You start a PC game or stream a movie, but you do not hear any sound. On the surface there is no clear reason for the lack of sound. This guide shows you how to solve audio problems in Windows 10.
Unfortunately, audio problems can be difficult. Problems can only be found in third-party software, which requires a correction. Problems may also be due to Windows 10 itself or the underlying hardware. Possible fixes include installing new drivers, adjusting settings, or even returning to a previous restore point.
This guide starts with simple steps and moves deeper into Windows 10 if you continue to encounter audio problems.
Check for simple fixes First
There is nothing more embarrassing than screaming at the computer about sound problems that result from an unintentional push of the microphone's close button.
First, make sure the sound is not turned off at the PC end. If the keyboard has volume controls, press a button or turn a slider to see if the volume bar on the screen is raised and lowered. You can also bring up the taskbar to examine the icon "speakers" parked next to the system clock.
As shown below, an "X" next to the virtual speaker icon means your sound is muted. Just click the speaker button to expand the volume panel.
Then click the speaker icon to the left of the slider to turn it off.
You should also verify that the sound is not muted or turned off at the hardware end. For example, your speakers may have volume buttons, or they may be accidentally unplugged from your computer or electrical outlet.
Similarly, your headset or microphone may contain volume buttons that are turned off, or they can only be disconnected from the computer.
The example below shows a Logitech headset's in-line audio (dialing) controls and a built-in microphone (rocker).
Another simple fix is to verify that the problem is not related to a specific app or application installed on your computer. There may be something wrong with the app or program itself that needs patching or the sound is muted or muted from within.
This example shows muted audio on YouTube.
Other fixes you may try include installing all Windows 10 updates or restarting your computer.
Verify the default audio device
In general, you should have only one audio device installed. However, the list stacks up when you start stacking on external devices such as HTC Vive, an Xbox wireless controller, a headset, etc.
There may be situations where you switch from a headset to a laptop's built-in speaker, but Windows 10 still transmits sound through the disconnected headset.
You can verify the default audio device in one of two ways: from the taskbar or via the Control Panel.
Click "speaker icon next to the system clock. You will see a name above the volume's pop-up panel. Click on the name to display a popup list called" Select Playback Device "and select another audio device until you hear a audio
If none of these work, go to step "Run Troubleshooter".
Control Panel Route
Press the Windows key, type "Control Panel "in the taskbar's search box and select the Desktop app desktop control panel in the results. Then select" Hardware and Sound "from the Control Panel main menu, followed by" Sound "on the next panel.
Sound pop-up window appears on the screen Make sure your audio device is set by default, otherwise, just click on the device list to select and then click the "Set Default" button, then click "OK" – Exit Button
Run the Troubleshooter
Windows 10 offers a built-in debugger that scans the system and offers possible fixes.
Press the Windows key, type "Sounds" in the taskbar's search box, and select "Find and Fix Problems with Playing Sounds" in the results. This opens a troubleshooter in the Control Panel.
You can also access this troubleshooter by going to Start> Settings> System> Sound> Troubleshooting.
After troubleshooters scan for audio devices, select the device you want to troubleshoot and click the "Next" button.
Windows 10 scans for problems. Follow all available instructions to solve your audio problems.
Restart the audio services
Press the Windows key, type "Services" in the taskbar's search field, and select the Service Desktop app in the results.
In the Services window, you must restart three services:
- Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
- Windows Audio
- Windows Audio Endpoint Builder
For each service, click with a single click to select, right-click to open the service's menu and then select the "Restart" option. If "Restart" is gray, try the "Refresh" option instead.
Turn off audio enhancements
These "enhancements" provided by audio hardware vendors and Microsoft are intended to deliver the best possible experience. However, they may be the underlying problem.
Type “Control Panel” in the taskbar search field and select the resulting control panel desktop app.
Select "Hardware and Sound" from the main menu on the Control Panel, followed by "Sound" on the next panel.
Select your audio device listed under the "Playback" tab and right-click to open a menu. Select the "Properties" option at the bottom.
When the Speaker / Headphone Properties window appears, click the "Enhancements" tab. Check the box next to "Disable all sound effects" (or "Disable all enhancements"). Confirm the change by clicking the "OK" button.
If this does not work, you may not have the correct audio device by default. Follow the instructions on the control panel to set your default audio device. If it still does not work, we go go to the next step.
Change audio format
The current audio format may not work properly with your computer's hardware. To see if this is the case, type "Control Panel" in the taskbar's search box and select the resulting control panel desktop application.
Select "Hardware and Sound" from the main menu of the Control Panel, followed by "Sound" on the next panel.
Select your audio device listed under the Playback tab and right-click to open a menu. Select the "Properties" option at the bottom.
When the Speakers / Headphones Properties window appears, click the "Advanced" tab. A drop-down menu appears in the "Standard Format" section. Select another format and click the "Test" button to see if another format works. If it does, click the "Apply" button followed by the "OK" button.
If changing audio format does not work, proceed to updating your audio driver.
Updating the Driver
There are two ways to update your audio driver. Many Dell, HP, and more pre-installed computers install a "command center" program that scans your device and installs updated drivers.
For example, Alienware computers come with SupportAssist that looks for outdated drivers, hardware problems and so on. Run these applications to check for driver updates.
The second approach is to update the driver manually via Device Manager. To get started, right-click the Start button and select "Device Manager" from the popup menu.
Select and expand the "Audio, Video and Game Controls" entry to list all available audio devices. Click on your primary device once – this example uses Realtek Audio – then right-click to open a popup menu. Select the "Update Driver" option.
In the following window, select "Automatically search for updated driver software".
Alternatively, you can search the sound card manufacturer's website for new drivers and download them to your PC. If you take that route, select the option "Browse my computer for driver software" instead. Just target Windows 10 to the download site.
Another option "Browse My Drivers Computer" is to install compatible drivers from a list. Instead of specifying a download location, click the "Let me select from a list of available drivers on my computer" option.
Make sure the "Show compatible hardware" box is selected and select one of the listed drivers in the following window. Click "Next" to exit.
Uninstall and reinstall your audio device
Remove your audio device completely and allow Windows 10 to detect and reinstall the correct driver.
Right-click the Start button, then select "Device Manager" from the context menu.
When the Device Manager appears on the screen, select and expand the "Audio, Video, and Game Controls" entry. Click on your primary device once – this example uses Realtek Audio – then right-click to open a popup menu. Select the "Uninstall device" option and restart your computer.
Windows 10 should install the correct audio driver after the reboot. To check, go back to Device Manager and see if your audio device is listed under "Audio, Video and Game Controls."
If it is not there, click once to select a category followed by right-clicking to open a popup menu. Select the "Scan for Hardware Changes" menu.
If your audio device still does not appear, you probably have hardware problems that a driver update / update cannot address.
Perform a System Restore
Finally, if all else fails, hope that Windows 10 created a restore point before your audio problems started.
Type "Reset" in the taskbar's search box and select "Create a Reset Point" in the results.
Click the "System Restore" button in the following system properties to start the service.
A system recovery window appears on the screen. Click "Next" to continue.
In the next step, click the box next to "Show more restore points" and select a restore point dated before you began experiencing audio problems. Click "Next" to continue.
Click "Finish" and Windows 10 will continue to restore your PC.