Windows 10 has several audio output devices.
You can connect it to headphones, speakers, loud speakers, 5.1 channel home theater, sound card, portable speakers, power amplifiers and many others.
Multiple audio output devices can create sound issue.
To solve sound not working on Windows 10 output devices, check your speaker output device, primarily. Select the right playback device.
You can also fix the generic audio driver by installing branded drivers like VIA, Realtek etc.
PC connected to TV through HDMI, can also have audio problems. A typical problem may look like this
so i have my pc connected to tv using HDMI cable, so sound goes through this cable and uses nVIDIA audio driver (as the hdmi calbe is connected to my nvidia gpu). when the computer wakes up from sleep, it automatically changes to realtek driver (although there are no speakers that are connected), and also the nvidia driver disappears from the drivers options.
The following 15 methods should help you solve your windows 10 sound problems in 2020
Use Device Manager to Solve Sound Problems
- Right click Start Menu and select “Device Manager“.
- Click on “Sound, video and game controllers“
- Select your audio device driver.
- Right-click it and select “Uninstall device“.
Restart the computer and the correct driver is installed on reboot.
Use the Sound Drivers from Manufacturer Website
- If that doesn’t work, then use the option “Update driver“.
- Select the option “Browse my computer for driver software“.
- If you have the correct sound driver download, you can select it’s location and click on “Next“. This will manually install the correct driver.
This is more often the case when you download drivers for sound card manufacturer web page.
Check the default playback device
- If you go further down, you can see “Related Settings“.
- Below it there is an item called “Sound Control Panel“.
- Clicking it will open the “Sound” pop-up box.
- Under “Playback” tab, you can see all your sound devices.
- Check whether your sound device is the default one or not.
- If not, right-click it and make it “Default“.
- If the sound is not still working, keep the above window open.
- You can use it for further troubleshooting audio problems of Windows 10.
- If you go little below, there is another option called “Have a question?“.
- Under this you can find “Fix sound problems“.
- This should open the default browser and give different search results related to sound not working in Windows 10.
Check the default Output and Input devices
- Press Win+I to show up Windows 10 Settings
- System > Sound
- On the right-hand side, check the output and input device for Sound.
- The desired playback device should display under the output option.
- You can have your mic from headphones and output sound from speakers, if you like.
Try the Audio Troubleshooter in Windows 10
Just below the default output device in “Sound” settings of Windows 10, you can find the “Troubleshoot” button.
- Clicking it will automatically start the Audio troubleshooter for Windows 10.
- It will ask for the speaker device to troubleshoot.
- Select the required device and click on “Next“.
- It will automatically do some cross-checks and restore your sound to normal in Windows 10.
- This works for most of the sound problems.
This can also be found in the Control Panel under the “Troubleshooting” and “Troubleshoot computer problems“. Under “Hardware and Sound” you can click on “Troubleshoot audio playback“. It will do the same.
Check the Audio Service status in Windows 10.
- Press the Win+R to open the Run dialog and type “services.msc“.
- This should open Services window.
- Check the “Windows Audio” service is running or not.
- It may be disabled by third-party software or virus sometimes.
Turn Off all Enhancements
- By default with every sound device, “Speakers properties” are associated.
- Under this we have a property called “Enhancements“.
- This provides certain subtle enhancements to improve your speaker configuration like –
- Loundness Equalization
- Sound Equalizer
- Environment Modeling
- Room Correction
Sometimes if we enable any of them and forget it later, they can interfere with the audio device sound in Windows 10.
This can also be a reason for sound not working in Windows.
To disable it you can do the following.
Use the “Sound” pop-up window mentioned above.
1. Select the default speaker
2. Click on “Properties”
3. The “Speakers Properties” window will open
4. Click on “Enhancements” tab
5. Check the option “Disable all enhancements”
Click on OK or Apply. Close all the Sound window and check your audio.
Uninstall Realtek HD Audio driver in Windows 10
Using the Device Manager, go to the Realtek audio driver and uninstall it.
This is because Microsoft has added Dolby and own Sonic drivers to Realtek HD drivers.
So these will be set to off, if you uninstall it.
This is a major problem in 1803 version and your sound should start working, once the default generic driver is being used.
Otherwise, you can use the Realtek driver from the manufactuer web page.
Windows 10 sound is not working – Primary Steps
- Check the multiple audio devices connected to your PC/laptop
- See whether the required sound device is the default playback device or not
- Check your speakers and headphones cables – Sometimes the jacks may be loosely connected to the ports
- See whether the cables connecting the audio devices are functioning properly or not
- For wireless devices, see whether the adapter USB ports are working or not
- Sometimes, speakers and apps have their own software controls. They are to be checked whether they are enabled or not.
- The power and volume levels may be set to “zero” or minimum. You just have to raise the volume slider in that case.
- Try an alternate USB port for the speakers and headphones, if sound was working previously and not working now
- Only one device will work at a time. So if headphones are working, the speaker sound will not work.
How to Fix No Sound in Windows 10
In many forums on the Internet like Reddit and Microsoft, users complained that their sound stopped working after installing the Windows 10 1809 update.
It just says that “No Audio Device is installed“.
According to a Microsoft employee, the cause was that an incorrect audio driver was pushed during this update.
This mainly affects if you are using an Intel Audio driver, which comes mostly with your motherboard.
In the Device Manager, View menu > Devices by connection.
If you look at the parent device which says something like – “Intel SST Audio Controller” (Intel Smart Sound Technology driver version 09.21.00.3755), then this is the wrong device pushed to your computer.
Just uninstall the device. Then use the Realtek or default generic driver provided by Microsoft.
There is another way to circumvent this problem. If you get an error that “No Audio Output Device” is installed on your PC/laptop, then you can try this solution.
Steps to fix No Sound issue in Windows 10
- Open elevated Command Prompt (i.e with Admin rights)
- Type the following
- A lot of drivers will be listed, something like this.
- Then you have to find the audio driver with a typical name like oemXXXX.inf.
- It should be the correct driver related to your sound.
- Otherwise, that device functionality will stop working.
- Once the driver name .inf is found, run the following in the same command prompt window.
pnputil /delete-driver oemXXXX.inf /uninstall
- The oemXXXX.inf is the driver name of the sound device you found earlier.
The sound problem will be solved in Windows 10.
No Sound after Windows 10 Update
Even in 1909 and 1903 updates, you find that people face sound driver problems in Windows 10.
You need to fix your audio drivers, for these kind of sound issues.
The latest 1909 update in Nov 2019 has given some audio problems to a few users.
It is fixed in the next KB updates and many users to have found a solution in Jan 2020.
Some sound errors look very silly like not selecting the default playback device.
Others tend to get sound from headphones, but complain that speaker sound is not working.
In other cases, the sound drivers are the issue.
As mentioned many times, compatible drivers and software are required for sound cards and mother boards.
You may be getting sound in Windows 10 through any of the above devices.
In Windows 10, if you use Windows Update, it automatically update the sound drivers also.
These generic drivers work with normal sound and giving good effects based upon the speakers you have.
Creative and ASUS are good speaker companies which produce audible sounds. But sometimes these are incompatible with your motherboard.
Also many sound card companies did not release drivers for Windows 10 (64 bit in most cases).
Sound Issue Resolved after Windows 10 1809 Update in Jan 2019
Now in Jan, 2019 you are in luck.
Microsoft has listened to its valuable customers about their vows related to audio problems in Windows 10 and come out with another update.
The KB4468550 update when installed will solve the earlier problem created by 1809 update in Oct, 2018.
The problem arising from Intel Smart Sound Technology driver (version 09.21.00.3755) should be fixed by the above update.
Doing a System Restore in Windows 10
Before you upgraded to 1809 update, a system restore point might have been created automatically by Windows 10.
If you can use that, to go back to the previous version, it can fix your audio problems.
In many other cases, the 1709 update seems to work fine with audio in Windows 10.
It is always reasonable to wait for the new 1809 update to stabilize and then install it.
Finally, Microsoft is pushing the 1809 update in Jan 2019 again and it should fix all the problems caused by the Oct 2018 update.
Windows update could be causing problems
Sometimes other updates like the 1803 update could have made changes to other apps.
This could cause an issue to your existing sound device drivers.
Third-party apps may sometimes take control of your sound and reduce it, so that it is not audible.
You just have to pump up the volume levels again, to see if the sound is fixed in Windows 10.
Try Different Sample Rates and Bit Rates
- In the “Speakers Properties” window, click on “Advanced” tab.
- There are different audio formats available here.
- To set the default format you can click the drop-down box.
- Several audio formats with a combination of frequency and bit depth are available.
- Try one after other, till your sound plays.
- Most of the times, 24bit, 48000Hz (Studio Quality) works for many computers.
Check the “Spatial Sound” option
Another tab present in the “Speakers Properties” window is Spatial Sound.
The Spatial sound format has several options based upon your sound card, mother board and audio codec.
The most common is the “Windows Sonic for Headphones“.
If that is enabled, the 7.1 virtual surround option is also enabled sometimes.
This can interfere with your speaker sound sometimes and could stop working. In that case, choose the “off” option.
Check the Audio Driver status
- On the “General” tab of “Speaker Properties“, you can see your audio controller information.
- Check whether it is the right driver.
- For example, some motherboards only support VIA and not Realtek or NVIDIA.
- Install VIA audio codecs only.
Latest Audio Driver installed
- Click on “Properties” for the above property window.
- This will open the audio driver properties window.
- Then install the latest audio driver.
- This can happen after an update to Windows 10.
- Some sound card manufacturer release Windows 10 drivers immediately and some take time.
- In any case, you can use Windows 7 drivers under compatibility mode.
- You can use several options like “Update Driver” or “Roll Back Driver” .
Your sound problem in Windows 10 should disappear.
Use the Microsoft’s High Definition Audio Device Driver
- Otherwise, you can select the next option that says “Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer“.
- You can see compatible sound drivers here.
- Try the “High Definition Audio Device” as your sound driver.
- This is the generic driver provided by Microsoft.
Most-of-the-time, this solution should work even-if all the other sound drivers fail to work.