Microsoft could finally update an essential Windows 10 feature

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One of the most essential features of Windows 10 – the operating system’s volume controls – could be getting a big overhaul in the near future.

As Windows Latest reports, a new preview build of Windows 10, Build 19577, contains code that suggests there will be new volume controls.

Back in 2018, a leak suggested that Microsoft has been planning on significantly changing Windows 10’s volume control in a future release. However, despite Microsoft updating Windows 10 several times over the years, the operating system’s volume controls have remained unchanged.

This is what the new volume controls could look like

This is what the new volume controls could look like (Image credit: Windows Latest)

 Better control over your media 

At the moment, the way you control the volume in Windows 10 is pretty basic, but it looks like Microsoft is planning to radically overhaul it so that it’s much more useful.

One of the biggest changes will to the volume control menu, which is opened when you click the icon of the speaker in the right-hand side of Windows 10’s taskbar.

Currently, this menu shows lets you change the overall system volume, as well as swap between output devices (such as switching between computer speakers and a headset).

It looks like the new volume control menu will also feature multimedia playback controls, allowing you to play, pause and skip tracks when you’re playing music.

Album artwork and information about the music you’re listening to will also be displayed, and it should work with most major media playing apps such as Spotify.

These are encouraging changes that will make using your Windows 10 PC for listening to music much more convenient. The volume controls are one of the major features of Windows 10 that Microsoft hasn’t changed for a long time, so it’s good to see the company hasn’t given up on overhauling them.

While the appearance of new volume controls in an early preview build suggests the feature will be coming at some point to Windows 10, we don’t know when that will be.

The next major update is Windows 10 20H1 (also known as Windows 10 2004), but as that is due to arrive in April or May 2020, it’s very unlikely that the new volume controls will appear then. Even though we’ll have to wait longer, it seems that it will be worth it for anyone who plays a lot of music on their PC or laptop.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.