VLC always defaults to 100% volume

My volume in VLC is always defaulting to 100% no matter what I do with pavucontrol. I have read many posts on how to get the default to be something like 70% but I haven't been able to get it to work. Any suggestions are welcome.

It seems to be that pulseaudio is supposed to set the default for VLC but it isn't working for me.

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Firstly, check which output VLC is set to use.

Secondly, I seem to remember that the VLC volume control is independent of the system settings, so adjust it via the VLC GUI.


In case it may help you to troubleshoot, my vlc always defaults to 0% volume.
Similarly, volume set in pavucontrol is not remembered.
Nothing relevant found in ~/.config/pulseaudio-ctl/config, ~/.config/pavucontrol.ini, ~/.config/vlc/vlcrc, nor (as far as I can tell) anywhere, but I just run rg over /etc and /home skimming results at light speed so I may have missed it.
I see in vlc preferences, "audio" tab, there is "Volume"/"Always reset audio start level to" set at 100% but unchecked and disabled (cannot be toggled).
Note, my system is Sway not Gnome.
edit: I have two possible outputs, the laptop speakers and those of the TV I use as external monitor on HDMI. The output is remembered, but the volume level is not, for neither of the two.


It should be as simple as setting volume in vlc media player itself. You can simply use up and down keys to adjust volume in vlc, and it should save it for next time by default, unless you do some configurations yourself

Also, in preferences>audio, there should be an option to adjust default audio level.

That's what I thought too but it seems not to be the case.
Only perhaps relevant thing I found online is this reddit thread which refers to an older vlc version.
edit: vlc does not remember the volume, and the volume slider moves in sync with pavucontrol's.

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Use mpv :slight_smile:

mpv 0.34.1-dirty Copyright © 2000-2021 mpv/MPlayer/mplayer2 projects
 built on UNKNOWN
FFmpeg library versions:
   libavutil       56.70.100
   libavcodec      58.134.100
   libavformat     58.76.100
   libswscale      5.9.100
   libavfilter     7.110.100
   libswresample   3.9.100
FFmpeg version: n4.4.1


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Better yet, use Smplayer with MPV as the back end. While VLC is super popular in the Windows world, it tends to have a lot of bugs from my experience in comparison to Smplayer.


mpv works fine but I like to use vlc for albums because it lists the tracks the way I like it.

The cli version of mpv isn't bad though.

EDIT: Changing to ALSA output does work. I just tried it again. I had to restart VLC to see that it worked as expected. See screenshot.

Original comment: Changing the volume in vlc doesn't help me. Even when I change the output with ALSA which does allow changing the default volume. Even with ALSA the volume default doesn't work. VLC always defaults to 100%.


I also have multiple possible outputs.

I was able to find a solution for me, although I don't understand why just using "Automatic" output module doesn't work.

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