Do you have problems with the sound on your Windows 10 machine? Here is a complete guide to fix sound problems in Windows 10. This troubleshooting guide is not only for no sound issues, but also other problems like distortion, low sound quality etc.
Check Physical Connection
Don’t get me wrong. I like to approach every troubleshooting systematically. Surprisingly, at least 10% of the calls to tech support is as simple as not having the speakers or audio device not connected properly.
Check for the cables and make sure the pins are connected to the right port. Make sure the audio jacks are connected to the right audio output connector. If you are using wireless or Bluetooth speakers, check if the device is listed under the Settings -> Devices.
Check for driver problems
Open device manager and check the status of your sound card.
- Press Windows Key + R for Run window. Type devmgmt.msc
- Expand Sound, video and game controllers
This is how to identify the driver problem
Look at the entry which shows the sound card connected to your computer.
- If there is a black arrow pointing downwards, it means the device is disabled for some reason. Right click on it and click Enable.
- If it is a yellow sign with an exclamation, it is a problem with driver. It is possible that Windows 10 may not have installed the right driver for your sound card. Right click on the sound card -> Click Update Driver Software. The operating system will start looking for the right software for your device and if you are lucky, it will be installed automatically. If it failed, you need to go to manufacturer’s website and download the updated driver for Windows 10.
- If it is a red with question mark, then the driver is not installed. Download and install the updated driver from manufacturer website or install it from driver disk provided by manufacturer.
If there are no indications of any driver problems, proceed to next step.
Check the Default Device set for the computer
Your audio device might be connected to your computer using HDMI or USB. You might need to set the default device for your computer.
- Click on Cortana search -> type Sound
- Click Sound in Control Panel
- Click Playback
- select the audio device from the list
- Click Set Default.
Check the result.
If you have multiple audio devices you can connect to, switch between the devices and check if you get a sound.
Disable Audio Enhancements
There are enhancements designed for your audio devices to make it sound better. But these enhancements can also create problems for your audio device. This issue happen rarely, but it is possible. Here is how to disable sound enhancements.
- Click on Cortana search -> type Sound
- Click Sound in Control Panel -> Click Playback
- Click on Properties for the default device
- Click Enhancements
- Click Disable all enhancements
Check if that fix the problem. You may also try Restore Defaults under the enhancements tab and check if it fix the problem.
Change Audio Format
Again this happens rarely, yet possible. The sound enhancements used by the default operating system or third party software can create problems with sound.
- Go to Playback option as mentioned in the above step
- Click on Properties for the default device.
- Click Advanced Tab
- Click Restore Defaults
Check if the problem is fixed.
Install Generic driver
This happens rarely, but not impossible. It is possible that device driver is installed for sound card, but chances are there it might still be incompatible. You may not understand there is a problem as there won’t be any yellow, red or arrow marks that indicate a problem. The solution is installing a generic driver which will be compatible with all sound cards. A generic driver may not get you maximum performance expected from your sound card, but it at least allow you to get sound.
- Open device manager by typing devmgmt.msc in Run window
- Right click on your sound card, click Update driver software
- Choose Browse my computer for driver software
- Select Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer
- Click High Definition Audio Device from the list
- Click install. Restart your PC and check if the problem is fixed.
If the High definition Audio device didn’t work, you can also look for other driver in the list which may be compatible. For e.g., if you have a creative sound card, you might find lot of entries listed for creative sound card. You need to find the one from multiple entries. If one doesn’t work, try another one till you get it fixed.
If none of the above steps worked, you need to get your sound card checked by a technician. If the sound card is an external one, it is better to replace the sound card. If the sound card is in-built inside the motherboard, disable it from BIOS menu. Get a new external sound card and install it.
Other Sound Problems in Windows 10
Problems with Cortana
Cortana is Microsoft’s Voice Assistant used to follow your commands using your sound. If Cortana is not able to hear your sound, there might be a problem with microphone. You need to check if the microphone is connected and working.
Also check Cortana settings.
- Open Cortana -> click Notebook
- Click Settings
- Make sure the option is turned on. “Hey, Cortana” is turned on.
Sound problems in Edge browser
There is a reported case of Edge browser not able to play sound. The problem is with Adobe Flash Player. Here is how to fix sound problems in Edge browser.
- Click three dots on the right top corner of edge browser
- Click Settings -> Click Advanced Settings
- Ensure Adobe Flash Player is turned on
Hope you get the problems fixed using the steps here. Please use the comment section to share your experience, feedback or if you need any assistance on the problem.