“Why is there no audio on my computer?” As frustrating as it may be, there is no need to panic, as sound not working is a fairly common PC issue for many users. If the audio has stopped working on your Windows device and you just can’t figure out why, here’s how you should go about troubleshooting the problem. One or more of our fixes below will quickly resolve the no audio issue on your Windows computer.
- Why Did My Windows Sound Stop Working?
- 1. Unmute the Windows Sound Icon and Choose the Right Playback Device
- 2. Check Your Headphones, Cables and Peripherals
- 3. Adjust Sound Settings
- 4. Fix Audio Drivers
- 5. Restart Audio Services
- 6. Set Default Audio Device
- 7. Turn Off Audio Enhancements
- 8. Uncheck "Lower the Volume of Other Apps When Narrator Is Speaking"
- 9. Check for Windows Updates
- 10. Run Audio Troubleshooter
- 11. Enable Onboard Audio from BIOS
- 12. Reset Windows 11
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why Did My Windows Sound Stop Working?
There’s no greater annoyance than a laptop or desktop device going silent all of a sudden. You can no longer hear your favorite music, movies, YouTube videos, video calls, or the familiar keyboard clicks. On a Windows 11/10 system, the different possible reasons for “no audio” include hardware, software, application, and driver issues.
While it is not always easy to identify the exact cause through visual inspection alone, there are a few obvious signs of a faulty audio connection.
For example, if you’ve enabled Windows Defender on your device, it will flag a malware threat and turn off the sound. Do you have a loose audio cable or a headphone wire inserted in the wrong jack? Check for and fix those problems. Is the Volume icon missing? That may suggest outdated driver issues.
Considering the many potential causes, our troubleshooting below includes quick and easy fixes as well as more elaborate solutions to be tried as a last resort.
1. Unmute the Windows Sound Icon and Choose the Right Playback Device
The first simple fix should be checking whether your volume hasn’t suddenly gone mute. Go to the Taskbar menu under the Notification area, click/tap on the Sound icon and make sure the Volume is turned.
Also, on a Windows 11 device, click the up arrow to further adjust the volume by dragging the slider. To ensure the right playback device is used, click “Manage audio devices.”
You should be able to see the speaker hardware connected to your Windows device, such as Realtek Audio, WO Mic, headphones, or speakers. Ensure the right audio device is available.
On a Windows 10 device, there are fewer options, but you should be able to easily adjust the volume by choosing the right playback device from the up arrow.
If the Volume icon is missing in the Taskbar and Notifications area, then you need to try out some other methods covered below.
2. Check Your Headphones, Cables and Peripherals
In Windows 11/10, the best way to test the reliability of audio hardware is to go to “Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound -> Sound.” All devices on “Playback and Recording” should show a connected status.
If you’re using your Windows device with headphones, check whether it has been enabled and set as a default. If your headphones keeps disconnecting from the audio ports, you can use a cheap USB audio adapter with 3.5 mm speaker and microphone jacks. This does a good job holding the headphones in place.
For any other connecting issues with headphones, go through these troubleshooting tips for both wired and wireless headphones.
Finally, you must check the peripherals for any physical looseness. Any cables should be unbroken and firmly inserted in the device. All audio cords and cables should be plugged into the correct jack.
3. Adjust Sound Settings
The Sound settings on your Windows device are an important place to search if you want to find out about the audio problems. It offers slightly more options compared to the Sound icon that controls volume and playback devices.
- On Windows 11/10, you can access the Sound settings from a simple menu search. Click the option to adjust the detailed sound features.
- Once inside the Sound settings menu, select “Volume mixer” in Windows 11 or “Sound mixer options” in Windows 10.
With Windows 10, you can also select “App volume and device preferences” from the “Advanced sound options.”
- In the “Volume mixer” window, there is a range of audio options to work on. You can set the system volume, change the input and output audio device, and use the “Reset sound devices and volumes” option. This will fix any deviation and send your system back to the recommended levels.
4. Fix Audio Drivers
Are you unable to see the Volume icon on your Windows device? Does your system suddenly feel incompatible with the audio after an update? There’s a chance you may need to fix your installed audio drivers.
- To fix the audio drivers on a Windows 11/10 device, launch “Device Manager” from the Search menu. You can also type “devmgmt.msc” in the Run Box, or use the Win + R key combination.
- Go to “Sound, video and game controllers” and right-click to uninstall any audio devices, especially external ones. It can be reinstalled after a restart, as Windows will prompt you to reinsert the audio drivers.
- Instead of “Uninstall,” you can choose to update the driver through a simple right-click.
- When the option to search for drivers comes on the screen, select “Search automatically for drivers.” Windows will look around and install the latest drivers.
- If a latest driver update is causing the problem with your sound, you can roll it back from the audio device’s “Properties” menu.
5. Restart Audio Services
To solve issues such as the Windows volume icon not showing up or the system unmute disabled, you can restart the audio services.
- Access audio services centrally from the “services.msc” option using Run Box, Win + R.
- Select “Windows Audio and Windows Audio Endpoint Builder services” and right-click to restart them.
- In the same set of services options, right-click “Remote Procedure Call (RPC)” and select the “Refresh” or “Restart” option. Restart the computer for the system audio effects to be implemented.
6. Set Default Audio Device
If you’re using a specific audio device as your default, then any other audio devices will show the “no sound” error. To fix this issue, you need to set the correct audio device in its place.
- Go to “Control Panel” from a simple search and select “Hardware and Sound” followed by “Sound.”
- A Sound popup box will open. Select your target playback device and right-click it to select it as your default audio device for all communication.
7. Turn Off Audio Enhancements
Windows audio devices such as Realtek have audio enhancement features. If you want proper quality sound, you need to disable this function.
- To turn off audio enhancements in Windows 11/10, go to “Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound -> Sound.”
- Select the audio device and right-click to go to “Properties.”
- On Windows 11, uncheck the “audio enhancements” option. On Windows 10, the option is “Disable all sound effects” under the Enhancements tab.
- Select “Apply” and close the window.
- Restart the system for the effects to take place.
8. Uncheck “Lower the Volume of Other Apps When Narrator Is Speaking”
If you use the Windows Narrator feature extensively, there is a setting that lowers the volume of all other apps so that you can clearly listen to the narrator. For this, you have to go to “Sound settings” from the search menu and select the “Lower the volume of other apps when Narrator is speaking” option.
Make sure the option to lower the volume of other apps is enabled for your default audio device.
9. Check for Windows Updates
Sometimes in older Windows versions, especially legacy Windows 10, some update issues can interfere with the audio problems. If you haven’t updated your Windows device in a long time, there comes a time when you should do it; otherwise, you’ll be noticing bugs and errors, such as audio issues.
All updates can be centrally managed from the “Check for Updates” menu option in the Windows search box.
10. Run Audio Troubleshooter
The Windows audio troubleshooting tool is a programmed solution that completely checks all the Windows drivers and settings discussed above. Although it may consume a little more time than needed, it gives a very accurate assessment of the audio problems.
- Search for “Audio troubleshooter” in the Windows 11/10 search menu. This will open the “Find and fix problems with playing sound” option.
- Click “Next” to proceed with the troubleshooting option for “Playing Audio.”
- It takes the audio troubleshooter a little while to detect and diagnose the exact problems.
- Select the audio device you want to troubleshoot.
- The troubleshooter will diagnose the entire PC for any hints or clues regarding the audio troubles on your system. This includes audio device volume.
- Once the troubleshooting is over, the audio troubleshooter will provide a recommended solution.
11. Enable Onboard Audio from BIOS
If none of these methods work, you can try rejigging the audio from the BIOS on your device in safe mode. Here’s how you can boot to this mode.
- On Windows 11/10, use the “Advanced startup” option. This will lead to a blue screen.
- Select “Troubleshoot” followed by “UEFI Firmware Settings” and restart the device when prompted.
- The BIOS screen will be launched. Go to its “Advanced” tab.
- In the Advanced tab, select on-board or device configuration and navigate to the “Onboard audio” option. If it has been disabled, enable it.
- Restart the system for the audio issues to be mitigated.
12. Reset Windows 11
As a last resort, execute a factory reset of your Windows 11/10 system. It’s a very time-consuming process and can take up to one day for slower systems. Use it only if the all other methods fail. The detailed steps have been covered here, but a quick summary of the procedure follows.
- Go to the “Reset this PC” option from “System -> Recovery.”
- Choose one of the options to either “Keep your files” or “Remove everything.”
- To reinstall Windows, choose a “Cloud option” instead of “Local reinstall.” Make sure you’re connected to the Internet while the update is going on.
- Click “Reset” when the on-screen options show “Ready to Reset” the PC.
- Wait for the system update to finish.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I know if my audio jack is working on Windows 11/10?
The audio jack is one of the important parts of running a Windows sound experience. To verify it runs on Windows 11, select the Sound icon from the “System Tray/Notifications” area of Taskbar, then right-click to see if the audio device is present. Make sure there is a green checkmark for all the audio devices on your computer.
2. How do I fix Windows 11/10 system sounds not working?
System sounds are native to Windows but can also be imported externally. For example, you can install a customized Windows 95 startup sound on a Windows 11/10 device.
It may happen that the computer is unable to play the system sounds. In fact, improper installation of such system sounds is one of the reasons you may be encountering the “no sound” issue on your device.
To resolve this issue, go to “Control Panel” followed by “Hardware and Sounds -> Sound.” Select “Change System Sounds” and ensure that the sound scheme has not been set at “No sound.”
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