Many computers have a master volume control that can be adjusted to increase the volume of all programs running on the computer. In addition, it is important to make sure that a computer is properly configured to use the correct speakers or sound outputs to ensure adequate volume levels.

Adjusting a computer's volume level is sometimes confusing, as many applications, such as video viewers and music players, have their own volume controls. Unfortunately, these controls do not always sync up with the master volume control for the computer, so it is possible to maximize the sound volume in the application's controls and still hear no sound if the master volume control is turned down or muted. In addition, many computers have multiple outputs for sound: a modern computer as of 2015 is often able to output sounds through its own internal speakers, through line out connections to other speakers, and through USB and HDMI connections to other devices.

The method for accessing a computer's master volume controls varies between operating systems. A volume control icon resembling a small speaker is located in the icon tray on the bottom right of the screen in most versions of Windows, while a small speaker icon with volume controls is usually located in the upper right of the screen near the clock in Apple's OS X operating system. Clicking on this icon opens the master volume control settings. To check the sound device that the computer is using, go to the Control Panel in Windows or the System Preferences option in the Apple Menu of a Macintosh and select the Sound options.