Realtek Audio Driver doesn’t dynamically switch between PC Speaker and the Headphone Jack in Windows 10 1903

Problem

Realtek Audio Driver doesn’t dynamically switch between PC Speaker and the Headphone Jack in Windows 10 1903

Symptoms
  1. Sound plays through the PC speaker, if you plug in headphones the sound continues to play through the PC speaker
  2. If you restart the computer with headphones plugged in, the sound plays through the headphones. When you unplug the headphones, sounds play through the PC speaker. When you plug the headphones in, the sound continues to play through the PC speaker
  3. If you plug in the headphones early during the logon process, sound will play through the headphones. If you unplug the headphones after the logon process is complete the sound will play through the PC speakers. When you next plug in the headphones, the sound continues to play through the PC Speakers.

Root Cause

The Realtek audio driver installs a service called 'Realtek Audio Universal Service'  'RtkAudUService64.exe' that is instructed to start up in three contexts.

The Service starts up as automatic in the system context and spawns two processes

"C:\WINDOWS\System32\RtkAudUService64.exe"

"C:\WINDOWS\System32\RtkAudUService64.exe" –admin

And the following registry entry starts it in the user context

KeyName

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

Value

RtkAudUService

Data

"C:\WINDOWS\System32\RtkAudUService64.exe" –background

The Service in the User context seems to break the dynamic switching or recognition of the engagement of the headphone jack.

Workarounds

1.  Kill the Process (Standard User)

  • Open the Task manger by right clicking on the task bar and selecting the 'Task Manager' from the context menu.
  • Click on the 'Details' Tab
  • Sort the processes by Name if necessary.
  • Scroll down to the 'RtkAudUService.exe' entries.
  • Select the 'RtkAudUService.exe' entry that has your username represented in the 'User Name' column.
  • Either Right Click the process then select ‘End task’ from the context menu, or Click on the 'End Task' button at the bottom right of the 'Task Manager' window.

2. Disable User Context Service Startup (Administrator)

  • Open the Task manger by right clicking on the task bar and selecting the 'Task Manager' from the context menu.
  • Select the Startup Tab

  • Select the 'Realtek HD Audio Universal Service' and either Right Click and select 'Disable' option from the context menu or click on the 'Disable' Button at the bottom right of the Task Manager window.

  • Now logoff and log back on or reboot the computer.

3. Disable the Service and Delete the Registry Key (Administrator)

  • Open 'Computer Management' by Right Clicking the Windows Start menu and selecting the 'Computer Management' option from the context menu.
  • Navigate to 'Services' and select the 'Realtek Audio Universal Service'

  • Either Double Click or Right Click the service and select Properties from the context menu
  • In the Properties Dialogue box change the ‘Startup Type’ to ‘Disabled’ and Stop the Service. Click ‘OK’

  • Open the Registry Editor by pressing the Windows Start Menu and typing 'Regedit' then selecting the resulting option.
  • Navigate to 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run' and select the 'Run' Key
  • Right Click the 'RtkAudUService' entry in the results pane and select 'Delete'
  • Reboot the Computer

NOTES

  • I have only tested on Windows 1903 and only noticed the problems with the 'Realtek HD Audio universal Service'. This is installed on a driver that is used in many Dell models and HP laptops. I don't seem have the problem on computers where the Startup Service is called 'Realtek HD Audio Manager'
  • Deleting just the Run registry key doesn't work without disabling the service because when the service starts up again it re-creates the key. Sound still seems to work without the service but it may break something else.
  • You can just take out the -bakground command from the registry key without disabling the service, you will get a couple of events in the event log but this also works for the headphone problem.

 

Discussion Info


Last updated July 5, 2020 Views 3,819 Applies to: