How to Reset All Audio Settings in Windows 11

Here are three ways to reset the Windows 11 audio settings so you hear the best sound possible

What to Know

  • Reset volume levels: Settings > System > Sound > Volume mixer > Reset.
  • Reset audio driver: Roll back, update, or uninstall the driver.
  • Reset audio services: Open Services, right-click Windows Audio Endpoint Builder, then Restart > Yes.

This article describes the different reset option you have for your audio devices in Windows 11. You might do this if your audio isn't working well, if you're trying to squeeze the best performance as possible out of your devices, or if you want to stop using custom settings.

How to Reset the Volume for All Your Devices in Windows 11

Follow these steps to reset the volume for all your apps in one go. This will set the volume to 100% for whatever apps are listed in the Settings app.

  1. Right-click the sound icon on the taskbar (it's near the clock), and choose Sound settings.

    Other ways to do this include clicking through Settings > System > Sound, or executing the ms-settings:sound Run command.

  2. Select Volume mixer from the Advanced section.

    Volume mixer in Windows 11 sound settings
  3. At the bottom of the screen, select Reset.

    Reset in Windows 11 volume mixer settings

How to Reset the Audio Driver in Windows 11

There are a few ways to deal with the audio driver, depending on your specific situation:

  • Roll back the audio driver if you recently installed an update, but it caused the audio to stop working or sound worse.
  • Update the audio driver if sounds don't work at all or if you started using a new sound device with your computer.
  • Uninstall the audio driver if there's an issue with sound, but you didn't recently upgrade your sound equipment or install a driver update. This will revert to the basic driver provided by Windows.

Here's how to uninstall the audio driver in Windows 11:

  1. Open Device Manager, and expand the Sound, video and game controllers category.

  2. Double-click or double-tap the device that's having the issue.

  3. From the Driver tab, select Uninstall Device, and then Uninstall from the confirmation box.

    Uninstall device in audio device properties in Windows Device Manager
  4. Restart your computer.

    If after you log back in, the problem is worse or not fixed, return to Device Manager and go to Action > Scan for hardware changes.

How to Reset Audio Services in Windows 11

There are a couple of services that Windows uses to deal with sound. You can restart these services if you're experiencing abnormal sound quality issues.

  1. Search Windows for Services, or use the Run command services.msc.

  2. Locate Windows Audio Endpoint Builder from the list, right-click it, and choose Restart.

  3. Select Yes on the prompt to also restart the Windows Audio service.

    Windows Audio Endpoint Builder and Yes highlighted in the Windows 11 services restart prompt

How to Manage Sound Settings in Windows 11

As the above directions show, all the Windows 11 sound settings are accessible through the Settings app. You can get there in a few ways:

  • Search for Settings from the taskbar.
  • Press WIN+i.
  • Right-click the Start button and choose Settings.

Once you're in Settings, select Sound for settings pertaining to output devices, input devices, troubleshooting tools, the volume mixer, and more. Another way to jump directly into the sound settings is to right-click the volume icon in the taskbar and choose Sound settings. From that same menu is Open volume mixer, which will do just that.

In the Advanced section for sound, look for More sound settings. There you'll find more options related to your playback devices and sound themes.

More sound settings in Windows 11 sound settings

Here are examples of the available settings you can tweak for better sound on a pair of headphones:

  • Levels: Adjust the volume balance between the left and right side.
  • Enhancements: Boost the lowest frequencies that can be played by your device, turn on Headphone Virtualization to create the illusion of a home theater, or turn on Loudness Equalization to reduce perceived volume differences based on the "understanding of human hearing."
  • Advanced: Change the sample rate and bit depth.
  • Spatial sound: Select the Spatial sound format you want to use.

As you can see in that screenshot, Restore Defaults will reset the settings within that specific tab.

  • How do I change Windows 11 system sounds?

    To change Windows 11 system sounds, go to Settings > Sound > More sound settings. Tap the Sounds tab to open a list of Program Events and select the sound you want to change.

  • How do I fix my Windows 11 audio icons?

    To fix your Windows 11 audio icons, update the relevant drivers (display adapters, sound, video, etc.), disable any audio plug-ins or extensions, and manually choose a default speaker. If you still have problems, run a troubleshooter, then update and restart Windows.

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