No Sounds on Windows 10? Here's How to Fix It

Sound is important, so get yours working again

While hardware problems are sometimes to blame for sound failures, software is most often the culprit. Big Windows 10 updates add lots of new features, for example, but they can also add new problems. The patch can conflict with older audio drivers or with your sound card manufacturer's software.

How to Fix Broken Audio on Windows 10

If your audio isn't working on your Windows 10 computer, walk through these steps in sequence until the audio is restored to your system.

  1. Check your cables and volume. Verify your speakers or headphones are plugged into the proper jacks, and the volume is turned up. Then, check your volume levels within Windows. Right-click the speaker icon in your system tray, then select Volume Mixer from the list of options.

    Some speakers or headphones have their own apps with volume controls. You might need to check there as well.

  2. Verify that the current audio device is the system default. If your speakers or headphones use a USB or HDMI port, you might need to make that device your default. To do that:

    1. Type sound in the Windows 10 search box, then select Sound from the list of results.
    2. Select the Playback tab then select your audio device.
    3. Select Set Default.
    Screenshot of the Sound properties window in Windows 10
  3. Restart your PC after an update. Many Windows 10 updates require the restart of your device after installation, and if you haven't done so yet, it could cause your audio problem.

  4. Try a System Restore. If you still have no sound after installing the updates, you could try going back to a previous system restore point. Windows creates one whenever it installs an update for your device, just in case there's a problem.

  5. Run the Windows 10 Audio Troubleshooter. It can diagnose and fix a variety of common sound problems. To use it:

    1. Type audio troubleshooter into the Windows 10 search box.
    2. Select Find and fix audio playback problems.
    3. When the troubleshooter appears, follow the on-screen prompts.
  6. Update your audio driver. If your sound still isn't working, updating your Windows 10 drivers could resolve the problem.

    If Windows can't find you a new driver, you'll have to get one from the sound card manufacturer's website.

  7. Uninstall and reinstall your audio driver. If updating your Windows 10 audio driver doesn't work, try uninstalling and reinstalling it. Find your sound card in the Device Manager again, then right-click it and select Uninstall. Windows re-installs the driver at the next system reboot.

  • How do I play sound on both speakers and headphones on Windows 10?

    Right-click the Volume icon in the taskbar and select Sound. Select the Playback tab, right-click Speakers, and select Set as Default Device. Go to the Recording tab, right-click Stereo Mix, and select Properties. In the Listen tab, check Listen to this device. Under Playback through this device, select your headphones and click Apply.

  • How do I turn off Windows 10 notification sounds?

    To turn off Windows 10 notification sounds, open Control Panel, and select Sound. Under Program Events, select Notification. Select None at the top of the Sounds menu if you don't want any notification sounds, or choose a different sound.

  • How do I record sound on Windows 10?

    To record audio on Windows 10, ensure you have a connected microphone that's set as your default recording device. From the Start menu, open Windows Voice Recorder and select the Record icon on the left side of the screen to begin recording.

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