Tip o' the Week 343 – QUIET!!!!
One of the rare regressions from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 was the effective loss of “Quiet Hours”, a feature which persists in Windows 10 Mobile 10 and lets you silence your phone at times when you don’t need to know there’s a conf call in a different time zone to which you’ve been invited, or that it’s some dude on LinkedIn’s birthday.
You may wish for the same functionality (as described 2½ years ago in ToW 209) on your home PC or WFH laptop; although there’s a feature in Windows 10 called “Quiet hours”, it’s sadly nothing like the same.
Even if you have Quiet hours set in the notification area in Windows 10, it only means that between the hours of midnight and 6am, your PC won’t give you notifications. You can’t say “make it quiet RIGHT NOW” and you can’t change the times. Rather limited functionality, wouldn’t you say?
Well, there is a workaround that needs a little more effort (~2 minutes) but is actually a good bit more effective, and lets you be somewhat more creative too.
What we’re going to do here is use a core capability that’s been in Windows ever since NT 3.1; the task scheduling feature, also used in ToW 310. Also, with a neat 3rd party utility called nircmd, we can issue simple commands to the system to do things like mute or unmute the system volume.
If one’s not enough for you, it’s possible to create multiple schedules depending on your preferences, by opening the task and adjusting the Triggers tab to set additional schedules (so you could have it mute earlier in the evening from Sun-Thurs but might want to allow later music playing on a Fri/Sat, for example).
Now, sleep soundly.