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The keyboards have a special key to mute the speakers. Keyboards not equipped with special keys always have the fn row of keys, which also serve as a control for media management. One of these keys is used to mute the loudspeakers. There is no similar button to mute the microphone. This is usually due to the fact that the microphone is not always switched on. It only turns on when an application accesses it, in which case users must use the mute button in the application, which works but is not fast. You probably have to click the button with the mouse, and it’s not as fast as a keyboard shortcut.
Here’s how to mute/unmute the microphone in Windows 10 using a keyboard shortcut.
Mute or mute the microphone using a shortcut
To mute the microphone with a keyboard shortcut, we will use a free application called MicMute. Download and install it. The application runs in the taskbar and adds a microphone icon. This icon allows you to access the application’s settings and configure the shortcut, and it also shows you the current status of the microphone. Black means that the microphone is off, and red means that it is on.
The application has some useful features, for example it can mute the microphone immediately on startup, it can list detected audio input devices, and it has a “push to talk” mode where the microphone only works when a key is pressed and held.
To configure the shortcut to mute the microphone, right-click the application icon in the system tray and select “Configure Shortcut”. A small window will open. Click it and press the button(s) you want to use to mute the microphone. The application can recognize ordinary keys on a keyboard, and it can also work with special keys on the keyboard. I was able to associate the mute key on my keyboard with this application, and when I press it, the speakers and microphone are now muted and not muted simultaneously.
Every time the microphone is muted or not, you receive an alert on the desktop. If you don’t want to receive alerts, you can disable them in the application preferences. If you like the application, you should probably configure it to run when you launch it.
Using NirCMD along with AutoHotKey
NirCmd is a small command-line program that allows you to perform some useful tasks without displaying a user interface. If you run NirCmd with a simple command line option, you can write and delete values and keys in the registry, write values to an INI file, connect to your Internet account or VPN network, restart windows or shut down the computer, create a shortcut to a file, change the creation/modification date of a file, change your display settings, turn off your monitor, open the door to your CD-ROM drive, and much more.
Using the AutoHotKey Command
Here is an example of an AutoHotKey command to mute a microphone with nircmd. You have to play with the number at the end, it refers to the number of the microphone.
#z:: Run c:\tools\nircmd\nircmd.exe mutesysvolume 2 microphone 2
Press the Windows + Z keys to activate mute.
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