Questions & Answers

How do I disable exclusive mode for a Windows audio device?

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asked Apr 15, 2015 in Tuning & Optimizing Computers for Digital Audio by AlexTinsley (925,190 points)
How do I prevent Windows from blocking access to my audio device when I run multiple applications? There is something called Exclusive Mode for a Windows audio device, how can I disable this?

1 Answer

+1 vote
answered Apr 15, 2015 by AlexTinsley (925,190 points)
Best answer

In the event you need the audio interface to not be controlled by any other application or system sound while running your application, you may want to enable or disable Exclusive Mode for Audio Device (streams) in Windows. 

This function may be on by default, to disable it follow these steps: 

  1. Right-click on the white speaker icon located in the system tray on the Windows task bar near the clock.
  2. Choose Playback Devices
  3. Select the audio device that you would like to adjust (i.e. - AudioBox, FireStudio)
  4. Click Properties
  5. Choose the Advanced tab
  6. Uncheck the Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device box (both boxes will be disabled now)
  7. Click OK.
  8. Repeat these steps for any additional devices on the Playback tab (e.g. - the AudioBox 44VSL and 1818VSL will have multiple Playback devices listed)
  9. Repeat these steps for any devices listed on the Recording tab.
  10. Reboot your computer to affect the changes.

If you want to read up more about this function / feature in your Windows OS, Microsoft's explanation of how this function works and why it's there: