How-to: Schedule your speakers to automatically mute overnight

Difficulty: 1

Clock_snoozeIf you leave your computer on overnight, you may want to consider setting up a scheduled task to mute your speakers after a predefined time. This will protect you from hearing new email notifications, instant message requests and updates from awaking you from your slumber.

I can also see it of being useful in the workplace. If you have a regular meeting you go to each week, it may be worth having your computer mute the sound of your laptop while you are in the board room.

The process is fairly simple. We need to use a free third party utility to allow the mute to take place. There are many utilities you could use for this such as NirCmd or Wizmo, but today to keep things simple I am going to use a program called Mute.

The next step is to set up a scheduled task to enable and disable these utilities. All of these utilities unload themselves from memory once they have run. This means that unmuting can still be controlled through your normal muting methods.

The setup for Vista and XP are slightly different, but you will find all the instructions after the jump.

Start off by downloading your desired mute program and save it somewhere you can get to easily.

Windows XP:

Open “Scheduled Tasks” (inside accessories of the start menu)
Double Click “Add Scheduled Task”
Click “Next”
Browse to your utility; E.g. C:\mute.exe
Select when you want it to run. (I chose Daily).
Click “Next”
Select what time you want the task to run; E.g. 12:00am
Enter in your username and password
Click “Next”
Tick the Open Advanced Properties tick box
Click “Finish”
In the Run box, make it “C:\mute.exe on”

You will need to follow the steps above to make a second task to unmute your computer in the morning. You will need to change the name of it to unmute so that it does not conflict with the initial task.
This will need to have the off argument instead of on.

That’s it. Your computer should now mute and unmute itself at the times you specified.

Windows Vista:

The Vista setup is similar to the XP setup, but you get a few more options. You can set it to only occur if the computer has been idle for longer than 10 minutes. This means that your computer game or movie won’t be interrupted.

Open “Task Scheduler” (inside accessories of the start menu)
Click “Create New Task” (not basic)
Give it a name “Mute”
Go to the “Triggers” tab
Click “New” (defaults to schedule)
Enter the frequency and time you want the mute to occur
Click “OK”
Go to the “Actions” tab
Click “New” (defaults to run program)
Browse for your program and put in the necessary arguments; E.g. On
Click “OK”
Go to the “Conditions” tab
Here, define how long you want the computer to be idle before activating the mute.
Click “OK”

You will need to follow the steps above to make a second task to unmute your computer in the morning. You will need to change the name of it to unmute so that it does not conflict with the initial task. This will need to have the off argument instead of on.

That’s it. Your computer should now mute and unmute itself at the times you specified.

Conclusion:

As you can see, it is not overly hard to set this up. It is also not very hard to turn your speakers off when you go to bed. I am often forgetful though so this method is ideal for me.

I hope you have enjoyed this article. Please stick around and check out some other tips at Inspect My Gadget.




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7 comments so far »
 

  1. Planet Lowyat said, on April 4, 2008 @ 1:29 pm

    This is cool tips and just wonder how many of us will use this. Click on mute is less than 2 second.

  2. lobak said, on April 5, 2008 @ 3:46 am

    there is polish program that is doing quite the same
    but with option to force a specified per cent of volume,

    even more I’m using it to rebind my buttons on keyboard (five of them next to each other) to set 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% of the volume, it is very handy if you want to set exact volume,

    program normal opened generates [in GUI] a command line to enter to schedule task manager or whatever you want [it will operate in ‘silent’ mode not even opening any window and close after he fade in volume]!

    instruction:
    * you simply select the volume from the 2nd list generated from the sound driver [main/wave/front/back/cd/ etc…]
    * select destination volume 0-100%
    * input a time to fade in to that specified volume
    * copy the generated command
    … and use it whetever you want to 🙂

    the program can be download here
    [it is in polish but it easy to operate]
    http://redfish.pl/programy/WoReG#

  3. mdesign said, on April 5, 2008 @ 9:28 am

    I made a utility for Windows that does exactly this. Check it out here:

    http://www.modillion.net/index.php?section=software

  4. Chris Duckworth said, on April 5, 2008 @ 1:54 pm

    mdesign, nice utility. Looks like a really easy way to set this up. good job.

  5. sir.paco said, on September 30, 2008 @ 5:35 am

    hey,

    ONE reason to use such a program, is so you can listen to music when going to bed, and not having it running all night.

    It’s a function called “sleep” on stereo systems 🙂


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