Windows 10 Sound Not Working? Here Are Some Fixes

Sound is important. The second-most important sense in the human body (sight just beats it, in my eyes), and one of the main areas in which you want your computer to function. As with everything computer-related, the sound in Windows 10 – whether integrated or on a dedicated card – is prone to not working, and there’s a number of possibilities as to what the actual problem could be.

In this article we will run through some of the most important things you should check on Windows 10 to get your sound working again.

Use the “Playback Devices” Box

Let’s get the obvious stuff out the way first. If you regularly switched between headphones, digital audio outputs, and your standard speakers, there’s a chance you may have dabbled with the “default” sound output on your PC and not set it back to normal (or Windows dabbled it up for you).

Right-click the speaker icon at the bottom right corner of the Windows taskbar (it’s not set to “mute”, is it?), then click “Playback devices.” Do your speakers (or whichever audio output you want to use) have a green tick next to them? If not, right-click your preferred audio output and click “Set as default device.”

If that doesn’t work, right-click anywhere in your list of devices and click “Show Disabled Devices.” Has your preferred sound output turned up now, all greyed out? If so, right-click it and click “Enable,” then “Set as default device.”


Update Your Sound Drivers

If you’re not getting any sound, then the drivers could be to blame. Go to Device Manager (Search “device manager” from the Start menu), then click “Audio, inputs and outputs” to see the make of your sound card.

Right-click it, then go through the routine of checking that it’s “Enabled,” “Scan for hardware changes,” “Update driver software,” and “Roll Back Driver.” (You’ll find this under “Properties.”)

If the problem persists, you can uninstall the driver from the device manager, and then when you reboot your PC, Windows will reinstall it automatically, hopefully in good working order.


Update/Reinstall Sound Controllers

Sound still not working? In the Device Manager go to “Sound, video and game controllers” and see if you have something called an “IDT High Definition Audio CODEC.” If not, uninstall all devices you find here. (They’ll reinstall later.) If you do see the codec, then do the following:

  • Right-click the codec and click “Update Driver Software.”
  • Select “Browse my computer for driver software.”
  • Click “Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.”
  • Under Model choose “High Definition Audio Device -> Next -> Yes.”


Kudos to Reddit’s BoneCounty for this fix. It’s saved a lot of people, by the looks of things!

Realtek HD Audio Manager Problems

This sound management tool comes pre-packaged with many PCs that use Realtek sound drivers. (And a very large number of them do.) Sometimes, however, it can cause troubles. Open the Realtek Sound Manager (There should be a black megaphone icon in your system tray.) and disable the “Front Panel” audio ports if you’re not using them.


Hear, Hear!

Sound is a complicated beast, and even though we’re fairly confident these fixes should fix you up, there’s always a chance your Windows 10 sound still won’t be working. If that’s the case, and you’ve found your own solutions, let us know, and we may add them here in the future.

Robert Zak Robert Zak

Content Manager at Make Tech Easier. Enjoys Android, Windows, and tinkering with retro console emulation to breaking point.