Shift-Option Trick For Fine Volume Control Returns To OS X

Volume fine tune with key press

OCD win!

Those of you using OS X 10.7 Lion (which I hope is all of you) may have missed the ability to adjust the system volume in tiny quarter steps. This feature was available in Snow Leopard and ditched in the Lion "upgrade." Now, in good news for obsessive compulsive Mac users the world over, the option has returned.

As of the 10.7.4 update, you can now hold down the shift and option keys when you press the volume buttons and the adjustments will be made in steps one quarter the size of the normal ones, letting you fine-tune the sound output. And according to Mac OS X Hints member Arcticmac, the same trick also works for brightness.

As a bonus tip, something similar can be done in iOS. If you can’t get the volume low enough by using the buttons when, say, watching a movie, you can tap the screen and use the volume slider instead. This gives you much finer-grained control over the levels.

Or, you know, just switch to headphones.

  • Emir Jo Al-Kafagi

    Also, if you only hold Shift while changing volume, it won’t make the sound of changing volume:)

  • JDDurrant

    I don’t know why Apple removed that feature from OS X Lion in the first place… 

  • Tallest_Skil

    And it also works in Mountain Lion as of at least DP4.

  • DiogoLG

    Nice! it also works for screen bright and backlit controls

About the author

Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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