How to Fix Incorrect Windows 11 Audio Icons

To fix Windows 11 audio icon bugs, update the app, operating system, and drivers

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This article explores some of the common causes of Windows 11 audio playback issues and offers a number of proven solutions for fixing incorrectly displayed icons, long audio playback delays, and slow app response when editing and playing music and sounds.

Why Are Windows 11’s Audio Icons and Playback Not Working?

Audio delays in Windows 11 are usually caused by a lack of available system memory, an out-of-date app or operating system, too many programs and extensions running at the same time, or audio-related drivers needing an update.

Out-of-date device drivers can also cause Windows 11 icon glitches that make the incorrect speaker or sound icon show in the taskbar and desktop. Incorrect system settings being selected can also be behind icon and sound glitches.

How to Fix Slow Audio Icons in Windows 11

Here’s all of the best ways to fix Windows 11 audio and icon bugs.

  1. Restart Windows 11. A quick Windows restart can often fix a lagging UI as well as any audio delays.

  2. Update Windows 11. Windows updates can install important fixes for bugs that could be causing audio icon and playback problems.

  3. Update your Windows 11 apps. Check to see if a new version of the app you’re using is available. These audio and icon bugs could have already been fixed and all you need to do is download and install the update.

    If you didn’t download the app via the Microsoft Store app store, check the app’s File, Help, and About menus for an Update or Check for update link.

  4. Update your Windows 11 system sounds. If you’re having trouble with incorrect system sounds playing in Windows 11, you can manually change them.

  5. Fix the Window 11 Spotify overlay controls. If the audio or sound icon delays are associated with Spotify song playback, there are several specific fixes that you should try.

  6. Streamline your audio playback. Make sure your Windows 11 device is connecting directly to the speaker playing the audio. Having another device such as a mixer or smartphone in the middle could be the cause of the audio delay.

  7. Run a Windows troubleshooter. Open Settings and select System > Troubleshoot. If a troubleshooter doesn’t automatically start, select Other trouble-shooters and run the Playing Audio, Video Playback, and Windows Store Apps troubleshooters.

  8. Check the app’s compatibility. If you’re only experiencing audio lag within a certain app, it’s possible that the app may be required to run on a more powerful. Select System Requirements on the app’s page in the Microsoft Store to check if your computer or laptop is fully compatible.

  9. Disable the audio app’s plug-ins and extensions. Add-ons can add extra functionality but they can also slow down an app and cause UI and playback delays. Disable all the add-ons you don’t need. If the delays persist, uninstall or remove them from the app.

    Most apps will let you redownload or re-install add-ons if you ever need them in the future.

  10. Update Windows drivers. Check for, and install, new drivers relating to Display adapters and Sound, video, and game controllers. This can fix both audio delays and the incorrect icons showing on the Windows 11 taskbar and desktop.

  11. Manually select Windows 11’s default speakers. To fix the wrong audio icons from showing, open Control Panel and select Large icons from the drop-down menu. Select Sound > Playback, right-click your device’s main speaker and then select Enable.

    Right-click it again and select Set as Default Device. Restart your device to lock in the changes.

  12. Scan for errors with System File Checker. This tool comes built-into the Windows 11 operating system and is very useful for detecting and fixing errors.

  13. Free up Windows disc space. A lack of system memory can cause delays in media playback.

  14. Close background apps with Task Manager. Open Task Manager and close all running apps or background processes you don’t need running. This can speed up Windows computers quite a bit, especially older models.

  15. Check your computer manufacturer’s website. Their website may have a fix for your specific computer model and may even have an update or driver that you need to install.

  16. Reset your Windows 11 PC. This process will effectively return your Windows 11 device to its as-new state. You can choose the Keep my files option to keep all your saved files though you will need to reinstall all of the apps and extensions which you’ve downloaded.

  17. Upgrade to a newer Windows 11 device. If you’re still experiencing significant audio delays and lagging icons and other apps seem to be running slow as well, it could be time to upgrade to a newer machine with more processing power. However, this should be a last resort that’s only done when you’re sure the age of your device is the issue.

  • Can I remove the volume icon from my taskbar on Windows 11?

    No. Although it's possible to hide Windows system tray icons, you can't hide the network, volume, or battery icons in Windows 11.

  • How do I fix Bluetooth audio delay on Windows?

    Remove any physical obstructions between your computer and the sound device, disable any audio enhancements, and update the Bluetooth drivers. If you still have issues, restart the Windows Audio Service and reconnect your Bluetooth device(s).

  • How do I fix it when there's no sound on Windows 11?

    If there's no sound on Windows 11, it could be a problem with your speakers or headphones, your audio software, the operating system, the sound card, or its driver. Check the volume level and make sure the correct sound device is set as the default. 

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