Using PulseAudio is awesome as long as everything works as expected, but it can also be a huge pain in the neck.

Recently, I found myself glancing at pavucontrol more often than I'd like to, because PA seems to remember every change I made.

For example, I occasionally use pavucontrol whenever I run a game and maybe TeamSpeak at the same time, so I get to hear everything as I want. I think, that's about the average scenario where PA is awesome.
What bothers me: If I don't reset the game output volume (or whatever I wanted to shut up for maybe just a moment) to 100%, it just stays, even through reboots. So next time I fire up the game it caps at maybe 50% volume and I might end up in extensive research what went wrong ... just to find out the PA-slider was still down (which requires me to start pavucontrol). And sometimes I see sliders in weird positions, of streams which I can't even remember to have touched ...

So I want PulseAudio to forget the Application/Stream specific settings and reset every slider to 100% at reboot.
There has to be either a setting, or this could be achieved by a script. Not sure where to begin.

  • 1
    Yeah, this is driving me crazy as well...
    – lzap
    Apr 3, 2015 at 14:03

1 Answer 1


The PulseAudio module responsible for this is module-stream-restore.

The database of those streams is kept in a database file containing the string stream-volumes within the ~/.config/pulse/ (or ~/.pulse/ on older systems) directory, so removing it will reset this database as suggested in the DefaultDevice documentation.

rm ~/.config/pulse/*stream-volumes*

That page also suggests that a more systemic solution is to modify the behavior of the module by editing the loading line in /etc/pulseaudio/default.pa

load-module module-stream-restore restore_volume=false

This would affect the whole system, to do it only for a specific user, this could be put into ~/.config/pulse/default.pa. Note that the default.pa(5) man page suggests that the file in /etc/ won't be read in that case. Also note that this solution is not tied to rebooting, but stream existence.

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