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Set alert volume level from the menu bar System
Option-Click the volume icon in the menu bar, and you can quickly set the volume of the alert sounds without changing the system's overall volume setting.

[robg adds: I'm pretty sure this trick has been around for a very long time, and I thought we had it documented here, but I can't find it in the database.]
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Set alert volume level from the menu bar | 6 comments | Create New Account
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Set alert volume level from the menu bar
Authored by: leenoble_uk on May 26, '06 08:15:22AM

I just tried it out with the SysPref pane open as I couldn't tell what was happening. At least on my system (10.3.9) holding down option changes both the alert volume and the system volume. So if you use this hint to adjust your alert volume you then have to re-adjust your system volume by repeating the exercise without holding down option.

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Set alert volume level from the menu bar
Authored by: gr8tfly on May 26, '06 11:07:24AM

Just tried it on 10.4.6 and it works as advertised. The levels remain separate. If I opt-click and set alert to like 70%, then click, my system volume remains at it's 40% level. I can toggle back and forth (using opt), and they stay independent. Note, this is w/o the sys pref pane open.

Nice hint - thanks!

PBG4 1.67GHz 17"

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Set alert volume level from the menu bar
Authored by: zane on May 26, '06 01:50:39PM

Confirmed. Works as advertised here too (10.4.6).

Maybe it was a Tiger implementation (contrary to Rob's footnote)?

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Set alert volume level from the menu bar
Authored by: rocteur on May 28, '06 03:52:19AM

Doesn't work for me on 10.4.6 wih a mighty mouse, have not tried another mouse, option click just gives me the adjustment bar as if I had not clicked ?

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Set alert volume level from the menu bar
Authored by: cudaboy_71 on May 30, '06 09:31:50AM

i have a couple of machines still running 10.3.6 and i can confirm the first
comment. option does allow you to set the system level alert. but, it also
sets the master volume as well. you must click again without option to turn
your master volume back up.

a quick option-click confirms that the alert volume still remains at the level
first set.

sounds more like a bug that finally got worked out in 10.4.

if it aint broke, break it!

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Option-click works fine in Panther
Authored by: caesurae on Jun 19, '06 10:28:23AM

Option-clicking the volume menu extra works fine in Panther, adjusting the alert volume setting without affecting the output volume setting.

I'm not sure why other people believe otherwise, but perhaps it has to do with the relationship between the computer's output volume and the alert volume.

The alert volume is always relative to the main output volume; it can never be higher than the main output volume. As with applications that have volume controls (for example, iTunes or iMovie), their settings can only be equal to or less than the computer's output volume. They do not override the computer's output volume settings.

As for the user who adjusted the sound via the volume menu extra while the Sound preference pane was open...The sound preference pane's window is not updated in real time when adjusting the volume settings via the volume menu extra. So this is not a valid way to examine the behavior of the volume menu extra.

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