpy++ I saw, that this bar is just a top-level window on the desktop. If it’s a window we can hide it, said and done. I wrote a small Application called “HideVolumeOSD”. It is written in C# and needs .net Framework 4 which is already contained in Windows 8 and above.

 

During installation you can choose between 2 different versions.

HideVolumeOSDSetup

Tray icon version

The tray icon version of this app has a small context menu with 3 items, which is pretty self explaining.

 

 Context menu
 To hide the volume OSD you can select the menu item “Hide Volume OSD” or just click on the tray Icon. With this item you can toggle between visible and hidden volume OSD. If you exit the application, the volume OSD is always restored to visible state.

During Installation the tool is added to the startup folder, therefore once hidden the toolbar remains hidden after a reboot.

 

This is how the tray icon looks like:

 

Volume OSD visible Volume OSD hidden
   

Additionally it is possible to toggle volume OSD visibility by just clicking on the tray Icon.

Silent mode version

This version was a user request from Daniel, who just wanted to hide the volume OSD without any system tray app. This one just hides the volume OSD at user login and quits then. In case you want to turn the volume OSD on again, just look into the program group called “HideVolumeOSD”. There are 3 different launch icons:

 

Icon Action
HideVolumeOSD Starts the system tray version.
HideVolumeOSD (Hide) Starts the silent mode version to hide the OSD and quits then.
HideVolumeOSD (Show) Starts the silent mode version to show the OSD and quits then.

Thats all

At this point I want to finish with a variation of a famous quote from Paul DiLascia, a software developer and author who wrote a lot of C++ columns  for the MSDN long time ago:

 

“If this code works, it was written by Marcus Venturi. If not, I don’t know who wrote it.”

If there are questions about the software or problems, just leave me a note. And don’t forget: Sometimes a reboot is doing wonders…

 

HideVolumeOSD download

This version has an installer for Windows 8 / 8.1 and 10. It runs on 32 and 64 bit versions of Windows.

HideVolumeOSD 1.2 download

Update 09.02.2017: On some Windows 10 installations the above version doesn’t seem to run after restart. If thats the case, please try this one.

 

Source code: HideVolumeOSD on GitHub

110 thoughts on “How to get rid of the Volume OSD in Windows 8 / 8.1 and 10

  1. Daniel

    First of all I want to say thank you. I have been looking for something like this ever since I started using Windows 10. It’s a great little program, but there is one thing I don’t really like about it. I don’t really like that it has to stay in the system tray as I like to keep the icons in my tray to a minimum. (Even the hidden ones) I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Volume2 or not but I like how it has it’s tray functionality set up. It has the ability to turn off the tray icon and if you ever want to see the settings all you have to do is open the exe like your gonna open the program again and the settings pop up. The two main reasons I would like it like that is what I said above and the fact that most likely once you open the program you’re not really likely to interact with it in the near future. I would like for it to be one of those programs you open and let it run in the background and forget about it.

    Reply
      1. Daniel

        It’s not really working well. The first time I installed it in silent mode it wouldn’t block the OSD. So I tried restarting but it just crashes about a minute after windows loading. I tried reinstalling it which it worked that time it blocked the OSD like it should but after reboot it still just crashes. I also noticed on the first version after reboot it wouldn’t block the OSD and you had to turn it off then back on and it would start working again.

        Reply
          1. Zentri

            The stealth version was doing the same thing for me on Windows 10 Pro.

            After restart the OSD came back, I even manually added your exe to the Windows startup folder.

            Then I tried the non stealth version, again after restart the OSD comes back, I have to manually relaunch your exe to disable the OSD.

            Not a huge problem, I don’t restart often and I’ve pinned your exe to my start menu so I can easily disable the OSD upon restart.

            However hopefully you can get get it fixed, I’m guessing it’s a problem with W10 being overtly controlling?

            Thank you again!

  2. Daniel

    I figured out what was causing the program to “crash” at windows startup. Since the program requires admin privileges to run it could not start it self on it’s own due to how windows starts it’s programs. Windows will not give admin privileges to a program in any of the startup folders or registry. To fix this I had to create a new task in the task scheduler that runs the program at user logon with admin privileges. After that the program now gets it admin needs and starts up just fine every time.

    Reply
  3. Marcus Venturi

    Thank you so much for your hints. I was not able to reproduce your problems yet. I was not aware that any part of my code might require admin privileges. I will check that. If I find no way arround that, I will create such a task from the setup.

    Reply
  4. Marcus Venturi

    Could you provide me the settings of your task? If I install a task from the setup it is installed as the admin user which is not the loged in user. If I then start the task, it fails because it does not run on the current desktop.
     
    UPDATE: Could reproduce the error when I turn on automatic logon for a user. Do you have automatic logon enabled? If yes, could you turn it off for a test. Just to see if it works then…
     
    UPDATE2: I testet my program on Windows 8 with normal user rights. If I start it manually it works without admin rights, but it does not start at logon if automatic logon is enabled.
     
    UPDATE3: As already said in UPDATE2, it is not a rights problem. It’s a timing problem. With automatic logon the timing at Startup is altered (faster). I think by creating a task, you just altered the startup timing. Could you test the following version:
    http://www.venturi.de/WordPressDL/HideVolumeOSD-1.2.exe
    Please disable or remove your task before testing.

    Reply
  5. Daniel

    Yes it seems that it runs without admin rights on Windows 8.1 just fine but, it always requires admin rights on Windows 10 as I have tested with multiple Virtual Machines. Using the one you posted it still will not start without being given admin rights with the task scheduler and the program will not run at all unless given admin rights on Windows 10.

    Reply
    1. Daniel

      Also if you turn off UAC the program can run without windows asking to give it rights as it does that automatically.

      Reply
      1. Marcus Venturi

        Thank you for the response, really strange. No clue what changed on Windows 10, but I will set up a Windows 10 VM, as I tested with Windows 8 VMs so far, assuming that Windows 10 behaves the same. The only thing I do is some calls in User32.dll via P-Invoke. When I have something new to test I will post it…

        Reply
        1. Zentri

          I am on Win 10 Pro x64 as mentioned in a prior post and I do not have automatic logon enabled, I have the standard login screen where I have to enter my password before logging in.

          I still have to manually launch a shortcut to the exe upon restart, so I don’t think automatic logon has anything to do with this.

          I may have to schedule a task as Daniel has, but I hope you can fix the problem 🙂

          If you need assistance testing something, I will be glad to help in my free time, feel free to email me.

          Thank you again for this invaluable tool 🙂

          Reply
  6. Ben

    It would be nice if you would provide the corresponding source code so people can see exactly what your program does.

    Reply
  7. David Refoua

    Thanks for sharing this great app with us.
    I already use 3RVX, and when I upgraded to Windows 10, I had to turn it off so I don’t have two bars like you did.

    However, I believe using your approach we may actually be able to also reposition the window, instead of completely hiding it. I see many users have also asked for the source code, so we’d be grateful If you could publish it sooner (preferably with GitHub), so we don’t have to re-code it with C#.

    I don’t blame you though, whenever I write code for my own apps these days they are usually messy, and I would pretty much prefer to clean them up and add comments before anybody else reads/modifies them. 🙂

    Please notify us when the source is ready.

    Reply
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  9. Imzadi

    I just upgraded to Windows 10 and also using MP with a remote. So the volume bar was a tiny bit annoying. No longer, thank you!

    Reply
  10. matt

    Am running Win 10 Pro and whether I run the exe as Administrator or not, it has not effect on the OSD. Anyone any idea why? I have auto login enabled but the exe runs fine on login – well it runs but has no effect – the OSD is still there, but only when I used media keys which i presume is the same problems for all.

    Reply
  11. Bmj

    The software doesn’t work on my computer. Have also tries a restart… Same with software Volum2. Not able to dismiss this osd. Any suggestions/information? Running win 8.1 enterprise (64-bit).

    Reply
  12. Dean Florida

    Damm stopped working within a day, the pop up comes completely at random, usually when i just move the mouse, yes I have tried changing mouse, makes no difference.
    Nothing seems to make a difference, it will go for 10 minutes, then be flashing up on the screen every other second for the next hour.
    I would personally strangle the person who developed this stupid pop up.

    Reply
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  16. Andrew

    Thank you. Thank you. And thank you! Almost wanted to smash my computer because of that Stupid Volume icon. Can’t believe Win 10 still has this kind of problem!!

    Reply
  17. svenE

    Hi,
    I really support that Nobel Price suggestion from Oct 27 above. I am from Sweden, let’s see what I can do about it 🙂
    Marcus – Thank you so much for this feature! Really saved my day.

    Reply
  18. Daniel

    It doesn’t seem to work with the latest windows update (KB3199986) :/ It worked fine before that with build KB3201860

    Reply
  19. thatdudeyouknowyeah

    Hey Marcus!

    I’ve used your program for 3 day but I’ve stumbled upon a huge problem, each time i restart my computer I have got to reinstall your program. Because after a restart the script no longer works and winows’s interface interfere with my work. Could you help me?

    With best regards

    Reply
  20. And

    Never bothered me before Spotify made an update where a box showing the song currently playing imposes itself next to the bar, with no way of turning it off. So glad I found this.

    Reply
  21. Carl

    Is there a way to remove the music overlay? if you double click where it supposed to be it comes back, and then you need to click show osd and then hide osd to hide it again.

    Reply
  22. WT

    Hi,

    I’m running Windows 10, and for some reason I need to reinstall the program after shutting down and later starting up my laptop.
    Is there any way for you to fix this (or for us to fix it ourselves, if need be)?

    Reply
  23. Levi

    Thank you so much!
    I have a small request though.

    Could you please add an option to set a timer for it to go away?
    Like, I press “Pause” on my keyboard, and the overlay shows up in 3 seconds, and then goes away.

    Reply
  24. Rob

    Unfortunately can”t get it to work on Windows 10. After it is installed the OSD comes up and it is still enabled by playing/pausing through the media buttons.

    Reply
  25. Marcus Venturi

    Looks like the latest Windows 10 update causes some problems. I will check that as soon as I have more time. At the moment I have too much other things to get done. So please be patient….

    Reply
  26. Mateo

    Marcus thanks for writing this software! While I do not mind the volume level overlay itself, the killer for me is the album art with play and next icons… I have a keyboard with those keys. 😉

    Works on Windows 10 Pro.

    MUCH THANKS MAN!

    Reply
  27. Carlos

    THANK YOU SO MUCH MARCUS, this saved Win10 from being unistalled from my computer hahaha that volume/music popup was killing me.

    Seriously thank you man. Great job.

    Reply
  28. Degas

    Marcus,

    With the recent windows 10 update I believe this beloved script you wrote is broken. Can you please update it?

    Thank you for making a difference in my life.

    Reply
    1. GazB

      So this appears to be a permissions issue for me. If I debug the code directly it works and if I run the application from here with Admin permissions it works… :/ Not sure what changed!?

      Reply
    2. GazB

      Okay so the version on the GitHub is V1.2.2.0 and works but the version in the above download is V1.1.0.0 and doesn’t work any more. 😉

      Reply
      1. Marcus Venturi

        Sorry I had no time yet to look at it. I will check that at the weekend. Thank you for the hint.

        Reply
  29. tim

    THANK YOU!!! Works perfectly! Very annoying that they don’t have an option on windows 10 to just disable that annoying popup.

    Reply
  30. Ian McChesney

    I installed version 1.0 and it seemed to work but after a short while the sound bar appeared and disappeared after a few seconds. It did this repeatedly. I copied the location of Hide Volume OSD into my start up folder and this made no difference.

    I uninstalled v1.0 and installed v1.2. The sound bar now appears once and then disappears. However my laptop now takes much longer to boot in to Windows and I notice that all three options for the program are in my start up folder. Could this be the reason for the long boot up?

    Reply
  31. JOHN ALLEY

    Marcus . Thank you so much. The OSD was hiding critical parts of my screen. Downloaded and it immediately removed the OSD.
    Amazing. Keep up the great work.
    John

    Reply
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  33. Bruno

    Marcus, I just downloaded the 1.2 version on my Windows 10 x64 and it works like a charm, right off the bat!

    Great work and thank you a lot 🙂

    Reply
  34. S

    Thanks for this simple and efficient app! I have a suggestion: could you make the system tray icon to show the volume level in real time? Also, it will be a good idea to post a PayPal link for those who want to make a donation (including me).

    Reply
  35. Paris

    Hey both versions don’t seem to work for me anymore after the windows 10 updates today ( 7-11-2017) Anyone knows a solution?

    Reply
  36. Kent Erickson

    Thank you!

    The volume control on my headset would oscillate between adjacent settings, causing the volume window to permanently stay visible. Now it’s gone.

    Reply
  37. Marcus

    Hi! My computer just got updated to Windows 10 Pro N version 1709, OS-version 16299.125. Ever since then your program won’t work anymore. Does anyone have the same problem and found any solution? Really miss this function!

    Reply
  38. roney

    i downloaded the first one it failed so i got the 1.2 it worked no problem even when i restarted my laptop.

    Reply
  39. James

    Thank you for this mine Windows converted PC from Vista has only just started showing the annoying volume control and this fixed it so thanks again.

    Reply
  40. Big N

    I uninstalled this software but the OSD is still missing. How can I restore it?

    I installed this because I was getting audio stuttering when using the volume wheel on my keyboard, but not when changing the volume via any other method, so I thought it was the OSD – it’s still running it’s just invisible now, so didn’t resolve my issue.

    Reply
  41. Anonymouse

    Ding dong, the Win 10 Volume OSD is dead!! At first I was quite hesitant to use a 3rd party program to do my dirty work, but now I’m glad it’s finally gone. I like how this installs like a regular, old program with a directory and everything.

    Thank you, still working as of 2018

    Reply
  42. max

    Winner winner chicken dinner! I got it working with the 1.2 version. You’re a life saver! I curse spotify for messing with my windows settings everytime. Is there anywhere where I can donate as a ways to say thanks?

    Regards

    Reply
  43. K

    Thanks for this speedy, easy fix!
    Downloaded the exe, installed with the system tray option deselected and — POOF — the stupid volume slider is GONE.
    Highly recommend this fix!!!

    Reply
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  47. Guido

    Thank you for helping fix one of the thousands of problems in Windows 10 that Microsoft keeps ignoring over the years and occasionally even stealthily adding through Windows Update.

    Reply
  48. Greg T

    This is really awesome! Thank you!! Finally!!! Can get rid of the Spotify overlay window that it keeps ignoring wish to disable with recent Nov 2018 update.

    Reply
  49. SubSonix

    I just want to say I love this, been looking for a good solution for a while.

    But, (sorry there’s a but) It causes some huge frame drops/freezes in some full screen programs (games)
    I have a powerful PC 6700k + 1080Ti so I’m not sure why it happens. But I’m hoping you can help 🙂

    Reply
  50. Mihai Rad

    Wow, such an amazing app. I am using Spotify and before using this app the Spotify’s tooltip anchored to the volume tooltip took a lot of my screen, and it can not be moved or change its transparency. Spotify has an option to disable the tooltip but only if you adjust the volume from the taskbar, but NOT if you are adjusting with a keyboard for e.g, so this is perfect. Thanks a lot !

    Reply
  51. Joseph Sctbunio

    Hi, this software seems great on paper, and I like the idea of it, but I have a problem with it.

    Firstly, a little guidance on this site: I really think you should move the link to the updated 1.2 version up above the older 1.0 version. Most people are downloading the older version, because the links are in backwards order. They’ll probably get annoyed that it’s not working for them on Windows 10 properly (from what I’ve seen, the old version hardly starts up properly on Windows 10), and then uninstall your software! Not a good representation.

    Now for the real issue, which is also bad representation: sometimes when booting up, I get an error of “Severe error: OSD window not found!” which is really bad design, I’m sorry to say. It makes the software useless until you restart it, and confuses the ever-living heck out of the user.

    In my case, it’d be okay, because I understand that my computer isn’t about to blow up, and all I need to do is restart the software, but the thing is, I sell refurbished computers and I want to include this software on any that could use it. For example, Dell laptops that have Dell’s QuickSet on them show a volume OSD already, and upgrading them to Windows 10 results in two OSDs, which looks absolutely silly. I’d happily use this program, but then it randomly gives a severe error! That’s just not right!

    Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate the effort you invested into making this program and making it available for everyone, and I would love to use this program if it weren’t for this issue, but the issue makes it useless to me, and I cannot recommend it for this reason.

    I’m far from the world’s best programmer, but from my programming perspective, it certainly seems like it can’t find something it needs in order to function, which is probably the OSD that it needs to disable…but it shouldn’t come up giving a severe error, it should probably loop a few times first, and if it still can’t find the OSD, maybe it should put up a little balloon notification (less distracting than a dialog box) and exit…but this is coming from me, I’m sure you know better than I about programming, but that’s my two cents.

    Thank you for reading and I hope to see a version 1.3 coming out soon with this issue fixed.

    Reply
  52. rob

    First of, THANK YOU. for real! Amazing script.

    Unfortunately, the latest Win10 update broke the app. No longer works at all.

    ANY small, minute, tiny chance you would consider an update?

    As a music producer it would be such an amazing blessing.

    Cheers!

    Reply
    1. Rob

      Hey, NM. Turns out I didn’t realize there was a 1.2 version. That is working great it seems! Shew! Thanks again. DOn’t mind me XD

      Reply
  53. Lucas Ventura

    Thank you very much for this app. I’d like to say something, and it’s not necessarily a request.

    My question is do you know of any way to hide just the second bigger part of the OSD, so the volume still shows but without the option to pause or change the song?

    Most people seem to be bothered by the idea of an OSD, which usually just displays the volume. I could live with that. I’m using your app because in my case it shows a whole big chunk of UI on which I have the possibility to skip to the next or previous song, alongside the volume when I change it. ( http://prntscr.com/nyhprn )

    I’ve lived fine with just the volume on Windows 8.1, but on Windows 10 Enterprise with a whole UI, it’s unacceptable.

    The thing is I grew to like the volume OSD, it shows me at which point in volume I am, it also helps detect any issues with the volume.

    Reply
  54. Vert

    I’m getting the same thing which I just noticed it today. In my case, I was using the “Brave” browser (which uses the open-source Chromium build). I don’t get that bulky rectangle when I used Firefox, Opera or Microsoft Edge (although, these latter two are also Chromium-based, so… I don’t know.)

    Unfortunately, hiding the volume OSD didn’t solve the main issue I’m having, which is:

    I’ve noticed that whenever this new bulky wide rectangle area (it’s ridiculous how much space it uses up for 3 buttons) shows up that my YouTube playlists no longer auto-play when running in the background. Well, they do go to the next video in the playlist, but they don’t start playing. I have to go to the Brave or Chrome browser, open the YouTube video page with the paused video and hit Play to start playing it. You can see how this could get annoying after a number of times.

    Any ideas how to disable this box? I don’t mind the volume OSD anymore, but this new large thing is just…. no. And actually, I’d probably wouldn’t care as much as long as it didn’t affect my playlists running in the background, without pausing each time the next video in the playlist loads up.

    I would appreciate any information.

    Reply
  55. Jacob E Veta

    There are lots of users (like me) that like the OSD but would like to be able to move it to a better location on screen. If you’re looking to add more functionality this feature would be great.

    Reply

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