How to troubleshoot sound problems in Windows 10

Technical Level : Basic


This article provides basic troubleshooting steps that you can try if you get no sound at all within Windows 10.  These steps were originally published in the help topic: Fix sound problems.  Videos for each of the steps are provided at the end of this article.  If you have any feedback about these steps, please leave a comment.


Check Device Manager

    • Open Start, enter Device Manager, and select it from the list of results.  Under Sound, video, and game controllers, select your sound card, open it, select the Driver tab, and select Update Driver.  If Windows doesn’t find a new driver, look for one on the device manufacturer’s website and follow their instructions.

    • If those steps didn’t work, try uninstalling your audio driver:  open Device Manager, right-click (or tap and hold) the audio driver, and select Uninstall.  Restart your device and Windows will attempt to reinstall the driver.

    • If that didn’t work, try using the generic audio driver that comes with Windows.  Here’s how:  in Device Manager, right-click (or tap and hold) your audio driver > Update driver software… > Browse my computer for driver software > Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer, select High Definition Audio Device, select Next, and follow the instructions to install it.

Check cables, volume. 

    • Check your speaker and headphone connections for loose cables or the wrong jack.

    • Check your power and volume levels, and try turning all the volume controls up.

    • Some speakers and apps have their own volume controls, and you might have to check them all.

    • Try connecting using a different USB port.

    • And remember that your speakers probably won’t work when headphones are plugged in.

Run the audio troubleshooter. 

    • If the solutions above don’t work, try the audio troubleshooter.  It might be able to fix your issue automatically.  (If the link doesn’t open the troubleshooter, try watching the corresponding video below to see how to open it manually.)   

Set the default audio playback device. 

    • If you’re connecting to an audio device using USB or HDMI, you might need to set that device as the default.  Open Start, enter Sound, and select Sound Control Panel from the list of results. On the Playback tab, select your audio device, and then Set Default.

Turn off Audio Enhancements. 

    • Go to Start, enter Sound, and select Sound Control Panel from the list of results.

    • On the Playback tab, right-click (or tap and hold) the Default Device and select Properties.

    • On the Enhancements tab, select the Disable all enhancements check box and try to play your audio device.

    • If that doesn’t work, select Cancel and, on the Playback tab, select another default device (if you have one), select the Disable all enhancements check box, and try to play audio again.  Do this for each default device.

Try different audio formats. 

    • Go to Start, enter Sound, and select Sound Control Panel from the list of results.

    • On the Playback tab, right-click (or tap and hold) the Default Device and select Properties.

    • On the Advanced tab, under Default Format, change the setting, and then retest your audio device.  If that doesn’t work, try changing the setting again.

If you still need help after trying these steps, try to connect with a Microsoft Answer Tech.

Step-by-step videos:


Forum Article Info

Last updated November 22, 2019 Views 41,929 Applies to:
I've tried every last one of these options and nothing has worked. I have an HP laptop with windows 10 (came with 8). Ever since I've upgraded to 10 most of the time the sound for playing DVDs and music won't work, internal speakers and headphones. Rarely it will work, but then stops for no reason. Watching online videos (eg youtube/facebook) and system sounds all work. As I said, I tried everything mentioned in this article and absolutely nothing has made it work, even just more often. I've restarted the laptop after trying each thing as well. I use Cyberlink PowerDVD for DVDs and it worked perfectly fine before the update. I'm out of warranty as well and I can't afford to get help from your tech support (they messed things up on me the last time anyways when all I needed was my Store fixed, they turned off a large number of things that I use constantly and I had to completely re-do my settings). What else can I do???

Holy ****!!!! I finally fixed the problem.

I uninstalled the driver was located under "Sound, video, and game controllers", not "Audio inputs and outputs" like stated.

Microsoft Support Engineers,  please make a note of this fix and start recommending to uninstall/reinstall the correct driver!!

I had sound problems and tried a lot of avenues but non solved my problem. I looked at the Control Panel devices using sound and found two that I knew were not there previously working with my webcam so I uninstalled them.  There was still one that I knew was there previously and kept it. Voilà my sound came back.  Older system controls told you there was a conflict with the yellow triangle sign in the device manager.


I have an old analog Altec Lansing (model 151i).

The cables from the green plug on the back of the computer works. But not the orange for center and subwoofer and the black for the rear speakers. Aren´t they for that ?
If I put the cable from the green plug to the input of rear or center on the Altec those speakers work.

But the green plug is supposed to be for the front speakers.
Should I install some 5.1 surround audio especially to get sound from black and orange plugs ?

I think it is not possible to get drivers for model 151i.
But sound should come anyway from orange and black plugs ?

The blue plug seems to be of another type:  digital S/PDIF

Then there is a pink plug.  Microphone ?

I've tried multiple options. The trouble shooter wont run for some reason, I updated my driver, none of it is working. I have no low end in my headphones. When the problem first occurred I thought that the headphones had just broke, but when I used them with my phone they worked just fine. If there is anyone that can help me fix this I would very much appreciate it.
How can I watch these videos if I have no sound to understand what they are telling me? I keep getting troubleshooting replies that there are no input devices detected and no output devices detected. I have installed all cables that came with my Acer monitor. HDMI cable VGA cable and the power cable. Every thing seems to be working ok. Also, I had a bottom task bar with Chrome and other connections listed and they used to open up when I clicked on them but now when I click on the my yahoo and yahoo mail folders  show as small boxes and when I click on them they close instead of open. Can you help me with any of this?